Your Christmas Smart Shopping Checklist

It’s coming. Christmas is heading right for us, and there’s absolutely nothing that any of us can do to make it show up any later. And while Christmas is great (just ask this writer, who’s been listening to holiday music since the day before Halloween), it’s also quite terrifying. So to prevent the almost-inevitable holiday breakdown, here’s how to jump-start your Christmas shopping without buying in bulk for the sake of sanity.

Make A List

It shouldn’t just be Santa Claus who makes a list (and you know, checks it twice): by evaluating just how much shopping you’ll need to do, you’ll save the at-the-store panic attack that often stems from realizing you have to buy for about ten more people than you previously thought. Also, categorize: you may feel like you’ve taken Type A to new levels, but by being able to look at who you’re getting bigger gifts for versus those you’re just giving something simple to, you’ll be able to make better sense of both a schedule and a budget.

Think DIY

Congratulations! By starting Christmas shopping early, you have an option that last minute shoppers will be deprived of: DIY. We all know that homemade gifts are from the heart, and instead of just cutting and pasting paper onto, well, more paper, you can peruse sites like Pinterest and Etsy to learn how to make your own hot chocolate mix, art work or even pillows for your nearest and dearest. Just don’t underestimate your time: unless you can adapt well to a craft store environment, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for, so you don’t get lost amongst an aisle of ribbon.

Think Sales

The closer Christmas comes, the higher the prices will be, so if you’re hoping to keep your holiday spending under a certain amount, use those coupons and that sale section to find small items that can help add up to a wonderful gift. If you’re looking for the perfect answer to office Secret Santas, you can pick up a discounted frame and glam it up by adding a paper print “ or even an old tea cup and saucer for homemade tea cup candles.

Online Splendour

While some people thrive in a take no prisoners type of situation, others (like me) want to curl up and cry after seeing a line wrap around several aisles before leading to the cash. Therefore, enter: the internet, and its discounted, save on shipping splendor. Many sites have adjusted to our affinity for shopping at home, and offer discounts if you buy more than one item at a time. (Which is especially perfect since you’ll have that Christmas list right next to you for reference until December 24. ¦Right?)  

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Tags: budgeting, Christmas, Christmas 2011, Christmas shopping, gifts, Holiday, presents, saving money, shopping during the holidays, what to buy

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