Christmas Savings

gift wrapping at Gates

Snoopy, a Canine Angel, hangs out with some Christmas presents for Seniors we had wrapped for free at Gates Furniture today.

Christmas Saving Tips

It’s 12 days until Christmas! Do you believe it? I’m almost ready, thanks to internet ordering on Cyber Monday!
I have some great last-minute holiday shopping tips for you. Follow them, and you won’t get caught in the trap of the spending frenzy just before Christmas.

Tip 1: Plan ahead. Make a last-minute Christmas shopping list. Make sure to inventory your decorations and see what you still need before you go. If you need one strand of lights because one is out, that’s not going to break the bank. And don’t forget the candy canes!

I don’t know why, but I routinely forget them (probably because I don’t like peppermint). Now they have all kinds of fun flavors: chocolate mint, Starburst, cherry, Lifesaver, you name it.

Anywho, I recently went black Friday shopping, and it is so easy to get caught up in the Christmas frenzy, but I had a list and I stuck to it. Pretty much….

When you get into the stores, you see all these beautiful, blingy decorations and you think: what a cute look. If I just got some of those stockings… mini trees… bulbs… lights… singing reindeer… you get the point. Remember your house is full of decorations already!

Tip 2: If you see something that’s displayed beautifully but it isn’t on your list or wasn’t in your mind already, that’s an impulse buy. Impulse buys are not good. Be strong. Walk away or at least think about it while you go to another store. If you are still convinced it’s a must have after an hour or two, and it fits in your Christmas budget, by all means, buy it.

I almost fell into the trap of thinking I had to have some decorations I saw. They were these perfectly conical silvery trees. I just fell for them, but I walked away from them and then realized, hey! I bought some silver trees like that on clearance last year! See what I mean?

Tip 3: Avoid impulse buys: Keep a list of all the presents you’ve already bought this year either on a list in your purse, in your smartphone or in your head so you won’t be tempted to overbuy. Sometimes when shopping, women especially tend to temporarily forget that we already have 4 presents for this child when we see an adorable holiday dress. . . . That’s how last-minute overspending gets us. See tip 2 and repeat.

Tip 4: Limit your time and shopping frequency during the last 2 weeks before Christmas. The marketers are experts in their work, and are skilled in separating you from your hard-earned money. One way to do this is order online. Usually when I order online, I just order what I entered the site to buy, and I don’t impulse buy.

Tip 5: If you must go to the store, limit your time there, go straight to the aisle that holds the item(s) you are after, and/ or get just enough cash out to pay for the sale items you are planning to buy.

I’m not saying I’m perfect in these methods, but if you follow them you will end up spending less money on last minute impulse buys at Christmas. Or, if all else fails, (and you are a close friend) I’ll send my daughter Emily with you. She’s really good at dragging me out of stores after I paid for the “one thing” I went in for. No dilly dally allowed.
Remember, Christmas is about the spirit of giving and bringing joy to the ones you love. Time together is what children want most, not things.