Christmas is coming. I realize it's pretty far off, but since Thanksgiving has passed we're in the depths of preparations for the big X. (Just as a note X-Mas isn't secular because the Greek for Christ starts with an X). In one short trip to Target (which I love after two shopping experiences because they have amazing kid friendly carts) we've squared aware all three boys as well as most of what we wanted for the girls. Last night I wrapped almost everything we've purchased so far so we wouldn't have any spoiled surprises. If I could share any hard-earned tips for Christmas shopping, it would be these:
1. Make a list and check online to confirm what you want. Stick to that list.
2. Unpackage before you wrap. I appreciate how easy it is to just wrap a box, but Christmas morning you'll look back and appreciate your foresight. Most of these toys are packaged more carefully and securely than the royal jewels. No one wants 5 impatient kids begging for everything to be opened.
3. Wrap as soon as you can. Like I said above, if they're wrapped there's less chance of surprises being ruined.
4. (Courtesy of my excellent father in law) Store the wrapped gifts in a garbage bag. That keeps them all in one place and keeps savvy eyes from guessing their gifts!
5. This is just personal taste, but don't give Santa the credit for toys. Santa gives one group gift: art supplies. It reinforces the giving and sharing side of our favourite holiday Saint while touching on the artistic side added in popular culture.
6. Shop early and then you can beat the rush. We waited until mid December and ended up weaving through huge crowds at several stores to try and find an out of stock toy. Holiday sales are great, but we discovered we were dropping as much money on gas and fast food to make the rushed and often fruitless experience work.
7. Make a budget and stick to it. I don't mean make room on your credit card either. Set your budget before you set your list. That will make your holiday less stressful. On years when money has been tight we've made most of their gifts instead. The kids were happy and so was our bank account.
Do you have any Christmas tips?