Thirty more days and Christmas will be here! I don’t know about you, but I’m waaaay behind. And in Israel to boot. So when I return home, I will have baking to do, and I’ll have to pull out my list and get to work. I thought you might like to see how I organize for Christmas.
As for shopping, before I left for Israel, I shopped on-line for several gifts on Black Friday, and those gifts are winging their way to their recipients as you’re reading this. I’m doing more and more shopping on-line because it’s so easy. So that’s tip #1—shop on-line when you can.
That’s not to say I don’t love doing Black Friday in the stores. I pour over the sale ads that come in the Thanksgiving newspaper (yes, I still take a newspaper) and make a list of what to buy whom and where.
Then Friday morning, I hit the stores. There’s just something about the hustle and bustle and the Christmas music playing through out the malls. And the sales! Who doesn’t love a sale! And to tell the truth since I worked in retail at one time, there’s also something about the ringing of those cash registers that lifts my spirits.
Tip #2 is make a list (and check it twice) and using the store ads write down what you want to buy and where.
Tip #3 involves holiday baking. I usually start a week before Christmas, baking cakes and pies and a sweet potato casserole that I freeze. And anything else that freezes well. Then on Christmas Eve, I make whatever else I’m having, like green bean casserole and gelatin salads. That way I’m not worn out from cooking on Christmas Day.
One last thing before I turn it over to Patricia Johns. Have you noticed that people are usually nicer at Christmas time? I wonder if we can bottle that and spread it around all year?
I'm an obnoxiously early Christmas shopper. I'll put that right out there. I like to know what I'm getting for people well in advance because for me, it takes the stress out of the holidays. Like Patricia Bradley, I have a retail past, too, and while I love the sound of sales being rung up, it raises my anxiety a little bit, too.
So with that in mind, I'm adding my own personal tips on Christmas shopping:
Tip #4. Budget how much you want to spend on Christmas and put it aside in the summer. (I told you I'm obnoxiously early!) For me, this takes away any stress about overspending in an already expensive month. I know how much we're spending, and the cash is sitting there waiting. It makes the actual shelling out of that cash that much more fun, too! Dave Ramsey would be super proud of me. ;)
Tip #5. If you're buying online, buy early! We had ordered all of our online gifts by the beginning of November so that there was no fear of packages coming late. Or the stress, either! This year, all of our shopping was online. If I'm going to buy in the stores, though, I get all of that done in the months before December and hide the gifts away inside our travel suitcase. Shh. It's my secret stash. Can you tell I like to have a stress-free holiday?
Tip #6. When December comes, hit the stores, enjoy the decorations, and wander around without any pressure to spend a dime! I mean, I might spend a little, or find a little something for someone that I want to pick up, but all my major shopping is done, so I can just enjoy myself. In December I'll shop for things like this year's Christmas ornament for the tree, or I'll pick up that adorable nutcracker I just can't refuse... I have to say--I love the malls in December when my own holiday stress is taken care of. :)
|West Edmonton Mall|
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada