Frugal Friday--Started Your Christmas Shopping?

5:25 AMHeather

I remember walking in Hobby Lobby last June and being shocked to see Christmas merchandise. For real? (Although--let me be quick to say how I do adore my beloved Hobby Lobby, and in their defense--if you are a crafter, you probably need some lead time on all those Christmasy projects). Back on subject--this last fall, I was uber annoyed to see Christmas commercials before Halloween. So, for the record--let it be said that I am all for saving Christmas for when it should come--after a well celebrated Thanksgiving.

BUT, I LOVE TO GIVE GIFTS! My husband and I did a Spiritual Gifts inventory a few years ago. We were not surprised to learn that giving is top of BOTH our lists. It's a thrill I cannot explain to choose a gift filled with thought and love. Not to say that I always hit the mark--for those of you reading this who are shaking their heads because maybe I didn't quite get it right for you. Like cousin Erick this past Christmas. I was so proud to have purchased his gift months in advance--something I THOUGHT he'd LOVE. Only problem is that I was completely wrong--he is an Oklahoma fan, so the Longhorn jersey and ball cap felt like a practical joke to him. OOPS.

So, here's the deal. I started this a few years ago as a way to budget out my gift giving for Christmas. I keep an index card (I KNOW--recurring theme if you read yesterday's post) in my little day planner. On this card is listed all the people I buy Christmas gifts for, and throughout the year as I see something that makes me think of someone, I grab it, tuck it away (hopefully, I'll remember where), and make note of that purchased gift. I love nothing more than snagging a GREAT deal and feeling the thrill of giving all year long. Plus, it totally makes our December budget palatable. I haven't had a credit card bill in January for Christmas gifts in several years.

And, just to add one more layer to my complete compulsiveness (I cannot deny my obssessive leanings), I have a gift binder. Within this binder, I keep a list of birthdays and anniversaries. Now, I haven't been so good about these occasions as of late, but I have the best of intentions. I also print craft ideas and place them within the binder. Combining my love of crafts with my love of giving? AWESOMENESS. But, alas, I jump ahead of myself for next week's Frugal Friday post....

INTENTIONAL challenge: In my world, it's never too early to be plotting Christmas goodies. Now, please don't feel big pressure, thinking I've placed some big load of planning upon you. But, honestly--if you are in a store in April and see something on sale that totally makes you think of your Aunt Edna, why not grab it? Makes for one less purchase later on. Your checkbook will thank you later!

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