Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Shopping Tips

I've had this in my journal for a few weeks BUT I've left it too long to make much sense this year but these tips can be for any/every year. 
This year our household has been in Christmas denial including not putting up any decorations. A lot of other people in our lives, especially little people, are not in denial of any kind. Christmas is still happening which means shopping must be done. Here are my hot shopping Christmas tips;
  1. Shop early in the year and lay-by. We use the July toy sales to buy for Christmas and the next years birthdays (luckily for our family all birthdays are before July). This option also reduces clutter and the need to hide Christmas gifts from little snoops. It's been a good option for our family so far but with lufflump getting older and pickier with his toys it could get harder. The kid wasn't into dinosaurs when we put the lay-by on but the rest of the family can make up for what we miss out on.
  2. Shop early in the day and never on weekends in December. If you must enter the shopping centres in December try and shop before 10am Monday to Friday. Obviously this won't be easy for those who work but if you can do it, do. The shops seem quieter early in the day too. Avoid Thursday night shopping if you can, it's bedlam. Also, try to do all your shopping before school holidays. I know I may have a child but it doesn't mean I like children or groups of teenagers.
  3. Shop Online. Buy as much as you can online but make sure you check out their shipping times so you don't miss out. If you're organised try and buy in November. Unique stores on madeit and etsy are wonderful for special gifts but again be careful to read the seller's shipping conditions, the last thing you want is the gifts turning up in January. Westfield and a lot of other stores have online stores so you may be able to shop online rather than setting foot in the centre. Please watch out for scams though, make sure wherever you purchase from are reputable. 
  4. Make gifts. I'm not arty or crafty. I try but most times I fail. That doesn't mean lufflump or the mister aren't crafty though which helps. Since lufflump was born we've made gifts for his grandparents and great grandparents. They include photo frames, photo calendars, hand and feet casts and painted canvases. Not only has it saved us money, lufflump has fun doing them and the receivers love them and they really are priceless gifts. It makes Christmas time less stressful as they can be done at any time, we usually do ours in November.
  5. Handmade gifts for the grannies
  6. Buy a charity donated gift. Some people don't like giving or receiving these gifts. We've received them before and were more than happy. It's easy to do and it's going to people who really deserve it. I'd love a million things this year but don't really need them or have the space. Also these are the perfect gifts for the person who insists they want nothing, the extremely fussy person and the returner. Personally, I like the Oxfam gifts as they are specific where the gift is going and to who. Plus they state what percentage goes to admin, advertising and the receiver.
There is still time if you are in denial. Some online stores are doing quick deliveries so your gift arrives before the big man. Otherwise kind of forget that Christmas is even on it's way, like we are.

Are you ready for Christmas?


  1. Great tips! I hate shopping in crowds! It's so bloody packed not only in shops but our roads and all. Last week our train sys broke down in major areas twice I think... Caused a big hold up everywhere esp with the Christmas shopping season.

    Happy Hols to you and your family! Merry Christmas in advance :)

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  2. I used to do the shopping in the mid year sales, but now my kids are a bit older, I don't because I have no idea what they will be into at Christmas!
    I was a noted though when half the stuff available in July did not come back out in october, so I didn't get a second chance. I bought that stuff of eBay instead :)

    I try to finish all my shopping by December 1st, cause I hate going into busy shops. But also because Christmas presents are not just things to me; they are about the thought that went into them, and so I try to take as much time to think things though, rather than random shopping.

  3. Great tips! Madeit is one of my latest discoveries... it's great. With 4 children, online shopping is definitely the tip I identify with the most. And I just love getting parcels delivered! Have a wonderful Chrsitmas. xo

  4. I went off the July toy sales for a while there but they are great for big purchases like trampolines and bikes (guess how my husband and I will be spending xmas eve this year...?) I am trying to avoid the shops, even for grocery shopping - hello Coles Online!

  5. Oh such wise advice. We did most of our shopping last Saturday. Still need to get a few more things - aaaargh. I think I might do Christmas in July next year - well the shopping bit anyway ;)

  6. Oh hun - where were you last week as I battled the crowds in peak hour at the shops. Lol
    Admittedly I did do most of my shopping on line this year, but I headed out last Thursday night for what I thought would be a quick trip to pick up a few things! ummm yeah - bad idea. I am so following your advice and starting shopping in July in 2012.
    I love those Granny gifts - did you make those you clever chicky?
    Have a great Christmas with your family xx

  7. Or if you've left it too late, Shop in Canberra where everyone has already fled - it's kind of fun having your own city to yourself. Our little public schoolers are STILL AT SCHOOL. They finally finish tomorrow. So the private school children have been clogging up the shopping centres & movie cinemas waiting for their siblings to join them, check me out, hanging with the teenagers. My daughter still lets me sit next to her!! Love Posie

  8. Great tips Ames!

    I have done most of our shopping but am still finishing off our handmade gifts. I am writing out a shopping list for B and he will head to the shops Thursday afternoon to pick up the extras. I am not setting foot inside a shopping center after Thursday!

  9. I love the charity gifts, though usually like to combine them with something else small and personal. I also try to do most Christmas shopping online. Not a huge fan of big shopping centres at any time of year, but especially not in December

  10. This post is being bookmarked for me to return to next year. I have totally stuffed it all up this year - bought too much for some, nothing for others and the wrong thing for most...

    Going to have to do it all Friday/Saturday...!

  11. Still not entirely ready, but I am closer tonight than I was this morning! I am a big fan of the online shop especially when many offer free shipping at this time of year, even when I have to pay for it, it usually ends up cheaper than driving around and dealing with the crowds :)

  12. Fantastic tips Ames! I've loved finding stuff on madeit, and doing the Oxfam type gift. We're really keeping things simple this year. Some big presents for us all are having my folks over from Perth for a few weeks, then we're doing a road trip for a few weeks after that. With all the family and friends that we'll get to meet, and various things we'll get to see, we're telling the kids that our holiday is a big present. Can't wait! Have yourself a lovely Christmas Ames!! :)

  13. Great tips though I am not a fan of online shopping, I much prefer to shop local for a wide range of reasons. I tend to avoid the major centre as much as possible

  14. I did quite a bit online this year. Loved it. So simple and it all came to me. And best I didn't have to listen to Hubby complain about going to the shops!

    Think I might have to borrow your idea for the grandparents!

    Merry Christmas!


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