Last Minute Survival Tips for Holiday Shopping!

In my last post, 5 Things in my Holiday Survival Kit, I talked about things that will help make our holidays less stressful and more enjoyable.  One ESSENTIAL that I named on that list was something called the Internet!

It was such a broad category that I decided to break it down a bit more because, after all, the Internet and overnight shipping can be a handy friend in surviving the holiday shopping rush!

Through my inbox, Pinterest, talking with family & friends, I’ve turned more and more to the Internet to shop each year. It’s such an easy and efficient way to shop – especially for a busy mom like me.

Here are a few sites and gift ideas to consider for finishing up your shopping:

  • Get Crafty – I came across this cool DIY sign at Crafted in Carhartt today. I like the idea of making your own gifts if time (and ability) permits. When your own ability fails, turn to other options on this list.
  • Etsy – For finding unique gifts, Etsy is a great choice! I am a Wisconsin fan, so I think this Wisconsin shaped cutting board is a fun gift. I also heart this Wisconsin necklaces (hint, hint Daddy O.)!
  • For hard to shop for people, I think food or beverages are nice options. I’ve gifted Omaha steaks, seasonings, Arty’s Old Fashioneds in bottles, wine, and the always popular fruit basket.
  • Very manly options – this site called Man Crates features wooden boxes filled with all sorts of awesome gifts for men that you have to open with a crowbar. They range in price and theme, so they can be tailored to any important man in your life.
  • Unisex Exchange Gifts – in the past I have received a mini herb garden, wine bottle sampler, and various board games.
  • Experience Ideas – In lieu of something tangible, a gift certificate for a class, sporting event, concert, or restaurant is always fun.

Happy Shopping & Happy Holidays!

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The BEST Line(s) to get out of a Toy Store

Just days (okay, maybe hours) after Halloween passes, Christmas season comes to life in all shopping destinations.  The annual Christmas catalog for stores have been filling our mailbox.  My daughter has eagerly circled her favorite things in such catalogs (and it’s A LOT of course).  The shopping and preparations are upon us, as Christmas will be here before we know it!

Inevitably, I’ll be doing some shopping with my children along.  We recently went to Target and perused the toy aisle just to look for ideas.  With her fourth birthday AND Christmas coming up, I was able to use a few of my BEST lines to get out of the toy aisle without buying everything (or anything) in it!

3 Things to Say to your Kids while Shopping

  1. “Let’s put that on your birthday / Christmas list.”
  2. A close second, “Let’s save that for another kid. It’s not on our list.”
  3. Recently I added, “Ooh, let me take a picture of that one, so we can remember what you liked.”

I’ve used these lines when shopping for nieces or nephews, and they’ve really worked for me.  I’ve even pulled out a piece of paper and handwritten out ideas on my daughter’s list, and she REALLY had fun with it.  She even found a few things for her younger brother, saying, “Mom, I think my brother would like this.  Put it on his birthday list.”  It was awesome!

Inevitably, we end up with an item or two from the dollar section (though I sometimes manage to sneak some of these prized items away before buying them) to save a few tantrums, or even hand them to the store clerk at checkout and ask that they be returned to the proper area. The bottom line: I don’t want all of this STUFF in my house, and I don’t want my kids to feel like they automatically get what they want EVERY time we go shopping.

At the grocery store, my daughter was insistent about getting the Dora yogurt (thank you Yoplait for marketing to my children), so I told her that it wasn’t on our shopping list, but explained that she could use HER money to buy it if she really wanted it.  She agreed to that, and handed over the $2.19 from her piggy bank with a little counting help.  She has also told me recently that she wants to save her money for something really big – a canoe, I think she said!  Funny!

How do you get out of toy stores without buying stuff?  What phrases work for you?

One blog that I really enjoy following is called The Heavy Purse.  Meet Shannon and check out her posts: Financial Literacy Makes a Difference, and How to Avoid Creating Feelings of Deprivation in Kids.