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
My pattern has been to pick up gifts throughout the year - when I find the right one, I get it and stash it away. The big problem is remembering where I put it. For holiday dinners, I do as much as possible in the days leading up to it. I've been known to make a few things weeks ahead and put them in the freezer.ReplyDelete
I think that's smart! I know a lot of people who pick up gifts all year long. Definitely takes away the stress.Delete
I hate shopping in general, which puts me at a huge disadvantage come Christmas time. If I had the means, I’d hire a personal shopper! :) However, as both of you say, on-line shopping has been a boon and I do manage to brave the malls, sadly often just a few weeks before. Great tips ladies!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Janice! I'm not a huge shopping fan, either, but online shopping helps a lot!Delete
Although I don't enjoy shopping the rest of the year, I love it during the holidays, whether it be online or on foot. These means that even though I always plan to buy gifts throughout the year, I don't do much of it. I admit to a lot of stress, but as long as the fun outweighs it, I'll keep doing it that way.ReplyDelete
You're right--as long as it's still fun! :) And Christmas IS fun.Delete
If I happen to come across a craft fair or antique store during the year, I try to keep an eye out for unique gifts from my list. Otherwise, I'm right with you on online shopping. Plus I can have the gifts shipped directly and don't have to do the mailing myself. I did find some great things on Black Friday, and I hummed Silver Bells while I drove downtown. Merry Christmas!ReplyDelete
I love that song! :) Merry Christmas to you, too!Delete
How wonderful to be in Israel--always been on my wish list of trips! And the mall in Edmonton is lovely.ReplyDelete
I look forward to Patricia telling us all about it when she gets back... maybe our next post day? :)Delete