That’s right…Christmas. At this point you have to accept that it is coming. Only 64 more days until Christmas is here.When you think about it that’s even less time to actually be getting ready because you have work and school and a million other weekday things that keep you from preparing for the busiest holiday of the year! These tips can help you get ready for Christmas the stress free way! Don’t get caught up in the last minute rush and the Black Friday Madness. Follow these simple steps and you will be ready for Christmas before anyone else; enjoy being proactive this year!
I can’t stress this one enough! Plan, plan, plan, PLAN! You need a plan; if you go shopping then times until Christmas is here and you come home with a bunch of stuff each time there is still a chance you won’t have what you actually need. Write it out, old fashioned style, or use your phone; make a note! There are always going to be people that you end up needing last minute gifts for but I’m more concerned here with the major ones.
Make a list of everyone you feel you need to have a gift for and then jot down some of their interests. You don’t have to know exactly what to get everyone in order to have a great plan. Having a quick reference of their hobbies and interests when you are in the store will help jog your memory and give you great ideas! Having a list will help keep you on top of your relevant shopping needs and will ultimately help keep you from over spending.
Research Those Big Items
Make sure you know what you are getting if you are planning to splurge for a large item. Chances are in today’s tech savvy world there are 10 options for whatever it is you are ready to buy. Make sure you have the correct item, or one that will suit your needs. Nothing is worse than realizing you have something that is just not quite right or something that is incompatible. This prepping plan doesn’t operate well on waiting until the last minute BUT if there is one large item on your list that is hot this season and you think you can pull it off (have a backup in case you can’t) you may be able to get it for a steal on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It’s an option to keep in mind but again, only for those 1 or 2 very large or expensive things!
- Steals and Deals
From now until Christmas there are going to be TONS of great sales. Some of them will be ridiculous and serve no real purpose for you so make sure you are aware of the baseline pricing for your more expensive items. Work hard to keep yourself from being drawn into the madness of “sales” that might not be all that great. Things to look out for are after Halloween & after Thanksgiving markdowns on seasonal merchandise. You wouldn’t think you can use this stuff for Christmas but you can! There will always be a teacher or extra person at the party, someone who you will feel obligated to give a gift to, stock up on those pumpkin spice candles or some non-obvious past holiday treats and you can easily create gift bags so that no one feels left out! Ultimately you end up saving some cash by planning for Christmas ahead of time!
Only the Essentials
Christmas can be an easy time to overspend and splurge in the name of gift giving but chances are that will end up putting you in a bad spot early in the new year. Don’t overspend. You don’t need to buy everything you see that is fun. Keep on track with your list and buy the essentials, the things you know you want and need. If you find yourself preferring something else, take back the other gifts! Overspending on someone may not seem like a very big deal but it can put a strain on you financially and it may make them feel uncomfortable so always shoot for “reasonable”. Finding 1 or 2 gifts suited to someone and their interests will be much better than spending a ton of money on a bunch of items that they may not really enjoy!
This may seem like an obvious one but you have to get out there now! Get shopping. A few smaller trips are more manageable for the finances and it will also help keep you organized. Trying to get everything all at once can seem great but it can also quickly become overwhelming and disastrous. Take a few, short trips and you will be done before you know it. Wrapping after each trip is a great plan as well! Don’t leave all of that wrapping until the night before or what is supposed to be a joyful holiday can end up feeling like a chore!
I hope these tips help you get ready for the busiest and most fun season of the year! Don’t forget there are just a few more weeks until Christmas! During that time we have two other holidays which will quickly suck up your free time. Start your gift plan now to avoid overspending at the last minute.