Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fall into Christmas Planning

Technically, it is still summer until September 21st, even though we are back to school and fall decor is trending all over Pinterest. And all to soon we will go apple picking, to the pumpkin patch, and possibly hit up a house or 50 on Halloween. For right now though, it is a good time to "fall" into a Christmas planning mode.

In past years, I have been known to start shopping for Christmas in January.  In past years, I have been the first on Facebook to announce that I have started my shopping.  That was not the case last year or even this year for that matter. The kids are busy, playing sports and going to birthday parties and I have little energy time to think about stocking stuffers now.

However, the countdown has begun.  So let's make a few Miner adjustments this year and get in the right mindset! Are you with me?

Here are some tips to help your holiday planning go smoothly.

1. Set a budget 

Going into debt for 5 minutes of joy on your kid's face, isn't worth it. The stomach aches and stress of paying the bill will just about kill you. Set a budget for overall spending (what can you afford if you only had cash).  Then break that budget down per person. Start saving that money now.

2. Make a list

Brainstorm a list of people you are buying for and what they want. Then search the internet for the best prices. When you save the list, save the web address with it.  I bet you could do most of your shopping in your jammies! But don't start buying just yet, most sites will offer free shipping closer to the holidays.

Oh, and going back to #1, if the mailman and the daycare teachers are going to put you over budget...cut them from the list!  Are you throwing rotten fruit at me right now? I probably said something crazy, but truly....stay in your budget. Those people are doing a job. They get paid for that job. A thank you note for said job will suffice. 

3. Use Pinterest for ideas

My friends on Pinterest are constantly pinning jewelry or shoe pictures. Why not take that as your cue to shop for that item. Most pictures are linked to a site or etsy shop. Ta Da! They told you what they want without you having to ask! 

4. Shop over time

See a good stocking stuffer in the dollar aisle at Target? Have a great coupon at Joann's Fabrics? Pick it up now and put it away. I've heard people say "I just can't wait till Christmas to give it, though". Yes you can!  

Buy it, keep it in the bag, walk into the house and put it where the gifts live. Then walk away. That's right....back away from the presents. The kids will never know it's there. And you will be one step closer to finishing your shopping.

5.  Let the internet do the work for you

Now that you have your budget and list, sign up for Brad's Deals emails. This is a site that will tell you sales for certain items every day. Or wait for Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving). This day usually has the best sales on the internet. Brad's Deals does a sneak peak of Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the end of October or beginning of November. 

You can also scour ebay or Craig's List to try to find the best deal.

Amazon is also great site to save on shipping and getting good prices. 

6. Stop shopping

The hardest part of getting organized early is the need to continue buying presents as Christmas gets closer. You suddenly discover something that your snuggle bum just couldn't live without. Well, yes they can. Or you feel like you just didn't buy enough. When your list is finished...stop shopping.  

If you feel the need to continue shopping, go get some new wrapping paper. Then start wrapping the gifts.  Maybe you forgot exactly what you've got. Wrapping will help you remember and make you feel better about what you have bought already. 

There you have it. Now you can have a "mommy needs a drink" drink and relax while everyone else scrambles the week before Christmas to get it all done.

Happy Organized Holiday Shopping!



  1. This post scares me :P Christmas already! Great planning tips, as a former financial adviser Feb was my busiest month, all the people in trouble once the Christmas bills came in. Debt sucks!

    1. I know, scary! I wasn't going to write it now, but I was seeing Christmas decorations pop up on Pinterest and thought it was on people's minds. And I agree, debt totally sucks!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Great motivation to get started early! I'm always wrapping presents on Christmas Eve and this year I'm trying to avoid that as much as possible. You have some good ideas to kick-start the planning process.

    1. Thank you, SJ! I am usually finished with my wrapping by the first week of Christmas. But in the last couple years with the kids, I have been falling behind. I wrote this to motivate me too! Ha! Good luck with your holiday planning!


Hello, fabulous friends!

Pin It button on image hover