Finish Your Holiday Shopping This Friday

25 Nov

Thanksgiving week is my favorite part of the holidays. With the season still fresh, the air is redolent with roast turkey and fresh pine and the bah-humbug epidemic has yet to become airborne.

This will be a busy holiday season for us, which will include hosting our first-ever Thanksgiving in our new home and traveling literally to the other side of the world (NZ) for Christmas. And of course there are multiple holiday parties, birthdays, and our fourth wedding anniversary in between. So when I realized just how much of a hustle this holiday season was about to become, I resolved to finish all my gifting by the end of this weekend so I can enjoy the rest of the season as much as this week.

No, I’m not crazy. Just crazy organized.

Here are my five steps for getting the job done early:

1. Make a Christmas list. No, I’m not talking about writing a letter to Santa. I’m talking about a slightly OCD, it-might-be-an-Excel-spreadsheet list of everyone you need to buy for. Include columns for gift ideas, and how much you’re willing to spend on each particular person. Not only will this help you stay organized, but it will help you realize that yeah, you’ve got this.

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2. Get Over Gift Guilt. Money spent and love given are not directly proportional. Don’t feel you have to spend a lot of money on one person just because you’re close to them. Focus on finding them something thoughtful.

As long as this is the end result, you’re good:

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3. Use Your Resources. Fill online wishlists with giftable ideas, then check throughout the week to see if they’ve gone on sale. Better yet, use shopping sites like Shopstyle to set email alerts so you’ll know the second an item is discounted, or search #BlackFriday on Twitter and Facebook. Also helpful: Racked.com’s Salewire, and BlackFriday.com

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4. Shop in your PJs. Preferably with a glass of wine in hand. Waking up at 3am to go to Best Buy is sooooo 2005. Most deals available in brick and mortar stores are also available online. So why expose yourself to aggro line cutters, screaming babies, and the one person who invariably stands waaaay too close to you, then coughs without covering his mouth.

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5. Master Your MasterCard. Don’t just have an overall holiday budget, ask yourself what each item is worth to you. If it doesn’t hit that dollar amount, then find a backup. Because nothing’s better than making your loved ones happy, and still having a little left over for yourself.

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