Get in Order for Christmas, Part 6

Part 6, Shopping and Gift Giving

If you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping, don’t feel bad. Surprisingly, your in the majority with 66% of the

Still Shopping.........

country right there with you! In fact, according to the the latest American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, one in five consumers (21 percent) will still be shopping for gifts the week before Christmas, with 4 percent expecting to shop on Christmas Eve (men??). I’m right there with the majority, still shopping away. Once upon a time, when the kids were little, and I could actually pick their clothes and their gifts, I shopped all year, created “theme” gifts, and finishing up nice and early. Times have changed and so have my kids. Actually, they are no longer “kids”. They are young adults and adults. I have learned that times and life change quickly at their stage of life.  I have also learned that their gifts are much more expensive. Consequently, they receive fewer gifts, making my job of shopper much easier.Case in point, the only gift my college age daughter asked for was money toward a reunion trip to be held over the New Year Holiday, out of state. She told me just last night that her plans may be changing, and she may not be going on her trip. I might need to get shopping!

Are you of the “Black Friday” mindset, where shopping becomes a challenge and a competition? Have at it and have fun! I’m of the opposite mindset, which we can call “White Tuesday”. I try to shop early in the morning and early in the week, avoiding the crowds (as much as they can be avoided at this time of year!).

Be sure to shop with an organized list. Jot down EVERYTHING you are looking for, including ideas and price range. Use the list you created in week 2, and you will avoid purchasing duplicates, overspending, and save time.

Don’t clutter up the lives of your friends and family. Consider some of the following gift-giving options:

  • Consumable gifts, including lotions, candles, great wine and foods

  • Cool experiences, evenings out, tickets to a play or event

  • Movie tickets along with popcorn and candy

  • Passes to a museum or zoo for a family

  • Classes for art, dance, golf or gourmet cooking

  • For Teenagers, consider gift cards for gas, coffee, fast food or restaurants

  • For teachers, consider gift cards for coffee, gas, fast food, restaurants, office supply stores or educational supply stores

  • Give of yourself; a car wash or lawn mow for an elderly neighbor, an evening of babysitting along with a gift certificate for a dinner out for young parents.

  • Instead of a traditional gift, agree to spend a special evening together with friends

  • Give a cow, a goat or chickens. Dig and stock a fish pond. Send a child to school. Provide life saving medicine, mosquito nets and emergency food. Purchase fruit trees, honey bees or a fishing boat. It’s never been easier to change the lives of those in need. Check out the World Vision Gift Catalog or the Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog, and share the true Spirit of Christmas, while changing the lives of children forever. They make it quick and easy to send any of the above, along with many other ideas, in all price ranges. Check it out!

If you make homemade gifts, become a specialist. Find one thing that you love, make it well, and make many of them.

Finally, keep several generic gifts available for the last minute need. Consider some of the consumable gifts mentioned earlier, such as great lotions, candles, gourmet foods and excellent wine. If you don’t have a need for them, you can treat yourself after the holidays.

Happy “White Tuesday” and Happy Shopping!

If you missed them, check out Part 1: Take Time to Make Time, Part 2:  Budget and Gift Giving Guide, Part 3: Cleaning, Part 4: Meal Planning and Part 5: Decorating.

Have a Blessed and Organized Holiday!

Cheryl

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