How to Finish Christmas Shopping

BEFORE Christmas Eve

Are you a perfectionist? Do you procrastinate? Do you put things off until “later” then find that “later” has passed and the original task is no longer relevant or necessary? Have you ever given someone a printed picture of his gift because you didn’t order it in time to arrive for the event? Have you ever roamed around Target for 6 hours on December 23rd, trying to tie up loose ends for gifts? Have you ever considered just not giving anyone a gift and not expecting any for yourself, but then caved when you found the perfect gift for someone and felt guilty and bought everyone else a gift too? Do you also secretly hate giving and receiving just solely gift cards?

Have you ever received a set of knives as a gift from your husband? Knives. Do you judge your relationship with someone based off of the gifts they give you? Have you ever wanted to make something for someone and bought all the materials to make it, then made it and ended up keeping it for yourself because you liked it so much? Have you ever labored over finding the perfect gift for someone just to find that they ended up returning it or losing it or breaking it and that made you question that person’s love for you? Yeah, me neither.

Seriously though, gift-giving is important to me. I want my people to know I really thought about them and tried to find something they would truly, truly love. Here’s what always gets me:

  • Teacher gifts
  • Stocking stuffers
  • Gift exchanges
  • Extended relatives
  • Gifts for people who have sweetly, and unexpectedly given you a gift
  • Bum bum bum…THE HUBBY (eeeek!!!)
  • The person who has EVERYTHING
  • Random people who are awesome, like your mail lady or garbage man

I’ve consulted my Mom friends, and here are some AWESOME ideas I’ve compiled and plan to use this year to ensure ALL of my peeps get an incredible gift, and I don’t lose my mind (or what’s left) making sure it happens BEFORE Christmas Eve.

Christmas Shopping Tips:

Make a list!

Like I’ve done above, of all of the people (and pets) for whom you’d like to purchase a gift. Be thorough.

Starting now, if you see something, buy it!

Don’t wait; chances are, it will be gone by the time you’re ready to Christmas shop.

Don’t wait for Black Friday or “Amazing Deals.”

Actively look for coupons online for what you want to buy. If it goes on sale after you buy it, see if the store will price adjust it for you; if not, return it, then re-purchase it. Just be sure you have your receipt and the item is undamaged, unused, and in original packaging.

Make a Wish list online with your favorite retailer.

Be it Amazon, Target, Walmart, or Kendra Scott, most places have an online shop where you can keep track of all of the treasures you plan to buy for your loves.

Use Pinterest.

Create a wish board for yourself or for your people.

Keep notes in your phone or on a notepad.

So, when the time comes to shop, or when your family asks for lists, you’re ready!

Take pictures!

Create an album on your phone of things your kiddos, hubby or friends say they like or need throughout the year, or if you forgot, start paying attention now or even ask them what they would like. Snap a picture of the barcode as well for easier location later.

Buy everything online.

Most places can even gift-wrap it for you and ship it to the recipient. This is ideal for friends or relatives who live far away.

Start custom orders now.

I have found custom items are great for those people who seem to have everything.

Think of homemade gifts you are good at making.

Be it cookies, banana bread, or beer, and make some extra to have on hand for last minute gifts. Homemade spicy chex mix and a Growler of good beer make a fantastic gift.

I have learned that the key to giving gifts is being cognizant of the fact that you will be giving gifts, so that way you will pay extra close attention to what people say they want and need. I am hoping to avoid the last-minute Christmas crowds and panic this year…

What are your tips for getting shopping done early?






Erin Ellis
Erin owns Events by Erin, a custom event planning business and co-owns Ellis Designs LLC, a custom woodworking business with her husband, John Ellis. Together, their greatest design is their wonderful daughter, Elizabeth. Erin is an Austin native and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in English. She lives in Round Rock, enjoys running, going to the movies and the beach, and of course, writing for Austin Moms Blog!


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