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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm Done Christmas Shopping

Don't be irritated with me, but I am done Christmas shopping. I think I've mentioned that I'm an obsessive organized freak, and I don't like things hanging over my head.

I've been doing this for years so I have it down to a science. Here's the method to my madness:
  • I make notes throughout the year of things I hear others saying they want or need. I also make notes of things I think they might enjoy based on their interests.
  • If I'm out purchasing a birthday gift and already have a Christmas gift in mind for that person, I buy it and store it in a safe place until Christmas.
  • In September I set a budget and make a more firm gift list by person.
  • I start deliberate buying by the beginning of October with the goal of being done by Thanksgiving.
  • I use the Internet - a lot. You can do some great comparison shopping online plus many sites offer free shipping.
  • I give gift cards. I don't think there's anything impersonal about it. Especially if I know someone really loves a particular store. Then they can shop on me and get something they really want.
  • I do my shopping in small batches. I love to shop but a day of marathon shopping is exhausting and unrealistic with a 4 year old.
  • I also do these things in small doses, starting early - make gifts, bake, and wrap gifts. The making gifts is a relatively new addition. I really want my son to experience giving his own gifts, so we made ornaments in October. When it comes to baking, I've found that cookies and candies freeze really well.
I hope some of these ideas will make your Christmas a bit less stressful. I've just found that doing a little bit along the way makes the doing enjoyable and the Christmas Season a time of celebrating.

On a funny note - my mom is great at early shopping. She usually starts for the following year right after Christmas. But there is one flaw in her plan - she sometimes forgets she has a gift and we get a bonus gift mid-year. I guess that works out well for us.

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