How I Shop & Prepare for Christmas Gift Giving

 This month's Not Just a Mom link up is all about how we shop for the holidays.  I have always been a very organized person, even with young children in the house, and try to have the bulk of my shopping done by Thanksgiving (f not completely finished!). 


I don't hesitate to shop year round for Christmas.  I can remember working in retail as a college student and picking up next year's Christmas gifs with after Christmas sales and while I don't do that anymore I do tend to at least look for ideas all year long.  

Sometime in October I write up a list of all those family members I need to get gifts for and if I've already purchased a gift I write in what it is, who it's for, and how much I've spent.  In our family we mostly just buy for the kids which means my three boys and my 11 nieces and nephews.  

In years passed I have bought family memberships, a few family gifts, asked their parents for ideas, etc.  But this year with the majority of them being teenagers now we just plan on gifting them cash and gift cards which I will give out in creative ways.  


We've fallen into a tradition with our parents where I make personalized calendars of the boys and the few years I didn't everyone asked where they were.  While I am not sure what I'll have for photos to use this year I know I need to get working on them soon.  I'll probably have to do a mix of pictures young and old.  

I tend to mostly shop online for Christmas; something that started the year I began homeschooling. The boys were young and it was impossible to pick up toys/gifts in store with them always underfoot.  Either they'd get excited and think the toy was for them or else they'd end up blabbing long before Christmas arrived.  It was much easier to shop in short spurts online and have everything shipped to me or my husband's work (if it was a larger item for the boys that I thought might not come in a plain brown box). 

Usually sometime in early December my husband and I will have a date night out to finish up any last loose ends (like stocking stuffers) or things I can't find online.  We'll go out to dinner first and it's sort of my last dich effort to bring him up to speed on what I've picked out for everyone.  I try to make sure we spent a fairly equal amount on each of the nieces and nephew and with our three boys too so if someone is lacking I might ask for suggestions.  If I'm done then we just enjoy a nice evening out; something that's always easy to find for time during the busy month of December. 


In the last few years I've broken with our family's "no gift for adults" policy a bit as I really enjoy crafting and get so inspired by all I see on-line.  I try to make my gifts using the Cricut and hope that the family knows they are labors of love and I don't ever expect a gift in return.  I just could not keep everything I make and still be able to live in this house! We also like to bake and I tend to gift off cookie tins and sweets so we're not eating them all.  


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Comments

  1. You are so organized and a good planner. I really need to start making a list, I usually start Christmas shopping in mid November and it's here almost! As strange as this year has been, it's still been flying by for me.

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  2. I have always been a good planner but this year I'm really out of sorts. I'm reading everything I can find on Christmas planning to give me some inspiration. So thank you for that little nudge. I think I might start whipping up some fingerless mittens, labour of love :)
    #mmbc

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    Replies
    1. I think I have kicked it into high gear since I don't have much else vying for my attention.

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  3. You are so organized Joanne- I am never done before Thanksgiving! Love your ideas- thank you for sharing :)

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  4. I always make calendars for the kids and need to get started on that.

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    1. That is pretty much all I have left... I just need to cull through photos.

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  5. We also do the photo calendars for the grandparents. They love them. Thank you for linking up with Not just A mom.

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  6. I love that you and your hubs go on a date to tie up the loose ends... B and I do that, too! We typically do two day dates this time of year for that very purpose! it's always one of my favorite days of the whole year!

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  7. Such a smart idea to make a date night out of it! I might have to try that this year too!

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    1. It makes what could feel like a chore nice and enjoyable.

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  8. You're organized and that makes the holidays more enjoyable Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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  9. Since Sam was a baby, I too always make a family calendar for us and my parents and my parents look forward to it all year. I need to get going on that. Yikes!

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    1. I just made mine up & ordered them this morning!

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    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn
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