It may come as no surprise that I am addicted to Christmas. And that is saying the very least of the extent of my addiction. I love everything about it. This year there is so many things that are far beyond expensive especially where I am in Canada that I have only just started to think about it in August (Though I know you are probably reading this in the early fall!). My goal for this is to spend the least amount of money possible without breaking the bank, which as we all know with kids can be easier said than done. finding yourself in the overspending hole of endless toys that if I am being honest, they barely use half the time anyways, is something that I am really trying to avoid doing this year.
One major thing I have been doing is shopping around. I typically check Amazon first for the convenience of it being one site and trying to add things to the kids wish list. I will say for example, the beginning of August I had bought an Elmo guitar doll. My thinking was for my youngest to use when he transitions into a big boy bed however my oldest always talks about Elmo now due to the sesame street, I bought it for nearly 35$. Not more than 2 weeks later it is now on the website for 55$. With more than a 20 dollar increase. The same could be said for the Blues Clues lullaby doll that I had got for our oldest last year. This was about the same price also, It was something that he brings to bed and still plays with as I write this. The highest price that I had seen if go up till though was 70$ which is nearly doubled the price. Shopping a bit earlier if you do have the funds to slowly purchase gifts may save you in the long run as apposed to the rush towards the holidays. If retailers can capitalize on those last minute shoppers, believe me, they certainly will.
Another thing I have been doing is kind of prepping what I would like to give everyone else. My parents we gift things to, my siblings I normally do some sort of a movie night where I put in sweets that I have baked or even some little treats and popcorn since I know they all have Netflix. I even start brain storming for my partner and his stocking too. Thinking ahead about what you want to gift others is huge. This can help you pay or even budget better so that you are able to see what the holidays will cost and predict when and where you can find deals if in fact you know things will have deals. Amazon again makes this easy because you can browse the lists once a week or so and see the price differences, obviously though if they increase they do not advertise that. Don’t be fooled either with a high cost and then it jumping down and looking like a great deal when the price was inflated to begin with too.
Another expensive thing I do now a days is during the Holidays I bake. I bake Bits and bites (Recipe here) Also Peanut Butter Fudge (Recipe here) as well as I have started making Millionaire Squares too, (Recipe here). What I have started doing even last year since we moved back home was I try to shop the sales. In terms of things I try to get things at the local grocery store where I can earn points, also through my credit card, to purchase the items needed for baking there. This is a huge help because I normally would be saving this money for a rainy day. It also helps because the side clothing brand to the grocery store also accepts these points. Every 10k is worth 10$ which believe me adds up. I have used these points when I was pregnant before too to buy clothes and tops that would fit my growing belly also too. finding a store that does this type of point system can be such a life saver towards the holidays when people are trying to hopefully not go into debt for it either. This year at the time of writing this blog, towards the end of August (I know sorry I write them early!) I have about 50$ in points that I will be putting towards the baking. This will be a great help too for the family party that I will be trying to also hold the first weekend in December so this saves a lot in terms of thinking about what I will make for that too.
And finally, another good thing is that if you are like me, having a list of ideas and gifts you have bought can be huge in trying to play things out. Let’s remember. This is Christmas. You are not competing with every person you know that also has kids and you also do not need to buy the best of every single thing out there. No holidays is worth going into debt for because you can spend months or even years trying to dig yourself back out. This is especially true with younger kids, I know for me people are trying to out do one another, and let’s be honest. Kids under the age of 3 and especially under the age of one will not remember a single thing that you got them. Start with building memories and creating traditions when they are super young so that as they go on they not only appreciate the gifts they see under the tree but they are more fascinated with the family time that they can spend together.
And let’s not forget about you too, I have 2 poetry collections out right now The Darkness and The Light which are great for the avoid reader in your life! The Darkness has some themed that may not be suited for a younger audience due to the subject matter and The Light is more of a collection about winning things, and overcoming some of those tough subjects from the first book.