I’m not sure if I have fully admitted this to you all but I am completely and utterly obsessed with Christmas. It’s my absolute favorite time of the year, even to the point where I couldn’t care less about Halloween and Thanksgiving because to me, they’re just speed bumps on my road to Christmas. I’ve become crazy about getting gigantic real Christmas trees for my apartment (by myself, I may add! This is going to be the first year B and I have a tree together and I am mildly disappointed that I will no longer have the thrill of managing tree logistics all by my lonesome and then celebrating afterward with bubbly) and typically establish elaborate wrapping themes each year.
With this Christmas obsession has also come some learnings in how to master holiday shopping – my goal each year is to have all of my holiday shopping done before Thanksgiving so that I’m able to fully enjoy the Christmas season without any shopping stress or last minute, hectic trips to the mall. A few tips to help with your own holiday shopping this year:
- Plan in Google Docs: Santa’s not the only one who is all about making a list and checking it twice! I’ve found that Google Docs are awesome for planning your holiday shopping list and keeping track of what you’ve purchased + how much you’ve spent along the way. Start planning early and make a list of not only who you need to shop for, but also how much money you’d like to spend on each person – I’ve found it helpful to create your list well before the holiday season and use it to save gift ideas as you think of ’em or stumble upon something online that would be the perfect fit. Once you begin your shopping, use the Google Doc to keep tabs on your spending and savor in the sweet satisfaction that is checking off someone’s name as DONE.
- Online Shopping + Free Shipping: I know plenty of people love the thrill of Black Friday but let me tell you, I am not one of them. Unless it’s an absolute must avoid holiday shopping in-store and instead pick retailers with free shipping (like Nordstrom & Amazon!) and shop away from the comfort of your own home. Online shopping not only saves you time and stress, but can also make it easier to keep tabs on your budget and list, plus gives you a gazillion options right at your fingertips.
- Take Advantage of Sales: One of the best parts about starting your shopping early is that you have more sales to take advantage of instead of only shopping on Black Friday & Cyber Monday where everything is in really high demand. Keep an eye on your running list of gift ideas and shop when you see a good sale or spot a promo code online. More time to shop gives you more time to score amazing deals which means more presents under the tree ;)
- Shop Small + Handmade: Another huge perk of shopping early is being able to shop beyond traditional retail stores and grab some unique, custom and handmade items on Etsy. During the holiday season I’ve seen many Etsy shop owners close their shops during December to catch up after high-demand and with the handmade/custom factor also comes longer fulfillment times – you really have to shop early to grab the best stuff! Looking for some Etsy inspiration? I’ve got you covered.
- Ship Where You’re Going and Wrap There: Since my family is back in New Jersey I travel home for Christmas each year and after selling my car a few years ago, this means I’m flying which also means, I don’t have room to schlep gifts around. Instead of resorting to gift cards for everyone I ship all of my gifts home to my parents’ house addressed to myself (and give them the heads up so no surprises are spoiled!) and even order wrapping paper online – this makes it easy for me to have all of my shopping done and waiting for me back at home without any transport stress or spending additional money on shipping.
So there you have it, tips from a
Christmas crazy holiday shopping pro. I mean… I may have already begged B to watch Elf with me (he said no) and have recently measured our ceiling to determine the maximum tree height that will fit in our apartment. Only 36 sleeps til Christmas ;)