Ok moms, it’s getting to be that time of year again. Get your reindeer ears ready, your chocolate chip cookies baked, and your decorations out of the attic! It’s Christmas time!!! Well, not yet, but who are we kidding? You’re already listening to the music, aren’t you? Yeah, me too. So to help you prepare, I’ve made this guide to make sure you make it out alive when it comes to Christmas shopping.
1. Make a list and budget
This is probably the easiest thing you can do. Make a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for, and once you have that, you can decide on a budget.
2. Ask for wish lists
Once you have your budget, you can start asking people for wish lists. I typically prefer wish lists because it makes Christmas shopping easier and I know I’ll be getting gifts that they actually want and not something they don’t want or already have. This is especially useful for children. I always have a hard time buying gifts for the little ones because I’m never quite sure what toys or gadgets are popular.
Parents: if someone asks you for a wish list for your kids, think of this as an opportunity to avoid the toys you DON’T want in the house. You know what I’m talking about. That drumset? No thanks! A gallon of glitter? NOOOOO!
3. Shop the sales
You now have your list of people and an idea of the gifts you want to get them. Now it’s time to shop.
But first, take a moment to pour yourself a glass of wine or grab one of those cookies you baked. Go ahead, take a sip or bite. You got this. You are a super mom and you’re going to make it. Let’s do this.
One of my biggest tips for you is to really consider shopping Black Friday every year. I know, I know. It’s scary to think about. But you have your list and now it’s about getting those gifts at the best price. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Black Friday CAMPER. What I do take advantage of, though, are the online Black Friday sales. That’s right! If the idea of Black Friday gives you chills, just sit back with that glass of wine or that cookie, and shop online. Most of the time, you can get any of the sale items (besides doorbusters) online and then pick them up at the store or have it delivered. If you’re reading this and looking at the screen just shaking your head, thinking, “No way, I’m not going to do that,” that’s fine, too. The great thing is that we started this process early. We have a full month of shopping for the best sales or discounts on the gifts you need to buy, and a lot of times, there are just as good or even better sales after Black Friday. Look out for those big sales and take advantage of them!
4. Shop used
Another good idea to help you stay within budget is shopping used. Let me tell you something. You can get some pretty amazing things that have been used and your kids will probably never notice (depending on their age, of course) or even care. We’ve bought used bikes and kids’ furniture and all sorts of things for our daughter and she had no idea. Just make sure you clean it before giving it away. I’ve also found some really beautiful antique tea sets and serving ware for my mom. If you have Facebook, look into the local garage sale groups. These are wonderful for finding items being sold by people nearby. Also, it’s strangely reassuring knowing you can see the actual seller on Facebook.
5. Shopping the week of Christmas
So you’re done. You finished Christmas shopping. YOU DID IT! All is well until that moment you realize there’s one gift you forgot or suddenly need to get. If you’re like me and avoid shopping the week of Christmas like the plague, don’t worry. Take advantage of Amazon Prime. If you don’t have it, find a friend that does and beg them to let you use it. I can’t tell you how often that two-day shipping has saved my life. If you’re really in a crunch, order your gifts online and choose pick-up at the store (this works really well for stores like Wal-mart or Target). That way you can avoid the crowds and still get the gifts you need.
Alright, beautiful mama. You got this. I believe in you. Santa believes in you. Good luck!