Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays because of the sense of magic and family that comes with it. (More on that here.) I love curling up on the couch with a soft blanket and watching holiday shows on the Hallmark Channel. A cup of hot cocoa or Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark in hand and I am the happiest little elf this side of the North Pole! If I am feeling extra festive, I’ll add the peppermint bark to the bottom of the hot cocoa cup so it gets all schmelty and mmmm! I can taste it now.
But more than the tasty treats and TV shows, I get joy from watching others open their gifts with excitement and wonder. Tearing through paper, tissue flying, the room a low rumble, there is nothing better than seeing your mom’s face light up when she finally reaches the gift you’ve so thoughtfully chosen for her. It eliminates the fact that your living room is completely destroyed and that you wasted a ton on bags and bows! (I’m all about recycling those bags, guys!) I’m quite certain this feeling is the byproduct of something we could all do a little more of – giving.
However, as I grew older, Christmas became more difficult to manage. It was and is still one of my favorites, but working full-time made it nearly impossible to get gift shopping done. Weekends were the only time I had and because of this, I would end up not having much free time for myself. Add this on top of crowded shopping malls, unexpected delivery dates and rude store attendants and you’ve got the perfect recipe for Ebenezer Scrooge. (And really the poor guy was kicked from the beginning… Who names their kid Ebenezer?!)
This year I’ve decided to put an end to last-minute stress and budget crunches in order to truly embrace all that the holiday has to offer. This year, I have started my Christmas shopping in July, and I’m going share how I am doing it so you can too!
To start, I had to find a way to keep all of my gifts safely in one space for two reasons: 1) my cat will pee in any box I leave on the ground 2) I’ve tried shopping early before and actually forgot that I got people gifts and found the gifts 4 months later. BUMMER. 🙁
Neither of these will be happening this year because I decided to get a clear storage container with locking sides and a lid. Rubbermaid or Sterilite are both popular brands you can find at Wal-Mart and Target. I can see its contents. (If you have kids in the house, definitely get a solid color because they will be snooping!) It has a lid. It should fit all the gifts. Problem solved… almost.
So I wouldn’t forget who I got what, I made a list of everyone I needed to shop for and taped it underneath the inside of the lid. Every time I add a gift to it, I jot down what it is that way when it comes times to wrap, there is no guessing. I also snap pics of the list with my phone to reference when I’m out and about.
Here is my Christmas box with my lovely cat, Luna, modeling.
Spacing out the shopping like this is also great because I don’t take such a huge hit at the end of the year. Christmas. Is. EXPENSIVE. All the gifts. All the grocery shopping for food. All the EVERYTHING! Little by little, as I find things, my list will be completed! A nice bonus is that there are a TON of sales going on right now – LOFT, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Mod Cloth, even Target! Check it out! I am stocking up to stuff those stockings!!! 🙂
Wishing a Merry Christmas in July and happy holiday shopping to you all! Have you ever successfully finished Christmas shopping early?