Start Your Christmas Shopping Now

Have you started Christmas shopping?

start christmas shopping pin

It might sound a little wild, but both Fiona and I have started our Christmas shopping already. Actually, we both started weeks ago. I think Fiona is actually done with shopping for at least one of her children!

I never used to shop early for Christmas. Before I had kids, I mean. But in my immediate family there’s a bunch of Christmas birthdays as well as celebrating Christmas. It was really stressful trying to get all of my shopping done in December. Plus there were the birthday parties, and I like to write and mail Christmas cards, but international post can take two weeks in December. There was just so much to do that I needed to spread things out.

Shopping early for me is both fun and sensible. It just makes sense for me to spread out the present buying. It’s probably better on my bank account, too, because I’m not spending a ton all in one month!

But if I didn’t keep track of what I bought and how much it cost, I’m pretty sure shopping early would cost me a lot more than if I bought everything in the weeks leading up to Christmas. So how do I do it?

Well, it’s pretty simple thankfully. I write everything down.

I create one online document with the names of each of my kids, and at the bottom I write down my ideal Christmas budget. The kids’ names are written down a second time if they have Christmas birthdays. Then I save it and make sure that I can access it easily on my phone.

At the very bottom of the doc is a place for brainstorming gift ideas. These then get cut and pasted under the right names when I’m going to buy them. I use italics to remind myself if I haven’t bought them yet, and then put the how much it cost me in brackets once I’ve bought an item.

I keep a running total beside each child’s name of how much I have spent (or have allocated to spend) and then a rough running total of the entire cost at the bottom, next to the budget. You could just keep track of the overall total, though, if you want to simplify things (and do less math).

Planning ahead with solid ideas of what I want to buy and how much I’m willing to spend gives me time to watch for sales. I also dedicate one space in my room to store the presents so I don’t lose them. With my list, I know what I already have and don’t risk buying something a second time or spending too much accidentally. If I’m going to go over budget, at least I’ll know it and it’s a choice.

Don’t be afraid to shop early! If you keep track of your purchases, who they’re for, and how much you spent (and you don’t lose them between now and Christmas!), you can start getting ready now and save yourself a lot of stress during the holidays. Besides, I think we’d all rather be focusing on celebrating Jesus than on navigating the massive crowds downtown.

Happy shopping!

And if you’re already in the Christmas spirit, you can read about our family Christmas traditions here!