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It’s November, which means that holiday prep begins in earnest now! So, while we’re planning for Thanksgiving and avoiding eating Halloween candy, we’re also eyeing all the cute toys that have popped up in stores. Lots of people get frustrated with how early people start talking about Christmas…I used to be one of those people. But, after a few stressful years of starting to shop on Black Friday, fighting the crowds, and not really being able to feel the joy and peace that should constitute the Christmas season, I changed my approach.
Nowadays, I start thinking about potential gifts in the summer. The kids are at home and often with me at the store, naturally gravitating to things they like. Once school starts, I gradually pick up an item or two if it’s on sale, or if I really know someone will love it, and I don’t want to miss out on it.
In November, I kick it into high gear. I try to have everything purchased by Thanksgiving, unless I’m confident it will go on sale AND I’ll actually be able to find it in stock on Black Friday. Many years I have waited to buy, only to have to find a different gift when the original was sold out. Remember, if there is something special you know you will buy no matter what, it’s best to buy it early. Most stores will refund the difference if it goes on sale (if not, you can buy the sale item and simply return the original at most big box stores).
Also, make sure to take advantages of coupons and cash-back offers. I ALWAYS check retailmenot.com for sales/coupons/discounts before I buy anything (in-store or online). And I go to ebates.com to see if the site or store I’m buying from is listed (most of the common ones are), then click through to my order, and get a nice check or PayPal deposit soon thereafter! My favorite is Kohl’s, which often gives 6% cash back through Ebates! Amazon is a little pickier about what they’ll give cash back for, but it’s still worth the extra click, since I order most of my gifts through them.
Here are some of our favorite toys this year. If I was a kid, I’d want the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Kit (View-Master has come a long way, baby!) and the Swurfer. So fun! Will any of these make your Christmas list?
Okay, just one more…
This is Meddy Teddy, a way to teach children mindfulness and yoga. He is completely poseable, and is made by a family-run business in Los Angeles. The site also offers kids and adults yoga mats and clothing.
What are your favorite shopping tips for the holidays? Have you started/finished your shopping yet? Let us know in the comments below!