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Sometimes, it can feel like you just celebrated Christmas, and all of a sudden, it’s here again. Once Halloween gets here, the holiday shopping crowds can not only be a hassle, but they could be buying up the exact items that are on your Christmas list.
It’s a given that you probably won’t be able to find that perfect magical gift for Harry Potter fans at the last minute, but there are a few tips you can implement to help ensure that you are as ready as you can be when Christmas shows up again.
Tips to Plan Ahead for Christmas Gifts
1. Make a Master List
If you’re the type of person who takes the time to organize your gift wrap but does your shopping without a detailed list, you could end up in a bind come Christmas time. In order to keep everything organized, you should make a list of everyone’s names that you plan on buying gifts for this year. In another column, you can list out potential gift ideas, and in a third, you can put anything they specifically asked for.
This can help you stay within budget and give you a constantly updated list of what you have already purchased and who you still need stuff for.
2. Be Subtle
Since you likely don’t want them to know that you’re getting them custom Christmas gifts or other goodies, you need to be a little sly. As opposed to waiting until Christmas is around the corner, ask them to make a list of a couple of things they’d like for their birthday.
You can also learn a lot simply by listening. For instance, have they mentioned something they need for the house? Has your niece or nephew gotten all excited about a commercial about a retro video game or hot new toy? Keep your ears open and take mental notes any time they drop a clue about something they want or really could use.
3. Watch for Discounts
You don’t always have to wait until Black Friday to find some fantastic deals on Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers for under $1. Numerous stores will run sales throughout the year, and simply watching their weekly mailings can give you a jump on your holiday shopping.
You also shouldn’t forget to check out the discontinued and clearance items whenever you are physically in the store. While you won’t always find what you’re looking for, there’s always a chance you’ll find a comparable item or something else the recipient may like even more.
4. Fill Your Inbox
Most of us receive more emails than we ever want, and we’re sure virtually all of you disregard those little website popups asking if you want to turn on alerts. However, both of these can be invaluable when it comes to planning for Christmas gifts.
Signing up for retail newsletters and sales ads along with enabling site alerts is an easy way to stay in the know on what’s hot and who has the best budget–friendly gifts for him and her, as well as catching those “must-have” items on sale.
After your shopping is done, you can always unsubscribe and turn off the alerts.
You can also take advantage of apps that help you find coupons from a wide range of stores. This can make it easier to find the best deals on your shopping list, and with so many coupons at your fingertips, you may be able to mark a lot of people off your list considerably early.
Of course, no matter how well you plan ahead for Christmas or how early you start, we can’t guarantee that your holiday season will be free of stress. However, utilizing the essential tips above can help you get your gift shopping done early and enable you to enjoy your time with friends and family.