Stress free Christmas shopping

So, who’s done all of their Christmas shopping? Anyone? Ok, who’s started? I’m sure some of you are super organised and have all of your presents bought, wrapped and hidden around the house, or, if your children are old enough to resist, out on display under the tree, tempting them to sneak downstairs in the early hours of the morning for a good shake. But I digress. If you are one of these super organised Mums, then I salute you. A friend of mine, who has just had her second child, told me she ‘started late this year ‘ and that she wasn’t quite finished. This was in October. Just so you know. I’m organised, yes. But not that organised.

However, if you’re one of those who wait until the week before Christmas, or even one of those make-a-mad-dash-around-the-nearest-shopping-centre-on-Christmas-eve (just writing that raises my blood pressure!) types, then this list is for you. I have only two more Christmas presents to buy and those are for people I probably won’t see until January so I’m not too worried. Here’s how I organised myself:

  • I started thinking about Christmas in October
  • I had to make decisions about who to buy for and who not to buy for. Let’s face it, once everyone has kids, continuing to buy for all your friends and family and all of their kids becomes prohibitively expensive
  • Once I’d decided who to buy for, I wrote a list. My list is an app on my phone but it could just as easily be scribbled in the back of a diary. Last year it was a post-it note in the front of the book I was reading. Whatever works for you. The point is that you get to cross things off it.
  • I thought about each individual on the list and what they might like (and what I could afford!). I wrote some ideas next to their names
  • Once I had a few ideas, I started to keep my eyes open for things that fit. If I saw something online, I would add it to my amazon shopping basket and mark it to ‘buy later’ (controversial I know. Yes, I still use amazon. Convenience wins out over morals I’m afraid). Obviously this works with any online retailer as long as you have the option to buy later. If I saw something while out and about, I’d buy it. At the end of the month (after payday!) I’d buy whatever was in my online shopping basket. Doing this throughout October and November helped to spread the cost so December doesn’t feel quite as tight as it might have done!
  • This might be a bit controversial but… I’ve only bought one gift for my son, Mushroom**. The Mr and I discussed this, and, as he’s only 20 months and will probably receive gifts from friends and family members, we decided to only give him one large gift from us. I chose this, and he (Mr B, not Mushroom!) will choose something smaller. Mushroom will also get the traditional satsumas and chocolate in his stocking but that’s it. We plan to do this for as long as we can get away with it! Hopefully as he gets a little older we can teach him more about the value of money and appreciating how much we have

That’s it! Now that we’re in December already it may be a little late for some of these tips but if nothing else, I swear by carrying the list around and referring to it often to keep in mind the people you’re buying for and what you might/will get them.  I’ve picked up a few things while out and about just because the list is always close by and I’ve seen something that fits. And I haven’t even gone proper ‘Christmas shopping’ yet… I’m not sure that’s even possible with a toddler in tow, I’ve certainly not managed to spend more than an hour round the shops and as for browsing…!

So, all I have left to do now is decide what we’re eating on Christmas day and who’s cooking it. That’s right, although I’m pretty organised with my present buying, as for what we’re actually doing over Christmas… Well, I’ll let you know!

*Disclaimer: It may be a little optimistic to say these tips will make your Christmas stress free! Hopefully they will help. A little.
** Mushroom is not his real name. In case you were wondering.

* Babyhuddle loves to see your lists, especially at Christmas time! This week we held a list challenge and the topic was “Top Ten Baby Toys. Here are three of our favourites, complied especially to help you finish your Christmas shopping.

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