Based on the beautiful display of snow I saw the other day, the holiday season is officially here. For some people (mostly females), this glorious time is marked by a constant undercurrent of “AAAAUUUGGGGHHHHH!!! I hate feeling like that, especially during a time intended to be joyful. Luckily for me, I am very much my Mother’s Daughter. That means I cannot help but make lists and plan ahead. That trait comes in uber-helpful when I do almost all of my Christmas shopping in October.
It isn’t something I plan, necessarily; more like a habit I acquired. Like many habits, the outcome is rewarding – in this case, by less hassle, stress, and money spent come December. You may ask if it is worth the “effort” to shop early…um, YES. There are several reason that I feel that picking up presents early is worth it.
- The deals. Items are on sale all year – take advantage of them! Many stores offer incentives for shopping early. For example, Lego usually offers double VIP points on purchases during part of October. Of course, that deal ends the day before this will post. I am sorry to tease you with that great offer. These things are out of my control. Consider this an early bit of knowledge for next year. You are welcome.
- Spread the love to local shops and their unique gifts. Neighbors benefit by your money staying in the community. Plus, you get the advantage of giving something different. For me, this often means the fun of purchasing something I cannot justify buying for myself.
- Fundraisers! Yes, they often sell overpriced, unneeded items that you feel pressured to buy. But why not get something for a gift? Help those cute little fundraisers reach their goal while crossing items off of your list.
Of course, you must keep track of your purchases. Perhaps designate a couple of areas to stash gifts – one space for gifts that must be hidden from prying eyes, another for gifts that need not be surprises for other household members. Which brings me to a little story…
Every year, when I was young, I offered to help clean up after our big Christmas Eve celebration. Every year my Mom INSISTED that I go to bed instead. I would lie awake,listening to my parents hauling (I assumed) bags and bags of trash out to the garage. Eventually I would drift asleep, but not after feeling bad for not helping. Years later I found out they were actually hauling gifts IN from the hiding place of the trunk of our red Ford Thunderbird.
I was kind of clueless as a child. And I digress.
On a side note, I just realized it may sound like I am contradicting my Christmas-rant from last year. Truly, I am not. There is a big difference between thoughtfully choosing gifts early while at your own pace, and having Christmas crammed down your throat when you have barely recovered from seeing school supplies in July. But I digress. Again.
Doing lots of Christmas shopping in October is so very lovely! So, go ahead and buy a box or two of the peanut butter-filled chocolate bears from your neighbor kids’ fundraiser! Help them reach their goal to get a crappy, resource-depleting incentive! The money will be well spent, and it will help make your holiday season all the merrier…speaking from experience.