Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The gifting season

Didn’t you know? It’s Christmas season (or at least that’s what retailers would like you to think)!On my birthday, last Thursday, November 6th, I saw my first Christmas shopping commercial. Also, on the same day, my local shopping mall had erected the giant silver 20-foot menorah.

Ah.. yes.. it’s dipped below 78 degrees and SoCal is envisioning a profitable Holiday season...

Now here’s the shocking part: I do (kind of) agree with them. It is time to think about holiday gifts, but only because you want to make and give sentimental well-priced gifts.

If you tend to be a person who just rolled their eyes at my “make ... holiday gifts” statement, then I suggest that now is the time to start looking for good deals on the gifts you want to buy for people.

Here are my suggestions for getting what you want at the price you want:

1) Make a list of all the people you want to give gifts to.
There are people in your life that you’ll want to gifts to every year. I like to keep a running list throughout the year with these people's names on it. Whenever someone expresses that they like something- I simply write it next to their name. Then I’ve got plenty of gift ideas when a special event comes along.

I also like to get three general gifts. I like to find either: candles, nice towels, simple jewelry or stationary that I can give if any surprises come my way. I actually plan for these gifts in case a gift doesn’t ship in time or someone extra shows up at a function and has a gift for me. These are gifts that are cheap for my wallet, but helpful for my heart because I know I won’t feel badly if something unexpected happens. I never buy more than three extra gifts and I always keep these receipts and return unused items in January.

2) Decide what you want to spend.
You can decide this on a per-gift basis or per event basis. For example, you may want to spend $20 per gift or $200 for all Christmas gifts.

3) Research!
Websites like PriceGrabber or NextTag can give you ideas on where you may want to buy the gift, and help you research if the gift you want to give is in your price range. I also like Amazon to look up reviews for individual products.

4) Shopping time!
Check out when the retailer you’re buying from is having sales or free shipping offers. Also make sure to buy all your gifts from each retailer at one time to save on shipping or time invested in going to that store.

If you are going to buy gifts in stores make sure that you go at a time where you can spend the time parking and shopping by yourself at leisure. You want to be in a good mood, well feed, have a water bottle, and all your self-control in check. Retailers will have special “deals” on stuff you don’t need. But you’ll want them- so stick to your list and don’t give in!


Trevor said...

Tis the season! Making a plan and having a list is absolutely key! Good suggestions; great post.

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