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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

Holiday Shopping: How do you get it done?

Posted by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 7:57 AM
  • 118 Replies
2 moms liked this
This post is for any major holiday that requires prep. Not just Christmas. So whatever tips and tricks you have, share it up. This is also not a post about "you don't need money on the holidays to be happy". I'm aware. But its not about how much money you spend. It's about how you prepare for it and get yourself in order.

My big shopping holiday is Christmas. The food, the decorations, the presents, pictures with Santa etc. I make lists upon lists upon lists. Starting in the beginning of October. How do I want to decorate the house? Make a list. What do I need to decorate the house? Make a list. What's for dinner? Who wants what under the tree? What will I stuff in their stockings? Where are we going to celebrate? Does everyone have something appropriate to wear? What do I still need? List. List. List. List. When the WHAT is covered the HOW comes into play. Sale ads, clearance racks, coupons, lightning deals, shipping costs, secondhand, etc. List. List. List. Dinner: what can I buy now vs what doesn't exactly have a great shelf life? List. Money: how much is in the bank? What can I afford to spend? Each item, what did i spend? List.
I know it sounds crazy. My whole family thinks I'm crazy. But the way I see it, it is what works for me. Everything is written out in a clear, concise, thought out process that works for me. My life is already busy and hectic so this is what helps me put together a great holiday on a budget with little extra time.
Last year I managed presents and dinner for 10 adults, 3 teenagers, and 5 younger children. I decorated the whole house, stuffed stockings, made 24 goodie bags, made 2 trips to see Santa, dressed 3 people, put in volunteer time, met everyone's needs and wants, and had an excellent, memorable holiday for under $200. So my family can say what they want about my crazy list making but it works! Lol what works for you when you have a big holiday coming? Or a big event in general?
by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 7:57 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Mrs-Somerhalder
by Blake on Nov. 11, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Lists and I start prepping very early.

Lauriemom
by Platinum Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:01 AM

Lists, and I normally prep early, WAAYY behind the 8 ball this year :(

BubbyAndShmee
by Bronze Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:03 AM
1 mom liked this
Christmas specifically: I get gift cards or prepaid cards in January, and load them every payday with whatever I can afford. One for food/decorations/furniture rentals/etc, one for presents. I usually end up with $1,200-$2,000 on each card. And both usually have at least a little something left over.

Any holiday: I arrange rentals as far in advance as is feasible, I prepare freezable side dishes in the weeks preceding the holiday, and I get absolutely everything I possibly can set up a couple days before, so it's not a giant huge clusterfuck on the day of.

Also, hundreds of lists. And I handmake what gifts I can, to keep things affordable, while still giving people something that means a little something. Soaps, toys, my sister got a refinished end table set last year.

My family is sort of infamous for everyone (extended family) ending up with an off-the-rack gift set from each other, so I try to avoid that.
alk100207
by Bronze Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:03 AM

I am a list maker as well.   I start Christmas shopping in september and usually am done before Thanksgiving with the big stuff.  With the meals, I start buying the non perishables over the weeks before, look for sales, etc.  

Light.Shine
by Silver Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:04 AM
1 mom liked this

That seems to work well for you but would drive me insane!  It's giving me a headache just thinking about all of that.  I do my shopping online and I try to generally keep all holidays low key and stress-free as much as possible.  I always plan crafts for the kids and they do enjoy that but as far as dinner goes I just make their favorites.  I'm almost done with my shopping for the kids and I've almost spent $200 but I got everything I wanted to get them at a pretty fair price.  Legos are expensive no matter where you buy them but I found a good deal on walmart.com for the ones they wanted.

PinkyPan
by Ruby Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:05 AM

I also make lists and and organize early. I am almost done Christmas shopping. I just have a few stocking stuffers to get. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:05 AM
I'm probably the only one who doesn't go all out. I do what I can when I feel like it. I don't go crazy trying to decorate or buy presents or cook because I would probably lose my mind.
abbysmommy429
by Bronze Member on Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:06 AM

I've done most of my shopping online. I keep lists too!

Lizard_Lina
by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM
This too! I could not possibly wake up on Christmas eve and do everything that day. Absolutely not lol


Quoting BubbyAndShmee:

Christmas specifically: I get gift cards or prepaid cards in January, and load them every payday with whatever I can afford. One for food/decorations/furniture rentals/etc, one for presents. I usually end up with $1,200-$2,000 on each card. And both usually have at least a little something left over.



Any holiday: I arrange rentals as far in advance as is feasible, I prepare freezable side dishes in the weeks preceding the holiday, and I get absolutely everything I possibly can set up a couple days before, so it's not a giant huge clusterfuck on the day of.



Also, hundreds of lists. And I handmake what gifts I can, to keep things affordable, while still giving people something that means a little something. Soaps, toys, my sister got a refinished end table set last year.



My family is sort of infamous for everyone (extended family) ending up with an off-the-rack gift set from each other, so I try to avoid that.

Lizard_Lina
by on Nov. 11, 2013 at 8:09 AM
I got a late start on the present shopping because I started a new job and wasn't sure what the budget would look like. But as far as making decorations or the lists that is already done. Pinterest has been a big help lol and everything non perishable or frozen is already bought for thanksgiving and Christmas.
Sales! Coupons! Early bird specials!


Quoting alk100207:

I am a list maker as well.   I start Christmas shopping in september and usually am done before Thanksgiving with the big stuff.  With the meals, I start buying the non perishables over the weeks before, look for sales, etc.  


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