If you check your calendar you may think that it’s Halloween, but in reality, it is almost 60 days until Christmas. I love to shop and the December holidays offer me a year-long excuse. It’s never too early to shop for Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanza. Shopping for the holidays all year long, instead of waiting until December 24th, offers a number of advantages: you don’t have to fight the crowds and it helps you to amortize your costs rather than incurring a huge credit card bill in January.
I bought my first holiday gift on March 22nd at a local craft fair. I remember the date because my sister-in-law’s birthday is March 23rd, and I was already buying her holiday gift. It was almost laughable because her birthday gift was probably still in the mail. Eat your heart out Martha Stewart, but this year I made an Excel spreadsheet to record my purchases, mainly because I’m afraid that every year I buy my niece a pair of purple earrings and a horse t-shirt.
These are my hints for year-long holiday shopping:
Keep everything in one place! I have a large Rubbermaid box that I keep next to my computer table. I throw all the gifts in there. I label each item with the recipient’s name.
Know your audience! I never buy ahead for my young nieces and nephews because they change their minds right up until the holiday arrives. So while they may want Tickle Me Elmo in May, by December, they’ve moved on to My Little Pony. I learned this one from experience. And don’t bother with actual gifts for the teenage crowd, they just want gift cards.
If you want to go the home-made gift route, start early! You don’t want to be hand dipping 9,000 Oreos in chocolate while your guests are waiting outside.
My husband claims that shopping is a “girl thing” but I’m sure that I’ll find some blog readers who will disagree. And so the holiday countdown begins… ladies and gentleman start your charge cards!