November 23, 2012

Shopping for Christmas Gifts

It is the day after Thanksgiving.  What are you doing?  I expect to have a quiet day.

Many will take to the wonderfully good deals that Black Friday shopping offers.  Personally, I love a good deal, but I'm not typically* willing deal with the craziness of the shopping.

When shopping for Christmas gifts, I ideally look for items year-round that strike me as a nice gift for so-and-so, especially if it is on sale.  However, now that I have three children, my in store shopping time has drastically been reduced.  I probably only make it to a non-grocery store every two or three months, and more often than not, it is Walmart for necessities.  I used to be at least 80% done with my shopping by now.  Things have changed, but that is okay.
Buy Local
I do try to purchase from small businesses in my own (rather small) town or nearby towns.  Our children's bookstore offers 20% off on Tuesdays.  Seriously.  And the owner is willing to at least try to special-order books if it is not in stock, including titles for adults. Our hardware store has a great coupon program based on purchases.  We always seem to have a $5 off coupon available.  Of course not everything can be purchased from a small business, but a lot can.

The 3/50 project is a way to help remember to boost your local economy.  Choose three favorite local businesses.  Every month, spend a total of $50 between the three stores.  Simple.  And yes, supporting the pizza shop counts!  Learn more here.

Buy and Make Handmade
The internet makes it LOOK easy to make all sorts of things yourself...but it still takes a bit of skill and definitely time.  Sometimes it is just a better choice to buy an item from someone else, though there is great pleasure to be found in creating-when it goes smoothly.

Craft shows and such offer a great place to purchase handmade items, as does Etsy.   Two ads in the sidebar are for handmade/small business items.  (We also know these crafty ladies personally.)  Plum Paper has fabulous personalized paper products like planners and  iPad covers  I have purchased note cards from Plum Paper before to give as teacher gifts and have some for myself, too.  Finding Sunday is a different type of shop.  This shop offers different styles of hair accessories and jewelry.   (I place the ads in the sidebar to help spread the word.  For these ads, I do not earn a commission, in case you are wondering.  For American Personalized Products I do.)

Buy On-Line
When I purchase on-line, it is usually because I can't get the item easily at stores where I typically shop or can easily access, though sometimes it is just because it is easy.

Though I suppose in some ways it is the Big Box Store of the Internet, I do like shopping on Amazon.  The prices are usually good and even if I give it as a gift, it can be returned easily.  When I shop Amazon, I try to purchase through a blogging friend's Amazon Associate's account.  If you see an ad in a sidebar for Amazon on a blog (see...over in the sidebar...that is an Amazon ad), it is likely the person is an Amazon associate and will earn a small percentage in a commission from the sale.  How small?  For someone like me, I can usually buy a book or two a year with my commission.  It's just 4% of the sale, though the buyer pays the same price regardless if they click through the blog's link or not, which is why I like to help others.

Buy Used
Of course, giving a used gift isn't always ideal.  I like to give all of my nieces and nephews a lot of books for Christmas.  Buy purchasing them used, I can give each family at least 10-20 books.   And really, it is a book.  The text doesn't typically change with new editions.

Of course many of us also utilize chain department or discount stores.  They come in every variety, and really, can be rather helpful when buying for a variety of people.  Everything has its purpose.

And Remember...
Though this post is focused on gifts, remember that gifts are not what Christmas is all about.  I am eager to pull out our stack of Christmas books, homemade Jesse Tree, nativity, and more to remind myself and the little ones all about the birth of Jesus.

*A couple years ago, my mother-in-law went to a quiet department store on Black Friday knowing it would not be busy.  We knew it wouldn't be busy because it was the store where she worked part-time.  Why did I choose to risk it?  A king size electric blanket for $35!  Best. Purchase. Ever.  since I am always cold and my husband always warm.  And no, the store was NOT busy that morning.

What's your favorite way to shop?  I do like shopping from my couch...but shopping with a friend-or husband-is even better!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

3 comments:

  1. Because we live only a few hours from the States, our downtown & Best Buy stores have started Black Friday promotions here too in order to encourage people to shop here. I don't know if I'm wanting to be in the craziness. Though if I can find a great deal on a e-reader for my daughter, I might just try to go later.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you mention buying local. Every so often I do try to do that. Amazon is my buying friend (more variety, better prices) but we do have a couple of local shops that I like to shop at every once in awhile. Mostly, we support our local bakery and a few downtown restaurants. :P That counts, right? (They are locally owned and operated.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like shopping from my couch too. I have enjoyed Black Friday shopping in past years, but it has always been with others. I wouldn't brave the stores by myself on Black Friday; it isn't fun to shop with a large crowd.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!