Are you a Christmas prepper or a last minute shopper?
Go ahead and play your favorite Christmas album and start Christmas in September. Here are a few tips to help you avoid the financial and emotional stress of last minute Christmas shopping. Start now and stay within budget.
First, make a list of those you will give gifts to. Family, friends, coworkers, teachers, and the dog sitter. Prioritize your list and make note of any gifts that need to be mailed ahead of time.
Next, write down any gifts you already have or want to buy. I keep a running list and add to it throughout the year if I see or think of things they might like because I will certainly forget it when it’s time to shop. Some years I use a theme to help me organize my shopping. One year it was new games for everyone and another year it was books. This blog post talked about putting together travel bathroom bags for kids. Magazine or monthly box subscriptions are another fun way to spread out the cheer.
Then think about the budget you have for gifts. This will look different for each person and each season of life. It should be more about the heart of the gift than the price tag. If money is tight, handmade gifts like Seasons Greetings or even a personalized letter can be more meaningful than a large ticket item purchased online and delivered to their door by a truck. One of my favorite gifts is time together. My kids have gifted us a meal out with them or coffee shop dates. I look forward to these experiences! Gift a food tour or schedule one together.
Lastly, brainstorm some gifts you can keep on hand for friends or hostess gifts. Season’s Greetings are my favorite little gifts to have on hand. Keep a few under your tree to give out when friends stop by. Get free printable jar tags and spice mix recipes here. Bags of fresh potpourri mix will add holiday scents to any kitchen. Cozy socks or card games are other easy gifts to keep on hand. Drop a comment below if you have an idea for an easy or unique hostess gift.
Now that you have made your lists, it’s time to start Christmas shopping in September. With four months to go, set aside time and money each month until you finish your gifts. Plan, shop, prep, and wrap. If you are mailing gifts, you will be glad you got it done early!
Set up your elf workshop table in a cozy corner, make a holiday playlist, and get to work! Do not wait until December! Save yourself the emotional and financial stress of last minute shopping. While you are at it, start working on your holiday letter or cards. In fact, open up your calendar now and schedule a few times to work on Christmas gifts and cards. You can thank me by sharing this blog post with a friend! (See options below on how to share!)
Want another easy and FREE gift to keep on hand? Download my free Table Talk conversation starters and print a few packs to give as hostess gifts. Slip them in a clear bag and tie with a ribbon or put them in a mini mason jar.
Table Talk: What was your favorite hostess gift to receive? How early do you start your Christmas shopping?