Did you know that 99.99 percent of parents are driven insane by Christmas shopping? Ok so I may have made that stat up, but Christmas shopping for the kids can be very hard. I am not just talking about the financial aspect of it, but the drain it has on you mentally, physically and emotionally. I am sure each year braving the shops for Christmas shopping takes a little piece of my soul.
In all seriousness today I want to share a few tips to help you fellow parents make your Christmas shopping as easy as possible.
This should go without saying, but do not just buy the first thing you see. For example, my eldest wants this video game called Starlink. I was going to just buy it on Amazon, but I shopped around and found it for ten bucks cheaper. I know that when you are out in the wild and come across a good deal and you have to make that split decision you cannot do this, but that leads me onto my next point.
Do Not Wait On Great Deals
I have been in about a million stores recently and bought a few things I have found that have been available for a good price. There have been somethings like this Bumblebee figure that I was on the fence about, but the price was good, I was sure my son would like it and they only had a couple so I decided to pull the trigger there and then.
Ask The Kids What They Want
While it is great having some surprises and seeing their little face light up when they open it. We have wasted so much money over the years by buying things that the kids do not play with. We try to get as full a list from them as possible before we start Christmas shopping. Like I said having some surprises is great, but having a more clear idea of what they want and what they actually will play with will make your Christmas shopping a million times easier.
Never Take The Kids With You!
A couple of times I have had to take the kids with me and let me tell you it was brutal. First of all, they want everything that they see, but trying to sneakily buy something, ask an employee to keep you something or just look at something is very hard and stressful.
Save Some Money Right Until The End
This is a great bit of advice I want to share with you and it is all thanks to my eldest son. This happened about three years ago, we had finished our Christmas shopping nice and early. Managed to get most of the things the kids were interested in along with some fun surprises. The after bath on the 23rd of December, my eldest says that he has been playing a keyboard all week at school, he loves it and he is asking Santa for that. I told him it might be a bit late, but he was having none of it! He said he did not want any other presents as long as he got a keyboard and as he had been good (which he had) all year, Santa would do that.
Well, the emotional blackmail worked as how could I say no to that? That meant the next day I had to go on a hunt to find a keyboard, which took way longer than you would think. It took me until the third store! Thankfully we had not spent all the Christmas shopping budget and it was not a big deal. So I would suggest you save a little money for as late as possible in case they add something extra to their list.
Lock That List Down!
This is easier to do with my eldest as sadly he is way too cool to believe in Santa, but my youngest still does. I know I said to save some money to the end, but the best way to avoid having to rush out on Christmas eve is locking the list down as early as possible. I now have a system where the kids need to have their list written by the time the advent calendar comes out. Of course, there is a little leeway here and there, but I try to get them to finish their list as early as possible. It makes getting harder to find things much easier on you.
Christmas can be a very stressful time for parents, but there is no denying that Christmas morning and seeing how excited and happy the kids are is one of the best things about the whole experience. So while I have said how brutal Christmas shopping is, I do it in jest, but I wanted to show you that there are ways you can make it easier on yourself.