Thursday, October 13, 2011

Christmas Shopping

I admit it, I make great plans for my Christmas shopping every year. But every year I find myself buying at least one gift (more often I am looking for 5 or 6) about three days before Christmas. And every year it is stressful finding that last gift or gifts.
I want this year to be different. And after reading Amy's Finer Things this week I am ready to get started. I don't shop all year round for Christmas. I see the value in it, and I wish I could. But we simply don't have the storage space for it. But I can still shop smarter than I have in the past and that is my goal this year.
Already I have one large gift done, it was started in January at the Christmas sales and finished this summer. Since I don't shop year round that was very unusual but it is an special gift for Jon's parents. After we give it to them I will post pictures of it.
After reading Amy's post I found 101 Deals of Christmas. I have never seen this before and I am hooked. I found it yesterday and already bought my youngest niece her Christmas gift, the Lillian Vernon foam blocks were $4.99 with shipping. My niece will love these blocks and I can check one person off my list. I will be checking with 101 Days of Christmas as I do my shopping.
One of my other favorite places for Christmas gifts is Snapfish. They have great deals around the holidays and my parents love their yearly calendars. I always wait for their sale, but this year I am going to be a little smarter. I am starting my calendars now and saving them. Then when the sales start I will order the saved project instead of rushing around and staying up late the night the sale ends in order to get the project done.
I have emailed my sisters in law to find out what my nephews and niece want. Once I have a list I will start watching the sales and storing things away. I have also started asking my kids what they want Santa to bring them. As I find their wanted items on sale I will buy them and store them away.
One area that I do well with is sticking to a budget. Jon and I choose an amount to spend on different family members and we stick to it. It works well, and we work hard not to go over the set amount. 1 or 2 dollars over budget may not seem like much for one gift, but if we do that for every person it adds up quickly. So I work hard to find good deals in order to get the gifts we want to get and stay on budget.
The other great thing about starting my shopping early this year is that I will not have all the bills coming in after Christmas. I am excited to be more organized this year. I know I said at the beginning I make great plans every year and fail to stick to them. But that is why I am writing about them. This makes me accountable to what I say I am going to do. Hopefully I will be able to stick to my plans!

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