I’ve officially started my holiday shopping. Yep, I mean the holidays that come in December. Yes, I know its only August and I have four months to go. But I always begin my holiday shopping in August and so should you!
While I was in Lake George on a mini-vacation this past weekend I found the perfect gift for my sister-in-law. I can’t tell you what it is in case she reads this but it’s just her style! She has unique taste and I like to get her gifts that illustrate that. So when I saw it – I had to get it. And I was able to check her off my holiday list. Yay!
Make a List and Check It Twice
Every August I make a list of all the people I need to get Christmas and Hanukkah presents for. When you have a large family and a lot of friends it’s easy to forget someone. This way you don’t even have to think about it. This year I decided to put my list in my Evernote app. It’s an app that you can access on your computer, phone and iPad. You just make a list and it syncs up in all those places so you can see your list wherever you go. It’s great for jotting down ideas and calling up your list when you’re in different stores.
Researching Gifts is Fun
My side of the family celebrates Christmas and Jay’s celebrates Hanukkah. So I make two lists by holiday because they fall on different days this year. I put down ideas for gifts that I’ve heard the person talk about or think they might like. Shopping early and listening to family members needs is a great way to find out what they would like for Christmas. I do research on the Internet and when I’m in the stores so I have several ideas and can price out different gifts. I’d much rather put some thought into gift giving than make it into a task that I “have to do.” Think about the shops you need to visit before you go on the shopping spree.
This becomes an ongoing task over the next few months. I like to really think about what that person will like to receive and get the most use out of. I also have a bunch of family members with November and December birthdays. I make a list for birthdays too…without one…I’m a stressed out mess.
Benefits of Starting Early
I hate shopping with all the amateurs in November. You know who you are – waiting til the last second…clogging up the mall parking lots. I refuse to do it. It’s much less stressful this way and it makes holiday shopping fun — not a chore.
Plus it helps me manage my money better. If you do all your shopping in November and December your credit card bills will be through the roof. This way you spread out the spending and you’re able to take advantage of deals throughout the year.
Think of all the cash you could save with back to school, Labor Day and Columbus Day sales. Cash in on online shopping deals too. Overstock.com and Amazon.com are two of my favorites for gift giving. They usually have very cheap shipping rates too.
Using this system – I’m usually finished with my holiday shopping and wrapping by Thanksgiving. I use the extra time to really enjoy planning out menus, decorating and spending time with family. Oh yeah – isn’t that what the holidays are all about?