This post is sponsored by BIG W.
Christmas is only five weeks away and I have bought exactly 0 presents. Yes, that’s correct. 0. Now I know some of you are super organised types who cleverly shop the toy sales and have everything already wrapped and hidden in that old, grey suitcase in the back of the closet. I am sorry but this post is not for you! This post is for those, like me, who still have a Christmas tree sized mountain to climb in order to get ready for the big day. To those readers I say, grab a cup of coffee, a pen and paper (or phone/tablet/laptop) and join me as we make a plan to get this Christmas shopping thing done with the least amount of stress possible! Here’s how I’m tackling the Christmas shopping this year…
1. Have a plan for your kid’s gifts
I find my biggest area of budgetary blowout at Christmas time is gifts for my girls – just one more little thing for the Santa stocking, you can never have too many books, oh Immy loves fairies/Frozen/princesses/Lego… You might know the following rhyme, I have used it for many years for little things for Immy’s Santa stocking,
“Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.”
Well last year I also developed a little bit of a rhyme of my own as a guide to gift buying my children. It goes; I don’t buy all of these things myself but also refer to it when making recommendations to family buying gifts for the kids as well. If you pop over to my post from last Christmas, you can see lots of ideas for open ended toys for children of all ages within each of these five categories – building, creating, pretending, active play outdoors and collaborative, sharing games. This year I am using these two rhymes as guides for my kids’ gift list and once I have made my selection THAT’S IT 😉
2. Make an ‘Everything Christmas’ List and stick to it
Consider everything you will need to celebrate Christmas with your family and friends. I like to think about the following categories;
- Cooking: Which Christmas meals and events are you catering for?
- Family and friend gatherings: Apart from food what else will you need for your family gatherings, everything from napkins to extra plates, or even picnic blankets and a cricket set for those who spend time together outdoors at Christmas
- Family traditions: Do you need to purchase an advent calendar? Christmas pyjamas or picture books? Do you bake together with your children at Christmas? Or craft? Do you attend Carols by Candelight? What do you need to purchase in preparation for each of these traditions?
- Gifts: This one might seem obvious but aside from family and friends, don’t forget teachers, activity leaders, others in your community you like to gift to and hostess gifts for events you will be attending.
- Giving: What will you need for wrapping gifts? What about Christmas cards? Donations? Acts of community service?
3. Choose a ‘One Stop’ shopping location
The quickest and easiest way to manage Christmas shopping is to get it all done in one trip to the shops so heading to a comprehensive, family friendly department store is definitely the way to go. This Christmas BIG W have stocked up on all of the latest big brands of kids toys, books, DVDs, homewares and electronics. You’ll find something for everyone on your list. Plus they stock all of the other bits and bobs you’re looking for – everything from clothes to Christmas wrap, tinsel to tape, so you really will save time and money.
4. Remember the ‘forgetables’
One of the things that really gets me every Christmas is how many last minute trips to the busy shops we have to make for all of the little things I have forgotten! This year I am planning for the forgetables, making sure gift-wrap, gift tags, tape (plenty of tape!), ribbon, batteries, Christmas crackers, napkins, fruit mince pies (because you can never have too many fruit mince pies), shortbread and Christmas cards are all on my list!
5. Take advantage of online stores for research and shopping
I can’t tell you how much I love online shopping for taking the stress out of big family occasions like Christmas. I can jump online and research gift ideas and compare pricing at all my favourite stores. I also love the ease of using the ‘Click and Collect’ option that many large stores now offer.
6. When you do have to hit the shops, leave the kids at home!
Exchange babysitting favours with friends if necessary because shopping sans children makes everything quicker, less expensive and much, much less stressful!
7. Stop shopping!
When you’re done, be done! Avoid the shops, crank up the Christmas carols and enjoy a glass of wine as you wrap your gifts and look forward to a fabulous time with family and friends.
I would love to hear your tips, how do you tackle your Christmas shopping each year?