Being ready is half the battle when it comes to Christmas shopping. And that usually means starting the fun spree long before it's over. Start getting prepared in November so you can take it easy in December. During the most-anticipated festive month, you'll have to take care of cookies, install Christmas decorations, build gingerbread houses, and decorate trees.
Starting Christmas shopping, or more specifically gift shopping early, has the most benefits. First, you'll be able to save money. Second, you won't have to deal with a lot of stress. And trouble. And that familiar panic at the last minute. We can help you whether you need help figuring out what to get grandma, what to get the kids, or how to stay on budget. So make your lists and keep reading to learn the best ways to make your Christmas shopping quick, easy, and stress-free.
How to Organize Your Christmas Shopping List
A list is the first step in any good plan. But what should be on your list of things to buy for Christmas? Who should be on that list? How should you plan your budget, so you don't run out of money in December? Here is a simple plan of action with 3 easy steps.
Step 1: Get our shopping list for Christmas! Start filling it out and write down the names of everyone from those you have to buy a gift for to those you would like to but don't have to. So, you can decide later if you have enough money to buy the extra gifts.
Step 2: Write down what you want to get each family member or friend as a gift and how much you think it will cost. So, you won't be surprised by anything bad down the road.
Step 3: Find the best prices and stores to buy your gifts based on their importance. Spend a little time comparing different stores before deciding where to shop.
How to Excel at Christmas Shopping for the Kids
Every Christmas, the average American family spends close to $1000 on gifts, and estimates for Christmas 2022 are even higher. A big chunk of this budget goes to buying gifts for the kids, some of which will be forgotten by January or thrown away. With the recent rise of the "sustainability" movement in all areas, from slow fashion to other goods, you should avoid wasting things you don't need.
There's a lot of stress. And you know from past years that finding the right gifts for your kids at Christmas can be challenging. That's why, once again, the trick is to make a list and check it twice. After all, if Santa can do it, you should be able to too.
Some people call it "minimalist" or "basic," but the truth is that the "magical rule of 4" works wonders. It keeps you from being greedy, keeps your home from clutter, and sets reasonable goals. The goal is to buy 4 gifts, one for each of the following categories: "Want," "Need," "Wear," and "Read." Let your kids know about the 4-gift rule before Christmas. That way, they'll know how much to expect but not what to expect, so the element of surprise will still be there.
Something They WANT: They like toys, games, and new pets. Give your kids a chance to write a letter to Santa to tell you exactly what they want for Christmas. This is the only category where the kids get to choose their own Christmas gift. It's their main gift or "the big gift," and it takes up most of the budget unless your child wants something cheap, in which case you're in luck.
Something They NEED: There are lots of things to buy here for Christmas, from school supplies to things they need for extracurricular activities or hobbies.
Something to READ: Books, comics, and magazines are the way to go.
Something to WEAR: Clothes, shoes, and accessories. Socks and underwear are better as stocking stuffers, while more valuable items, like those new sneakers your fifth-grader has been wanting, belong in the WEAR category.
TIP: You can save money on Christmas shopping if you put coloring pages with Christmas themes in the stockings. You can find unique Christmas decorations and ornaments at dailytrendyneeds.com.