Meet the Sullivans: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

November 20, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

The other day at the nail salon I was reading a magazine article about how to jump-start your holiday shopping. I can't remember the name of the magazine to save my life, but I do remember some of the little tips they gave. Christmas shopping season is right around the corner has already started, so I sure hope we're all ready!

Here are some valuable tips on making the most of the gift giving experience: 

make an inspired list 
Start a master list of all the people you want to give gifts to this season. Use Pinterest to pin items you think would make great gifts (I have a "gift ideas" board on my Pinterest) or use the site to spy on friends and family to see what they might be lusting after. You can also book mark ideas on your computer, or create a holiday binder with a section to keep magazine clippings you want to remember.

set aside the mollah 
Start early and decide to forego "extras" like multiple lattes a week or take-out on the weekends. Set aside the money you save as a Christmas fund to spend on gifts. Come December you will be so relieved you did.

create a budget
I don't know about you, but I can get a bit carried away when I'm shopping for gifts. I have a hard time feeling like enough is enough for the people I love. I always want to add to gifts with say a movie I know they'd like to go along with the cozy blanket I'm giving them or a trendy nail polish to accompany the mai pedi gift certificate I know they'll love. It is easy to get carried away, that's why a budget ( I hate that word, don't you?) it a must during the holidays.

get crafty
I've always loved the idea of including a homemade item as part of a gift. Last year I made Cranberry-and-Lime Infused Vodka to give to a few friends, and this year I'll be making a few more gifts I've pulled from magazines and found on Pinterest. Often times when you make something in bulk it ends up costs way less per gift than it would if you had set a "limit" for spending. Plus, you get to give something creative that you've spend your valuable time and energy on, which to me is much more thoughtful than giving someone another bottle of wine or bath soap.

time your purchases 
We all know Black Friday is a big day for deals, but so is Cyber Monday. You can begin your shopping now in November and be all done by December if you take advantage of the great deals being offered early. I've read November is a big month for sales on electronics and in December many stores discount home appliances.

And, as a little extra help, I would like to encourage you to check out this board I made on Learnist all about Christmas Gift Wrap Ideas & Tips, because I really believe a great gift is only as spectacular as the way it is wrapped! It's all in the packaging, my friends!

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