5 Reasons to Start Holiday Shopping in August

Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Planning ahead will benefit you in ways you never even imagined — especially when it comes to shopping for the holidays.  I always start my holiday shopping in August.  Yep — I’ve already bought a gift for someone on my list!  This is a tradition that I think you should start as well.

Each year I make two lists using Evernote.com.  One list is of everyone I exchange gifts with for Hannukah and Christmas.  I write down ideas for gifts and reference my list from last year to make sure I don’t get the person the same gift twice.  The other list is of random ideas, websites and clippings of gift ideas I’ve found throughout the year with no particular person in mind.

Here’s the top reasons I do this and why you should too:

1. Save Money: One of the advantages of starting your shopping in August is that you can take advantage of all the great Labor Day and Columbus Day sales.  I also collect coupon codes and subscribe to email lists so I’m the first to know when my favorite stores have sales.

2. Spread Out Spending: Waiting until the holidays hit to start your shopping will leave you broke.  If you plan ahead and stretch out your spending over several months your pockets won’t be as empty come the New Year.

3. Don’t Forget Anyone: How many times have you rushed out to get a last-minute gift because you overlooked someone on your list? I know — it’s happened to me.  But if you have a list that you work on throughout the year — it’s less likely to happen.

4. Get the Perfect Gift: Thinking about who you need to get gifts for now will give you more time to research and save money if you need to.  Whenever I’m reading a magazine or website I keep my eyes open for potential presents.  If I find something I update my Evernote list or save the page using Instapaper.com.  Also — make sure you listen when your friends and family speak.  I always take mental notes when someone mentions something they like or want and add it to my list so I can research it.

5. Be Less Stressed: The holidays are a wonderful time but also can take their toll with all the parties, eating and people!  Give yourself a break and make it a little easier this year.  Planning ahead will leave you looking forward to celebrating the holidays instead of wishing it was New Year’s Day.

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12 replies
  1. Iris
    Iris says:

    What a great idea! I’m going to try it out. I would love to leave all the frantic last minute shopping behind me! 😉 Thanks for a great post.

    Reply
  2. Linda L. Scisson
    Linda L. Scisson says:

    AUGUST, SEPT, OCT, NOV, DEC 2012 . . .
    I’d appreciate your consideration of my LIST of Christmas trivia quiz questions that I compiled and had published this year . . . into a 155-page paperback:
    ONE-OF-A-KIND CHRISTMAS QUIZ (Tate Publishing, 2012), with answer sheet and endnotes.

    With 112 questions, I believe the book offers plenty of conversation starters for the holidays, especially if we gather around friends and relatives that we don’t see that often. And the book should make Christmas shopping easier, as it’s available online.

    Many thanks! And Merry Christmas! — Linda L. Scisson (8/20/2012)

    Reply
  3. Sue
    Sue says:

    I was Googling “Christmas shopping in August” to see if anyone else out there admitted to doing what I have been doing for years, and there you were with this post from last year. So, I am sure you have started your shopping for 2013 by now! I keep everything in a closet and it’s just the only way I can do it. This way, I can cook some real food over the holidays, and no one gets left out (as you pointed out). This way, too, the package that I send overseas will be ready well by Dec. 1, so it gets there in time for the holiday. Thanks for the uplifting post!

    Reply
    • Paula Rizzo
      Paula Rizzo says:

      Hi Richard — just make a list of all the people you need to buy stuff for and start getting ideas. If you set your mind to it you can definitely get it done. Just set aside some time and plan ahead. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

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