I mentioned earlier we were determined to finish our Christmas shopping before December first this year. We felt so accomplished to achieve that goal and I am still so excited that the shopping is behind us. I thought I would put together a list of some of my shopping tips that help make the holidays more enjoyable. (Consumerism is not the reason for the season but I do enjoy choosing gifts from my friends and family that I think they'll like. So sue me.)
1. Start early.
This might mean asking your family members for their Christmas lists in October (like we did) but if you're going to be finished early...you have to start early. When you do it this way you can look for sales all year long on items you plan on purchasing, rather than pay full price in December.
2. Then stop.
When you start your shopping a few months in advance it's easy to spend too much if you're not careful. If you've finished shopping for someone cross them off your list and stop looking! Otherwise you're going to end up spending twice as much as usual...or wish you had bought them something else.
3. Take notes.
It's August and you're visiting your parents. Your mom mentions that she has never had a salad spinner and would really like one someday. Write it down! Hubby is the best at this. He keeps a list of things I mention all year and then decides if they're worth buying. These are some of the best presents because it's something you want but then you forget. And you feel like someone out there actually listens to you.
4. Online shopping is your friend.
Seriously. I don't buy everything on line but it gives you way more variety than the mall. Embrace it. I'm talking to you, Mom. Places like Etsy have super cool stuff that no one else will have. I like that for certain items.
5. Buy what people want.
Some of my most frustrating shopping experiences have been years when no one wanted anything. I think it's pointless to blindly purchase things that people may not like or use. If you have a list I buy something from it. The exception - my husband. I know him well enough to buy things he didn't ask for. Otherwise I have to reeeeally know my brother will love what I chose for him before I stray from "the list".
7. Keep a few small gifts on hand year round.
If amazing lip gloss goes on sale at Sephora I buy a few. Then I have a simple and small gift that I know my friends will love and I don't have to specifically find them something when I'm out shopping.
6. Wrap all at once.
It takes too much time to get out the wrapping paper, tags, cards, etc to do it at more than one sitting. Devote an evening to wrapping and just get it done, people.
7. Be a joyful giver.
Hopefully you're buying presents because you love the people you are buying them for and want to make them happy. So have fun finding them the perfect gift!