How soon do you start planning on Christmas and how do you save?

United States
June 15, 2009 5:50pm CST
Although I start planning in January for Christmas that year I am always behind when the day comes. This year I am trying harder then ever to get ahead and stay there. I got my kids some cute toothbrushes and they found them. I need to hide things better. I am trying to do as much as I can for free or cash in points form sites to get it done. I also look through the clearance racks to see if there is something with a damaged box for a great deal. When do you start planning? How do you get the deals? Where do you store it so its not found?
3 people like this
22 responses
@jayrene (2712)
• Philippines
15 Jun 09
i dont really plan... all i do is if ever i see a good big sale on stuff that i think someone could use then i buy it and keep it for my christmas gifts... i have to do that because every year my other side of the family has reunion and there are so many kids to give gifts to, plus all the uncles and aunts, and the cousins, and their husbands and wives... so whenever i see those sales i tend to buy them doesnt matter what day it was... i keep them in a plastic bag and hang them under the stairs that i turned into a small storeroom.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jun 09
We have a huge family also, so I will look for sales at the lotion stores and such for the women and the hardware stores for the men, even if it is just a little gift I can give to each person and then a family tin of goodies to munch on later.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 09
I am a planner. I cant take the stress of the holidays. I feel like when you walk into a store in the month of December everyone has lost their patience and is just rude. I try to buy things all year long and be ready for the holidays by the time they come but I never am 100% done. This year I hope that will be different.
1 person likes this
@carolscash (9500)
• United States
15 Jun 09
I always start early with my shopping and stuff too. I have to try to find all of the bargins that I can this year as my husband has not worked much this year and I am struggling with money. I think that it will be a nice Christmas even though I will be taking some budget cuts. Good luck with hiding things as I know how kids get into stuff.
• United States
15 Jun 09
It has bee rough here too, I have decided to make many of the people on my list rice crispy treats with different flavors in them as gifts. More time consuming but also more affordable. And I know they will love not having to dust them or find a place to put them in their home. :)
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 09
I do always but a lot of wrapping paper when it goes on sale after the holidays. I wait until it is 75% off or more, I prefer it be 90%. I also try to look for holiday wrapping paper that I can use for all occasions. Last year I bought 24 rolls. My hubby though I was crazy but I found a deal that was unbeatable and went for it. I have since used 3 rolls for birthdays and other random gifts. I will be using more for fathers day and my Mother In Laws birthday is this month. I figure from the use I have got already it has payed for its self.
1 person likes this
@rainbow (6763)
16 Jun 09
As soon as I get back from my summer holiday I start putting a little away towards Christmas every week even if it is only a couple of pounds it all helps. Then I try to do as much shopping online or really organise myself for a day in town to get as much as possible done in one go. I find this easier than hoarding stuff for months and either duplicating or loosing stuff only to find it hidden months later. Of course as soon as Christmas is out of the way I start saving for my holiday, lol. Birhtdays I try to work out about a month or so before so I can get what I would like in plenty of time or save a little if I need to.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 09
I try to put a little cash away each month but it is never enough to cover what we actualy spend and we cant afford to do all our shopping in the season. There are often deals but never as good as if I shop around all year long. I rarely lose things but it has happened.
1 person likes this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
16 Jun 09
I really don't start "planning" until mid/late summer, but I start picking up good deals as soon as I see them. Not just for the holidays though. For example, just after Christmas I came across this great sprinkler for kids to play in. I picked it up for my son's birthday (in May). It cost me $5, marked down from $30. I pick up stuff like that all year, really. For birthdays and the holidays. The holidays more so. I do try to keep track of what I have and how much it cost though, because when you're getting a good deal it's easy to keep going and go overboard.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 09
In my next house I would love to have a closet that I could keep presents in for all year long. When my kids friends birthdays come along I can just shop from the closet. Then when I see a good sale I can but a few of them and just keep a list of who got what.
1 person likes this
@bhabytart (1116)
• Philippines
16 Jun 09
hello there happythoughts..... ow you plan as early as january.me i plan usually in september. now by that month when my salary comes i go to the mall and find a sale or a thing that has a low price but a nice one. i usually wrap it immediately.i just put markings or names on the gifts so i will know who has a gift and who has none. have a nice day....
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 09
I dont wrap early because I thought it would get all messy looking by the time I get it to the person. I guess if I were carefull that would save me a lot of time and effort. Thanks for the great idea.
1 person likes this
16 Jun 09
When it comes to saving money for Christmas well that never really stops and part of the money I make online is permanently allocated for Christmas and Birthdays. When it comes to actually shopping I do this in two stages. Anything I plan to order online I try and do at the latest by the 3rd week in November and then shopping in town gets done by a couple of weeks before the big day. Although I do still go into town in those couple of weeks leading up to Christmas so that I can enjoy the festive atmosphere I am thankful that I have everything else done. As for stuff like wrapping paper and cards, well that gets done in the January sales and then stored away. I generally don't buy Christmas presents that far in advance as I either forget I got them or end up giving them as a present for another occassion.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 09
I buy a lot online as the sales start. Its nice to not have to fight the crowds. I do often buy things to store for christmas and end up giving them as birthday presents but that is still saving me a little money. I want to spend December looking at sights and staying out of the stores.
1 person likes this
@meandmy3 (2228)
• United States
16 Jun 09
I start early as well and have started making my list of what the kids will be getting this year, bikes all around, new furniture for KR's Room and for the boys room, etc, etc etc, we have a Christmas Savings, where x amount of my husbands check goes into it every pay check. I have that plus some extra if needed when the time comes.
@gemini_rose (16192)
16 Jun 09
I start my shopping usually around September for christmas and then as soon as I have finished I start saving for the next christmas. We have three children and lots of other family to consider so I need as much money as I can. I have two jars in my safe that I put money in every week, one for all my change and the other for bigger value coins. One is now nearly full to the top and the other is over halfway I have not counted it yet though so it will be interesting to see how much is in them. Once they are full I will put them in the bank and gain a bit of interest off it until I start my shopping!
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 09
I tried to have a jar but it never gets full. When I am spending cash I usualy try to make the change too. My jar is full of pennies and a little small change. I use that to pay the kids allowance. I pay them as their jobs are done so it is usualy just change unless they feel really motivated. I shop early so that it does not sneak up on me. I need to get better at it.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jun 09
Hey there are lots of places to stash those presents. Do you have an attic? An upstairs? Under the bed? In the closet..at the very back and preferably on the sides with something else in front of them. Or on top of the back of the closet shelf. Use a neighbors closet if necessary; or a relative or friend. I usually start in January looking for gifts that i can pick up at a great price. I have gotten a couple of good ones this year, but got them off of ebay. Didn't get to start in January though, since i moved.
• United States
17 Jun 09
Our tiny house is jam packed every where. So far I have been storing things under the bed but it will soon be full and the big boxes have to go somewhere else. My kids are still young and dont look to hard but the day will come Im sure. I was thinking about storing them at my parents house. Then I dont need to worry about the kids finding it.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jun 09
If I have the money I will buy clearanced paper and boxes and decorations (I have family that loves to get decorations as presents). Then in the summer I start thinking about who I will buy gifts for and who I will make cookies or another treat for. When school starts up in the fall I start buying gifts and the ingredients I will need that will not go bad. By Thanks giving I have a very good list of what is left to do, and the week or two before Christmas I will do all my baking and go through mu closet of goodies for last minute items that I still need. I have a closet in my kitchen that I store the things I buy through out the year, platters, small gifts, things like that. Then during the year I can buy gifts as they are on sale and I will have them for birthdays and Christmas extras. I do not have to worry about my husband looking in that closet because I intentionally keep it looking very messy (There is some organization behind what you imediatly see) every few months I make a big deal about needing to clean out that closet and he leaves me alone about it in fear of having to help clean it. Sneaky Sneaky, plus I keep his gifts hidden in the spare bedroom closet (he does not want to have to help clean it out either)
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 09
Giving decorations as presents is a good idea. They are the things that are usualy the best deals at the end of the year. That gives me a good idea for next year. Thanks.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
29 Jun 09
I start right after Christmas too. I have a big bucket in the basement where I put the gifts I find throughout the year. This way they are hid and out of the way from the kids. I always look at clearance racks too. It is amazing what you can find. I also go threw magazines. I jsut found some great velour blankets from Pennys for only $20 any size. I think check online for coupon codes to use for free shipping or an additoinal % off. I am going to get each of my kids one of these blankets for their beds, but give them to them for Christmas. (Mykids are older now). Whenever I get paid for a site I work for, I keep that money in my paypal account. this way I have them money to purchse these things online and it isn't like I am using any out of pocket money.
• United States
30 Jun 09
My kids still believe in the magic of it all. They dont really go and look for the presents so it should not be so hard to hide them. Our house is tiny and so I try not to take good storage space. I need to think harder about where I hide things.
• Philippines
29 Jun 09
My family usually starts preparing after the Haloween. However, if i stumble upon things on sale or discount which i think might be appropriate for someone I do buy it as a gift on Christmas. For ideas on Christmas this would be helpful http://www.gifti.us
• United States
30 Jun 09
I couldnt wait until after halloween. I start decorating then but for the most part the gifts have be purchaced and wrapped. As soon as the tree goes up the I start stuffing the non santa presents under. I guess we all do things different in life. I think waiting is stressful but it might just be easier to get it all done at once.
• United States
16 Jun 09
I start planning at the end of summer. Mostly online you can get a lot of deals when things go on clearance and then if you can find a coupon for free shipping. I think the best one of the best hiding spots is in the floor of the mini-van. It's right below the kids and they never suspect a thing.
• United States
17 Jun 09
Lol, That makes me laugh. The kids sitting on top of their presents and never even knowing it. Its smart because when they are in the van you know it. Its not like hiding it in a house where you cant keep and eye on them all the time. I would never think to look there.
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
16 Jun 09
i pretty much start the day after christmas. here in canada, we get boxing day off and that is when all the sales are! last year i got some wrapping paper and a birthday present for my 12 year old and also some socks with snowmen on them for this year for her stocking! i have some stuff already but not as much as i would like. i need to get busy!
• United States
17 Jun 09
I get motivated after Christmas and then soon after it slows down. Then the holidays sneak up on me and I am not as ready as I thought I should be and it causes me stress. I should write it on my monthly to do list for each month just to keep up on it.
@amanda08 (647)
• United States
16 Jun 09
We usually actually start buying in November... that way we have less time to wory about keepin them hid. I always wish I would have started earlier though....But we do try to shop around and order things online that are on sale. My son is growing at such a fast rate and his tastes change so much from one moment to the next I am afraid to get things too far in advance.....but then again, there is another part of me that knows that he truly would like anything that he gets as long as he has something to open.....!!!! Happy MyLotting!!!
• United States
17 Jun 09
I do a lot of my shopping in November but it is stressful to me to get it all done and stay within budget. I want to start early every year but I never get as ahead as I want to. This year I am trying to be ahead. I got the kids new toothbrushes and hid them in the car and they found them. There is something to be said for only hiding things for a month.
@jules67 (2790)
• Philippines
16 Jun 09
As soon as the month starts ending in "ber", the is the only time I start buying things for the Holiday Season. I find January too early and besides January is the time to start paying for the incurred expenses from the preceeding holiday. I always go for the bargain materials due to the fact that I am contraint financially. I guess it is the thought that counts.
• United States
17 Jun 09
I try not to get into debt for the holidays so that is why I start early. I dont want to spend money I dont have so if I wait until the holodays it just wont be as nice for us.
@lilybug (21145)
• United States
16 Jun 09
I don't really have a set plan for Christmas. Really my kids don't get all that much for Christmas because they get new things that they want all year long. I will sometimes see something for a really good price earlier in the year and buy it and put it aside for Christmas. I don't really have to hide things though because my kids know that they are not allowed to go through my things.
• United States
17 Jun 09
My kids dont look for stuff yet but they seem to bump in to it now and again. I guess that means I am not hiding it very well.
• United States
16 Jun 09
I would say about July or August, and try not to do too much if you know that you will not be able to.
• United States
17 Jun 09
I only do what I can afford, but I feel like the earlier I plan the better I can do for less. Its all a matter of baby steps.
@MartyM (95)
• United States
16 Jun 09
I try to plan around Summer time. I do alot of Arts and Crafts, so,..I usually need to start working on them early so the gifts will be done at Christmas. I'm a single mom, too. My son is 16 now. GOSH.....I'm running out of ideas on what to get him!!LOL
• United States
17 Jun 09
I should get better at doing crafts. I love to do the crafts but it is so easy to put it all off. 16...That is a hard age, most of the things they want are very expensive at that age.
• United States
16 Jun 09
I usually start thinking about it in October or November. I usually get a gift for each family instead of buying indiviual gifts for everyone. I usually get a decoration or orniament or a gift card to a resturant that the whole family likes. Now I will get indiviual gifts for my Dad, Mom and Sis.
• United States
17 Jun 09
I buy for my kids mostly early. The rest of the family we tend to do later on because we never know what they will need or get early enough to be prepared. I should do more gift cards, but you cant get them for a great price and I love a good sale.