Do You Know How I Christmas Shop?

How do I Christmas shop? Well, it sure as hell isn’t on Black Friday. {If you remember last year, I told you how much I hate Black Friday (and Oprah).}

I think Jason and I are in the minority when it comes to shopping for Christmas. I’ll tell you why, too… we don’t buy much for Christmas.

We shop the week before Christmas. {waits for people to pick themselves up off the floor}

We do. That’s right. We make typically two trips to shop and that. is. it. We can be in and done shopping in less than 3 hours which is completely insane to most people! But it’s how we do it and it’s worked for 7 years now. We spend very little money, very little time and don’t panic over things that aren’t in stock. We go with the flow!

The one year I tried to be really good and shop early, I ended up spending about five times the amount of money because I’d look for stuff everywhere I went. I was disorganized and then when it came down to Christmas, I had so much stuff, it was embarrassing. Mortifying, really. Gluttonous.

Luckily, our list stays fairly small for those we buy for. My parents, his mom, my grandmother and aunt, my sister and her family and Henry. Jason and I haven’t gotten each other gifts on Christmas in a few years. Not because we don’t want to, but because we’ve made other purchases that count for Christmas. (read: replacement iPhones and trips to NYC with the niece)

As far as Henry goes, he gets a trip to Target or Wal-Mart (gag) or Toys R Us a few weeks before to make his list. From that list, Santa is allowed to bring 3 to 5 things. If it can fit on the ottoman, it’s fair game! Then he gets a stocking filled to the brim with junk that nobody needs but that is just fun!

Why don’t we buy him everything under the sun and WHY DON’T WE SHOP EARLIER TO GET GOOD DEALS?

Well, a few years ago my sister was part of a Bible study and in that group they talked about how Jesus only got 3 gifts when he was born. The short version of the story is basically this: why should a kid get more gifts than Jesus got when we celebrate his birthday?

That really stuck with me. Why do we go so over the top with “stuff” for our kids when the real reason for the season isn’t to see who gets the most stuff or trying to see who can get the best deals.

Henry get stuff all year. He gets treats here and there and even earns his own money to buy things that he’s really wanting so at Christmas we try to focus on believing, helping others, remembering what the season is about, and having fun.

I don’t know about you, but it feels much better to drop money in a red bucket or drop some toys in the Toys For Tots box than it does to spend a ton of time and money on things that we don’t need.


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  1. This is a great idea. I had friends who didn’t buy anything for Christmas – they took family trips in January. Things like dog sledding, deep sea diving. Things that show the importance of family as well as creating such great memories. You have the right idea, for sure.

    • We did that several times when I was in high school. We took big trips. (normally based around my dancing, but family trips nonetheless) It’s such a great idea. And that leaves Christmas as a time to be together and celebrate the real reasons for the day.

  2. This? Genius.
    Pamela Gold recently posted..Getting Lost in the ShuffleMy Profile

  3. We’re pretty low key about gifts here, too. The one thing I always do, though, we do on the day the tree goes up. After the tree, both girls and I go through their room, collecting toys they no longer play with and clothes that don’t fit. We talk about children who won’t get a Christmas, etc. Then, we donate these to a local shelter. They get no new stuff without purging the old stuff.
    Last year? They had things still in their original packaging to donate(Thanks, Grandma)

    • We do that before HL’s birthday which is in November. He understands that he has to give things away (not just broken stuff, that goes in the trash) in order to get new things. He’s understanding that there are others who don’t get new things and he loves to give to them now.

  4. I love this so much!!

    We also do all of our shopping (which is very little) in the week before Christmas and focus on the holiday as being more about family and Jesus than about presents. I had never thought about the three present “rule” and reason…but I’m loving it!
    Tracie recently posted..Unplanned WordsMy Profile

  5. Bravo! That sounds like a good way to do it.
    Ewokmama recently posted..Tackling FearMy Profile

  6. I love this. We’re doing something similar this year as well. With three kids we have to be careful with our spending and goodness knows they don’t need anymore crap.

  7. I am totally with you on this! When I start too early, I always, always, get too much!

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