My husband and I are on a fixed income rendering finances tight; therefore we start our Christmas shopping in January and we shop at thrift stores. By starting the first week of January, we allow ourselves the time to be selective, shop carefully and discover wonderful gifts for a fraction of their retail prices. Frankly, when you try to shop at the retail stores over the holidays, you find everything is over priced, all the stores seem to be carrying the same things, and selection is therefore limited.
We have, over the past six years managed to find useful, original, novel, absolutely wonderful gifts that brought radiant smiles to the faces of the recipients. When it is all over and we did the tally, we found that in the end we spent less than three hundred dollars for a gift list of almost twenty people. That includes the wrapping paper and bows purchased at the dollar store!
It takes patience and checking back frequently at the thrift stores, but again we allow ourselves all year, keep a running list of purchases and recipients they are intended for and how much was spent on each item, then pack them safely away. We will start pulling them out and wrapping in the next couple of weeks without the rush, without having to fight the crowds to shop, without the fear of opening the credit card bills in January, and without having over spent or left ourselves in financial hole, which sure goes a long way to removing the stress of the season!
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I have been doing the same thing for years! I start in earnest in late August, to see if everyone is covered. And frankly, my oddball gifts are always the most popular.
I wish I could do this for my Grandsons. I like to get them what they want and will use/play with. I know some will say they should appreciate anything given to them but why waste money on something they don't find joy in. By the time Christmas comes around they will have changed their mind as to what they want. Their Mom and Dad have a really hard time making ends meets so I buy the boys a couple of things their parents can't afford.
I do this all year too, especially when all the yard sales hit. When I go to a yard sale, I hunt for Christmas gifts for the coming Christmas. It saves a whole lot that way when Christmas time rolls around.
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