Gina: Seasonal Shopping Strategies

Let it begin:

the holiday sale extravaganza overload. From now, until January, my inbox will be overflowing with tempting deals: friends and family, Veteran’s Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Day After Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving (I personally think it’s insane that some stores are going to be open on Thanksgiving- I’d much rather enjoy my family and eat pie than fight people at Walmart), Day after Christmas, New Year’s, kill me.

Ok, so I’m being really dramatic, but as someone who enjoys scouring for awesome deals -especially when it’s a season with quite a few purchases to make for others- it’s a little overwhelming. I think a lot of the true meaning of the season is tainted by overzealous retailers, and that’s coming from a person who really loves shopping. It’s just too much for me to handle. I think that’s a huge reason why I often get our shopping done on Amazon and/or Christmas Eve — my favorite holidays aren’t marred by frantically racing to whatever supersale is currently going on (only to be repeated with a different name the following weekend).


(maybe my favorite shopping picture ever)

Here’s what our holiday shopping strategy looks like:

-Get supplies for Oliv’s Christmas gift (my dad is making it for us)

-Order family and friend gifts on Cyber Monday (mostly from OpenSky, Etsy and Amazon)

-Of course, I’ll still go out on Black Friday because it’s tradition but usually don’t purchase very much (this year I will be getting an enormous snowman for our yard, but that should be it)

Christmas2 thumb

Some tips to remember while shopping for the holidays:

-Plan out gifts and a budget in advance. The Pilot and I will usually write out what we want to purchase and having a list keeps impulse buys at bay

-Remember that there’s no rush. I was in Old Navy today (to return the pants I ordered that did not fit) and all of the outerwear was 50%. It will probably also be 50% off or less for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. etc.

-DIY some gifts. Thanks to the glory that is Pinterest, I’m excited to make some gifts for friends and neighbors. I’m not very crafty, but putting together a pretty holiday wreath or cookie kit shouldn’t be too bad. I’ll be sure to include lots of DIY ideas in my annual holiday gift guide, too.

-Remember that the best gifts are memories spent with people you love. I think it’s easy to become stressed out and overwhelmed this time of year by things, that in the grand scheme of life, really don’t matter. 

So tell me friends: what’s your seasonal shopping strategy? Are you planning to make any gifts this year?

Is it just me, or do the holidays keep creeping earlier and earlier each year?

Tree thumb

Part of me gets extremely stoked, as I love Christmas music (especially of the Michael Buble variety) and all things snowman, but on the other hand, it feels like it takes away from it.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend- and don’t forget to check out the Sweets for Sandy auction <3



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  1. natalie @ will jog for food on November 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I love shopping online! I will be hitting up those cyber monday deals big time 🙂

  2. Kaitlyn @ Keeping up with Kaitlyn on November 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I think this christmas I am going to be doing some DIYing! I love crafting and it’s so much more personalized than purchasing something. I’m also going to be checking out etsy so some gifts! There are some awesome things on there!

  3. Abby on November 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I’m one of the few that actually love seeing Christmas decorations in November, and may or may not have been listening to Christmas music since the day after Halloween….
    I do hate that stores are open on Thanksgiving however. I think that is taking it a little too far just for retailers to make a buck. I feel sooooo bad for the people that have to leave their families and go to work on such a special day.
    I’ll definitely be shopping online, especially lots of etsy goodies I’ve been scoping out all year and an even attempting a few diy gifts!

  4. Amy on November 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I usually make gifts for the nieces and nephews. This year it’s crocheted mohawk hats with ear flaps. Three years ago it was matching pj pants. For my kids I’ll be making a fabric doll for our 19 month old. For our 3 year 7 month old I’ll be making some hand puppets and curtains for a puppet stage to make any doorway into a stage for his shows. For our oldest I’m not sure if I’m going to crochet his gift or just buy the toys, but he’s been making Mario videos for a few months, he doesn’t have very many characters so I want to get him more of them. For my siblings I’m making them my toffee, they love it and only get it once a year.

  5. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on November 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I love that the first picture is called Scaryclause. Too funny!

  6. Averie @ Averie Cooks on November 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    “Is it just me, or do the holidays keep creeping earlier and earlier each year?” — they DO keep coming earlier each year, for sure! I am planning to buy very little and make what I can and we’ve agreed with family members that we’d all rather just curtail the shopping for the kids and the adults won’t buy stuff for each other – fine by me 🙂

  7. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on November 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Josh and I will be making presents for each other this Christmas as we promised to keep it cheap as we’re saving for a wedding next summer. I’m actually really really excited at the prospect of lots of homemade gifts! That’s the stuff that ends up meaning the most!

  8. Stevy on November 9, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    My strategy: finish before November! I have one gift left to buy! I haven’t shopped for Lainey yet but she’s getting a $400 playhouse and the little tykes coupe so she probably won’t get much else from us. I love Christmas shopping but hate the crowds! I keep a spreadsheet with names, prospective spending and actual spending. I usually start shopping in July. 🙂

  9. Jaime on November 10, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I absolutely love homemade Christmas gifts!!! I’ve been doing mostly all homemade gifts for the last 4 years, but this year… probably not going to happen. I do want to make an advent calendar, though, that I saw on Martha Stewart’s site (I think?)- It’s made from 24 match boxes glued together. Each box is it’s own little door to a tiny surprise. It seems doable. And adorable.
    I’m also helping my 4-year-old make some little Christmas ornaments as gifts- he loves sewing with a real needle, so it’ll be simple fabric shapes (like a snowman) sewn together, and stuffed with cut up plastic bags.

  10. Molly@This Life Is Sparkling on November 10, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I work in retail and we started playing Christmas music before Halloween. I lovelovelove Christmas music, but I also never want to rush the holidays. I feel like so many people skip over Thanksgiving and jump right from Halloween to Christmas. If only there were Thanksgiving music 😉

  11. Sylvia on November 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I don’t spend much time in malls because there is no air, and they exhaust me! I usually make all my xmas presents because I don’t have any extra other than to cover my rent and basic needs!

  12. Kate @KateMovingForward on November 10, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I just bought my first Christmas present today from an antique shop! I like finding unique gifts, especially since I know for my parents and in-laws they don’t really NEED anything. One thing my husband and I are doing this year is using cash for Christmas presents which should cut down on a lot of impluse shopping!

  13. Kristen on November 11, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I try so hard to hold off on the Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. Then, it’s on! I love it.
    We actually don’t have a lot of gifts to purchase. My hub’s family asks each person to bring one gift and then we play a fun truth or dare game that involves the gifts. They get switched around a lot until each person has a gift. It’s always a good time!
    Then my side, each person spends a certain amount of money on a bunch of small inexpensive gifts (candles, cookie mix, cute socks, small tools) And wrap them. Then we all play bingo and different fun games. Each time the winner gets to choose a gift from the pile. It’s actually a lot of fun.
    We definitely enjoy gifts (who doesn’t?) but we try not to get too caught up in that part. That’s not the message I want to convey to my son about Christmas.

  14. April on November 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I’m going home for Christmas this year (it’s been 2 years!) and since it’s going to be a major trip from Hawaii to the East Coast, we’re spending much more than we’d like just getting there. So there will be a lot of DIY stuff. I’m making a recipe book for my parents with my 2-year old as the “chef,” so there will be photos of him making each recipe and stories behind them. And I’m sure we’re going to have a lot of fun toddler art projects cleverly framed along with those. I’ve already been consulting Pinterest for great ideas! I love the holidays! 🙂

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