It's that time of year where Moms everywhere shop, wrap, bake, shop, wrap, and bake with occasional breaks for coffee or chai tea.
After 33 years of Mommying, 5 children, 3 grandchildren, and numerous friends and family to shop for, I have developed my own system of Christmas shopping.
My Christmas shopping system was developed and refined all the years I shopped for Daddy. He would give me money and I would get gifts from him for the whole family. Plus I had my own shopping. I had to streamline.
I start early in the fall, thinking about Christmas gifts and trying to notice what everyone I love is enjoying or needing. If I see something that I know someone will LOVE, I pick it up and save it for Christmas.
If I see something that would make a great Christmas present, but not sure for who, I will buy it if the price is cheap and put it in my gift drawer.
Then I go through my Christmas shopping process:
I do a lot, but not all of my shopping online. Okay, let's start with the lists.
Makin' a List, Checkin' It Twice
First, I pull out last years' list which I store in the computer in a folder labeled something boring that no one would ever peek at. I review last years' list sometime in the early fall and think about whether I'm happy or not with those gifts. This keeps my regrets smaller for next year.
After that, I sit down with my husband and we decide what we can spend. Then I have to break that down to a price per family member for gifts. In the past, I've forgotten about tax and shipping costs which add up quick. I also need to figure in stocking stuffers and Christmas baking.
Once that's done, I start my new list with every single person I give a gift to, even if it's just a plate of cookies. Many times it's filled with blanks that I fill in as I find something and purchase. If I have ideas, I list them next to the person's name with question marks.
Here's an example of what my list looks like:
Mike: Dress Shirt, Tie?, Date Night Coupon?
Jimmy: Portable Hard Drive
Shine: Snow Boots
Jenny Rose: Christmas wreath?,
After Thanksgiving Sales & More
I like to do a lot of shopping on my laptop after Thanksgiving. That weekend means lots of sales. I don't like to deal with crowds any more, but I love to shop online. I usually get a lot of amazing things at Khol's on Black Friday. Each Friday there are different stores with great sales.
Using Amazon Wish Lists
Everyone in my family makes Amazon wish lists and we share them with one another. I love this because you can list things that are not on Amazon. Using wish lists is so helpful because you can get people what they really want.
I don't always stick to the list, but they are a great help for me.
Homemade Gifts & Gift Cards
Last year, Julianna made these beautiful handmade Christmas Carol Framed Photos. They were gorgeous! I used to make homemade gifts when I was younger, but it seems harder now to do that. Occasionally, I will make handmade gifts or I might make something for one person.
Gift cards are another great idea, especially for guys who are sometimes so hard to shop for.
I love to give books! I shop online (Thrift books is a favorite place to shop) and often add a book to something else or just give books. My family is fine with getting used books so that is a great way to invest in my family and to stretch the budget.
Look for Bargains in Stores
When I do go shopping, I always look in the closeouts section of stores because you can find some great buys. These areas are usually toward the back of the store.
Are you looking for gift ideas? Here are some gift idea blogs you can read. Just click on the pictures below to get your creativity going. We love to give books, movies, and music in our house so I've included some blogs with movie and books lists.
Have a wonderful time Christmas shopping this year. I hope you find the perfect present.