As average parents, we can't always give our kids EVERY thing they want. But with smart planning and a little time you can give them a great holiday this year. You know I honestly feel like there are a lot of things I do wrong when it comes to my kids but holiday shopping, I've got it down. I'm sure what I do won't work for everyone but maybe you can find a little something that might help you.
First, my kids don't really get large ticket items any other time of year. Their birthdays are all right around the holidays so we've kept a very limited birthday budget. This is helpful because when they find that one thing they really want, even if its still August I am almost assuredly safe planning on getting it for Christmas. Thankfully my kids are fairly narrow focused, they've already started picking out what they want to be for next Halloween, and I can usually count on them to stick with their decisions. If you have a child who's fancy changes with the wind, well I really have no advice for you. But if can get your child to let you know what items they are seriously wanting then read on. I started early on helping myself by telling my kids that if they asked for TOO MUCH from Santa, they were being greedy and there for automatically on the naughty list resulting in no presents at all. My kids don't believe a lot I say but apparently they weren't willing to risk this theory because they have always been good about asking for one or two large ticket items and a few small items. This makes it easier for me budget wise. As soon as the first child has made what seems like a solid decision on what they want, I start shopping. I have been known to buy a gift as early as June. It helps me to buy slowly and spread out the expense. I suppose I could simply save the money and shop during the traditional holiday season. But while most are stressing about shopping I'm already done. I may pick up a few small things yet in December but most years, this year included, I'm done before Thanksgiving and most often without stepping a foot inside a physical store.
You see I LOVE the Internet. Mostly I love the Internet because it's where my friends live. There is always someone there to help me with a question any time of day. But also, I LOVE Internet shopping. I can compare prices with a few key strokes and mere seconds instead of hours of driving around. I will admit that once or twice I've seen a deal for something I'd bought months before for slightly cheaper but I'm not sure that even that year the savings made up for what I saved in gas not going out shopping. And there was no stress. Click click click and gifts showed up to my door. The only thing that could make the holidays easier is if they came prewrapped and labeled!
Once of my favorite places to shop has always been eBay. While I personally do buy previously owned items for my kids occasionally (yes even for Christmas) I am in love with Toys-R-Us store on eBay where I can find the same great toy selection and service from Toys-R-Us without ever leaving eBay. Check out some of the hottest toys for this year!
A few things on my boys wish list for this year: