Christmas gift shopping is a major part of the holiday season, there's no denying it. It can get overwhelming too if you don't plan ahead, causing you to overspend. Here are some suggestions to make your Christmas gift shopping easier:
Make a list of everyone you plan to give a gift to. I have a lot of little kids to shop for so I also put their ages next to their names so I can remember what would be age appropriate for them if I see something. You will also want to write down your budget for the gift items here as well to keep you focused. Write down gift ideas as well to get you started shopping mentally.
I don’t intentionally do my Christmas gift shopping in July. I DO however keep my eyes opened for great sales on items that would be perfect for the people on my list. And I write ideas down if I see something but don’t buy it. Even if you don’t buy everything for Christmas before October, you might have several great ideas written down for when you’re ready to actually shop.
I can’t say enough about shopping online! I absolutely love it! I honestly did all of my shopping online last year except for a few stocking stuffers that I purchased at the local Target which is within walking distance to my house. I love that I can comparison shop without ever stepping foot out of my door and dragging my two little kids with me all over the place to find something, or maybe nothing! You can also find great deals on price, free shipping, and there are also some incentive websites which pay you rebates or points toward gift certificates just for making purchases through their website portal. Did I already say I love to shop online??!!
In case you’re interested, I always do my online christmas gift shopping through a website that pays me a rebate on my shopping. My favorite website portal is Ebates.com This website allows you to shop at any of your favorite websites, such as Target, Kohl’s, Walmart, ToysRUs, etc. AND you earn a rebate on your purchase. Ebates pays every three months via check if you have at least $5 coming to you. I have used Ebates for several years now with much success. Be sure to check them out for yourself!
One important suggestion if you do a lot of online gift shopping is to keep a written log of all the gifts you have purchased. Make a list of what you ordered, for whom, from where, when ordered, order number, when shipped, when received (by you or the recipient). You would hate to have a package not show up and not realize it until it is too late.
If you’re shopping online, it may be more affordable to have the gifts wrapped and shipped directly to the recipient rather than paying to have it shipped to yourself and then pay to ship it again. Sometimes it’s not cheaper or it’s just not practical if you're shipping to several people. If you’re shipping gifts to friends and family, do it early! That means you have to plan ahead. Shop early to ensure any online purchases arrive on time, or give you enough time to wrap and reship them. If you’re shopping in person, you still need to do it early enough for you to ship items without racking up extra fees for overnight service. Keep an eye on the calendar… Christmas seems to creep up faster than we realize sometimes!
I assure you, if you use the tips outlined above and start early, you will have your shopping done in no time, stress free. You'll be done before Thanksgiving if you want to be and be able to enjoy the entire holiday season without having to tackle the malls, ever. Of course, you can still go to the mall and visit Santa and see the decorations and enjoy the holiday spirit.