I know, it’s only August. How in the world can you even think about Christmas? Well, thinking about it early is what keeps me home with my family and stress-free when the big holiday arrives.
1. Make your list ahead.
You know who the people are that you’ll be shopping for, so make that list after you’ve settled down from the holidays. Make notes next to each name of their likes or interests.
2. Start shopping after Christmas and throughout the year to save.
You have your list made, now start shopping! Those after Christmas sales are hard to beat. No one will care that you paid only 10% of the purchase price for their Christmas cards. Wrapping paper always ends up in the trash, whether you paid full price for it or not. Buy ahead for children’s attire next year. Take advantage of holiday sales and even back to school sales later in the year, putting items away to be given at Christmas. Just last week, a national chain had toys at 75% off. The sales were in store and not advertised, so the moms I know who happened upon them stocked up for their whole family.
3. When you find a good deal, take it.
About a month ago, I purchased some storage containers from a store near my home for $4.50 each. I thought they were a good deal, so about two weeks later I went back. I got to the register and found that even though the shelf price said $4.50, they had gone up to $5. Irritated, I put them back. Last week, I saw the same exact storage units in a Back to School “sale” ad for this store, listed on sale for $6 each. Now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t just buy them all at $4.50 a piece.
4. Price check online.
Everyone rushes out for Black Friday deals. I made that mistake once, and only once, about 10 years ago. Just before 4 am, I found myself outside in a line with a few hundred other people waiting to get into a store for some electronics purchases. After waiting 2 hours with my hands frozen, I got one of the last two carts and proceeded into a frenzy of bumper carts and angry mobs. It took 3 hours to check out. It was the last time I have ever physically participated in Black Friday. Now, I do all my shopping online since many major retailers offer Black Friday purchasing starting at 12:01 am. But instead of staying up late fighting a turkey coma, I shop at places like geeks.com throughout the year, where I can take advantage of sales most any day of the week at a time that works best for my sleep schedule.
5. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple.
We are all struggling in this economy. Your friends and family are in the same boat as you. Put more thought into the gift rather than just dollars. Get creative, like making a gift basket of homemade items instead of a gift card.
Christmas is not about who gets the largest or most gifts. It’s about spending time with family, something we often take for granted in our fast-paced lives.
A big thank you to the Alee Temple Shriners in Savannah for the wonderful children’s Christmas party where my son had his first visit with Santa.