Saturday, December 02, 2006
Best Christmas Shopping Ever!
I have this love hate relationship with Christmas shopping. I don't mind shopping, and I like buying presents for people, and I like to think I'm pretty decent at it. But I hate the crowds, and finding a stupid parking spot (it is definitely one of those times when it's good to have a teeny little car, though - I fit in a lot of spots other people wouldn't.), and listening to bad mall Christmas music.

Fortunately, working a lot of Saturdays means I get weekdays off fairly regularly, so for the past few years I've been able to do my Christmas shopping in the middle of the day on, like, a Tuesday, so it's not so bad. This year, a lot of my presents are being knit (more on that in a minute), so my list was quite manageable.

And yesterday was officially the best Christmas shopping ever.

Last year, my sister moved to Vancouver, which meant our usual Christmas shopping together habits had to change. Which was too bad, because much though my sister and I frequently bicker about stupid crap, we actually get along very well when we go Christmas shopping, because we're shopping for mostly the same people and have similar taste in these things. Plus we like the same kinds of Christmas music and can make fun of the stupid stuff. There was one year when we were driving around on Christmas Eve (I don't remember why it was so last minute) and CBC was playing this lengthy Christmas story on the radio and we stayed in the car an extra 15 minutes or so to listen to it.

Anyway, this is the second Christmas that she's lived elsewhere, so we had to coordinate a little more to get things organized. She and her boyfriend aren't coming until Boxing Day, so Christmas with my family is on the 27th this year. Last year, I did a lot of the shopping after making a list with her (the four of us tend to just go in on all my parents' presents - much easier that way and we can get nicer stuff), since there's no PST here and she'd just have to haul all the presents here anyway.

This year, we were even more organized, and had most of our list under control by earlier this week. So last night we met up online and went on a virtual shopping spree. It was awesome! We price compared between various places, juggled for availability, and had more than half our Christmas shopping done without even getting up out of our chairs. Woo! So now I just have to go to two places for in-store pickups (saves shipping that way), and wait for the Amazon and Chapters orders to arrive. It was the most civilised Christmas shopping ever. I bought fifteen presents!

In other present but not shopping news, I have finished two socks in the last 18 hours! This is so ridiculously satisfying I'm a little embarrassed. But now my finish-by-Christmas list is suddenly FOUR socks, and that just seems so much more manageable. Here's hoping.

And with that, I must away to the NaNoWriMo Thank GOD it's Over party, sure to be a good time featuring lots of drinking, if I have my way.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hi. Your blog is great ! I leave in France and I love fashion. If you enjoy shoes, take a look on my shoes
Marina (from France)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I liked your article and would like to add some helpful ideas I have also put together:

Here are some Christmas Shopping Tips I have thought about and put together…
It doesn’t need to really be the time of year that shoppers dread and retailers relish. If you're like many people, just the idea of planning and shopping and decorating for Christmas puts you into a panic. It's true; the holidays cause a lot of stress for countless people. Fear not, I have some tips that will help ease your holiday shopping burden and get your holiday time online easier and faster so you can deal with other important issues over the Christmas/holiday season.

First thing is that you should write things down, make lists and think about what presents you need and who you need gifts for. Spend a little time sitting down with a pad and pen or in front of your computer and write down who you're buying gifts for, any ideas for gifts that you have.
Plan how you will go about your shopping and where you plan to shop. If you're planning on doing a major shopping trip, decide on your primary shopping destination and then consider the places you'll be passing on your way. For instance, if you'll be going to be shopping at the mall, there might be several specialty shops on the way to the mall where you can stop in and pick up gifts, wine, stocking stuffers, or gift certificates for those hard-to-shop-for people.

If you plan to shop online then first thing to do is know exactly what type of gift you need and then go to several leading coupons and bargain websites to see if the items you want have coupons, rebates or free shipping available at suitable stores. Some coupon sites I use regularly for this are: - plenty of rebates available for a number of promotions, one of my favourites, everything from flowers to food available. – great variety of stores, they offer bargains for companies like Newegg, Sony, Reebok plus many for smaller less know stores. friendly site where some exclusive bargains can be found for, and others.

An important thing to do is to make a rough outline of your budget. Decide before you head out how much money you want to spend on each family member, friend or person on your list, as well as for food and drink. Prioritize the most important people in your life as 1, 2, 3 etc. This is just a guideline of course, but the better prepared you are then the less likely you will be to overspend.

The main things to remember is to plan out your shopping and to avoid crowds then get in as early as possible and preferably online for your shopping. Don’t forget to check out what’s available after Christmas too as most online stores heavily discount most of their pre Christmas stock at bargain sales in to the new year.

Good luck!