Christmas Shopping: Done by Black Friday!

I’ve already updated you on my progress toward my resolution to eat less poison. We’ve been doing well in that arena, although we backslid a bit with Halloween. However, I think eating healthy is an ongoing goal and a journey.

Some of my other resolutions were more black-and-white. Getting my Christmas shopping done early is something I either achieve or I don’t.

I made this resolution, because I wanted to decrease the stress that surrounded Christmas. We already focus less on things and more on having fun, which makes the holiday season better for all who are involved. But still, presents are a tradition that we don’t want to eliminate altogether.

I dislike the crowded stores as a symbol of Christmas. I don’t want to be shoving through a crowd. I’d rather be baking and making cookie houses with the Bean, come December. Shopping early allows me to put more thought into each gift, and it gives us more time to enjoy the season.

We’ve made great progress, and we want to be done by Black Friday (otherwise known as Buy Nothing Day). (All right, in the interest of full disclosure, we probably WILL buy something on BND. We’re planning on going to GH to throw a tarp over Moonraker and have our monthly micro-adventure either Turkey weekend or the next weekend…).

Anyway, here are some tips on early Christmas shopping:

1. Make a list. Right after last Christmas, I made a list of everyone we shop for. I aimed to buy 4 gifts each month, all year. It ended up not being broken up that evenly, but we still don’t have a whole slew waiting for us at the end.

2. Use school book orders. All of the kids on our list get a toy, a book, and sometimes an outfit. We get the books from Beanie’s school book orders. They always have a couple of good kids’ books for $1, and we stock up on those!

3. Cruise through the overstock stores. If you have a Merchandise Outlet, Big Lots, or other overstock store in your area, check it out from time to time.

4. Work on home made gifts, little by little. We always make something for Beanie. Here is her pedal car and here is her playhouse. This year we want to make her a tool bench, with a small engine that she can take apart and play with. Since we’re starting early, we will have plenty of time to get this done.

5. Check out end-of-the-season sales on clothing. If you’re shopping all year, you can get an outfit at a great discount, for someone on your list.

6. Plan ahead for activity gifts. You can get tickets for events and places at lower prices if you buy them well in advance.

7. “Shop” while you declutter. Regifting has a bad rap, because it involves taking a generic gift (that was given to you without much thought) and passing it on to another person, without putting much thought into it. However, it’s a completely different story if you find something in your house that you don’t use, polish it up, and give it to someone who would love it.

8. Check out deal-a-day websites. In the past, I’ve checked Woot.com on a daily basis. They have items that frequently come up, and if you want to give one of these as a gift, you’ll get a great deal. We got my parents their Magellan GPS that way.

9. Of course there’s always good ol’ eBay. Some items are just cheaper on eBay. We’ve picked up a few gifts from there. If you’re starting early, you can take your time watching the auctions.

10. Don’t shy away from rummage sales. Rummage sales are hit-and-miss, but you might find the perfect gift. And going to these sales is much more fun if you’re looking for something!

So, get that shopping done so you can enjoy the holidays this season!

P.S. I’ve been doing a lot of pruning on my blogroll lately. I’ve removed any blogs that haven’t updated in the past month. So if you’re not there anymore, it’s not because I don’t like you! I’m working on finding some new additions, but I’m not going to be so hasty this time. I’ll introduce a new winning line-up for you next month.

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