I pride myself on being organized, I have lists for my lists, but this year something has gone horribly wrong and I find myself running around shopping for Christmas with four short days until the big celebration.
My Christmas shopping list, compared to previous years, is much smaller because we, as a family, have become financially forward thinkers and have realized that we do not need to spend money on unnecessary items for adults simply to have presents under the tree with our names on them. Christmas for me is about spending money on my nephews and spending quality time with my family while the two boys sort through the mounds of gifts with their name on them.
I used to bemoan the gift card. It always seemed so impersonal and last-minute, but the reality of the gift card is that the receiver of the gift card can buy what they truly want. For the past few years my nephews have been big fans of the gift card – iTunes, trendy clothing shops and Golf Town are among the favorites.
Each year I strive to think of something that will parallel, nay exceed, the gift card but I come up empty. As the boy’s interests morph into things that they feel strongly about it is becoming easier to think of gifts that will compliment those interests. Sometimes the gift card is still the best way to go, especially when I find myself shopping a mere four days before Christmas, but at least I know they will buy something they truly want and I don’t have to keep the receipt for when they want to return that “cool” gift their Aunt bought them for Christmas!!
Are you a last-minute shopper? Or do you start in June?
Every year I plan to be an early-bird shopper, and every year I end up fighting crowds during the last week. Like you, I’m a big fan of gift cards, and this is the first year I haven’t purchased one–instead, I opted for good old-fashioned cash-in-the card for my nieces and nephews, who are all teens now.
Maybe NEXT year I’ll start shopping in June! 🙂
I think the same thing every year, but they appreciate the gift cards so much. At least I hide them in big boxes!!
I am queen procrastinator. 🙂
I like a good gift card but I have recently stopped buying them and have reverted to cash. The stats for their take is something like 65%. That means 35% of all gift cards purchased expire or aren’t even used. 100% is the take up rate for cash.
Compliments of the season to you and your readers. Regards Sir.
I start early and finish late, just like a few other things I do.
Like office work?
When I worked in retail I was super organised and would buy and keep presents away throughout the year when I saw something that was ‘perfect’ it was easier when I was in a shopping centre every day. But now we are all grown up and don’t have children to spoil yet we don’t actually do presents or Xmas really.
I keep an eye out year round for stuff I think people will enjoy.
(And give it to them as soon as I get it.)
I’m kind of middle of the road. One year, I want to wait until Christmas Eve to buy everything, but my wife is not onboard with this plan.
We start early, but don’t feel bad, you can score some great deals by waiting to the last minute!
Thankfully I don’t have to buy much anymore…just the nephews and my mom.
Well, I don’t have a lot of shopping to do because the kids we buy for are at the age they really prefer money or gift cards. The adults don’t exchange gifts, but I sometimes will buy a few of the scratcher lottery tickets and slip them in the Christmas cards. (Maybe if someone wins big they’ll take us out to dinner, haha!)
I recently read an article about those gift cards and the pros and cons of them. The pros ranked right up there with what you said about avoiding returns and being sure to get what the recipients want. As for me and my family, we’re all disjointed and don’t do much for Christmas anymore and I won’t even get to visit this year because of work obligations. Oh well. Anyway, I’m not sure what you’ll say, but I certainly hope you don’t mind my giving you the Blog of the Year 2013 Award. I really love your style and am hoping to learn a lot about narrowing down my wordiness. Read more about “the rules” if you will here and I provided a link back to your blog. http://stormy1218.wordpress.com/2013/12/22/merry-december-blog-of-the-year-2013-award/