It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I know for a lot of parents that means stress and worrying about how Santa is going to fill that tree with gifts AND still pay the bills.
Everyone wants to see their kids faces light up Christmas morning and while I know we need to teach our kids the true meaning of Christmas and that it’s not all about gifts, let’s face it, to them it is. It’s a magical time for them and seeing a bunch of gifts wrapped up waiting to be torn into makes their eyes twinkle with delight, and ours too, just by watching them!
As a stay at home mom to three kids, I know all too well the struggles Christmas can bring, both financially and emotionally. I’ve put together a few tips on Christmas shopping for the tiny humans in your life without breaking the bank or feeling like you have to sell a kidney to get by.
Yes I know, it’s too late now to start early. You say it every year right? “Next year I’m starting early” suddenly it’s November and you’re scrolling through Facebook and come across that one friend who posts there’s only 3 Friday’s until Christmas and you realize you haven’t even started. I think we’ve all been there. I’ve been there many times. This year I really kicked myself in the ass and remembered to start early.
I started my shopping in September which isn’t THAT early really, but early enough for me. I would pick up a small gift every time I had the chance and sneak it into the garage. (Shhh, dont tell anyone.)
I haven’t finished yet, so I can’t say I’m THAT awesome but it’s such a relief compared to other years knowing that the majority is done and I won’t be running out last minute buying everything at once.
What if you don’t know what they want yet?
If you’re kids are anything like mine, they have no idea what they want for Christmas in September. If they do, SWEET! The earlier you know the better but when I’m shopping early, I’m usually buying things I want them to have/think they would enjoy. Okay guys, this might sound horrible, but my husband and I usually hype them up for something they didn’t even know they wanted and make it sound like the most amazing thing in the world. “How cooool would it be if Santa brought you you’re very own hockey net!? Or a new skateboard!? I think that would be the coolest gift ever!” You know, that Hockey net Santa scored on Craigslist for ten bucks and five dollar skateboard. Before you know it, BAM! it’s on their Christmas list annnd that’s how its done! No shame in my Christmas game.
They don’t need everything on their list
They really don’t. I tell my kids to write down (or circle in the flyer) THREE toys they reallllllly want. Do they get all three? Nope. They get ONE thing from their most wanted list and honestly, it’s usually the gifts they didn’t ask for that they end up loving the most.
Shop Classified Sites
This is my favorite! Oh I find so many goodies shopping sites like Craigslist and KIJIJI! I can’t count the number of times I’ve scored amazing deals on toys, most of the time brand new and sometimes even in original packaging for a fraction of what I would pay at one of the big box stores. If the toy is not in the original box, I just package it up myself nicely with some nice dollar store packaging or boxes. My kids are still small so I guess it doesn’t really matter to them yet but this seems to make them even more excited thinking Santa made it especially for them! BONUS!
Shop The Dollar Store
My kids love to draw, color and get crafty so I will usually buy them new artsy stuff from the dollar store for their stockings.
We all know the toys there are not the best quality and will not last long, but I usually buy a few to wrap and put under the tree anyway. It gives them more to open Christmas morning!
So there you have it, a few of my Christmas shopping for littles tips and tricks. I hope some or all of these will come in handy for you. Let me know in the comments if you have any tricks to saving and staying sane during the holidays, I’d love to hear them and maybe add them to my list!