How to get your Christmas shopping done by December 1st

I love spending December decorating, wrapping gifts, making ornaments, and enjoying the Christmas spirit around me. When most of my shopping is done before December 1st, I feel like I can fully embrace the holiday spirit throughout the month of December. I want to give you some tips and tricks for getting most of your shopping done in November, which will allow you to really enjoy December!

Happy October! With November coming up, I wanted to share some ideas on getting ready for the Christmas season! November 1st means the Christmas season has officially begun! November, for me, is a hybrid between Christmas and Thanksgiving. I don’t like to exclude Thanksgiving, but my Christmas decorations begin to go up, and my Christmas spirit is in full force. I like to start my Christmas shopping early every year and hate to shop the last weeks before Christmas. Not only do I find myself spending less money when I begin early, but I also find gifts that are truly tailored to the people I am buying for. Even though I start Christmas shopping months and months before Christmas, I do the bulk of my shopping between November 1st and December 1st. I love spending December decorating, wrapping gifts, making ornaments, and enjoying the Christmas spirit around me. When most of my shopping is done before December 1st, I feel like I can fully embrace the holiday spirit throughout the month of December. I want to give you some tips and tricks for getting most of your shopping done in November, which will allow you to really enjoy December!

1. Create a list and budget for each person you will be buying for.
Getting organized is key to the success of getting shopping done early. Many times, gift-giving is not about the amount of money you spend but the intention behind the gift. You can make any budget work for you in a very intentional way. I once had someone give me a customized insulated mug that was not expensive, but it meant the world to me. This is why a budget and a list are key. Once you have decided on a dollar amount you really can afford for each person you are buying for, create a list of each person’s favorite things or things you think would mean a lot to them to receive as a gift. This will help to guide you when you are shopping while hopefully decreasing your stress on getting the perfect gift. A little time and effort in planning can help you save money and give more intentionally.

2. Plan to buy local/ from small businesses.
With the supply chains the way they are right now, it is even more crucial to shop small. I have a handful of small businesses I follow online and love to support. I look at their websites to see if they have anything that could fit in the budget and interests of the people I am buying gifts for. I also have a bunch of local businesses I love supporting so I plan to check them out online or in-person during the month of November to see if they have anything that fits within the budget and interests of the people I am buying for. Hopefully, planning to buy things online in November will allow for delayed shipping and supply chain issues to not greatly influence the gifts you are buying.

3. Look for gifts in unconventional places.
You do not need to buy gifts at traditional stores physically or online. I have found Christmas gifts at the grocery store plenty of times! Placed like Wegmans, ShopRite, Whole Foods, etc have plants and other items that could be given as gifts. If you have a car lover in your life, get them a gift card to a local auto shop. If you have a friend who is a coffee lover, grab them a mug from their favorite local coffee shop instead of at a chain shopping store.

4. Create a Black Friday plan.
I love shopping on Black Friday but only online. The idea of being in a crowded store has never interested me but the deals some stores have for black Friday definitely grab my attention. I use Krazy Coupon Lady (insert link) to plan my black Friday shopping. Many bigger stores like Target or Amazon start their deals way before black Friday. It’s important to plan early to make sure you are buying gifts at the peak of their deal times. I use places like Target and Amazon for black Friday shopping online to get items like electronics, grab bag gifts, blankets, mugs, etc. Anything that I cannot find at a local store, I look for deals and buy them when they go on sale. I have gotten some heavily discounted Ipads over the years this way.

5. Look into local holiday markets/ craft shows.
This is something I look into in November and plan to do in December. I use local holiday markets and craft shows as my last items shopping time. These markets and craft shows are great ways to support your local community while getting unique, international items for people. Since many happen at the beginning of December, this is a nice way to get out and do something Christmasy!

6. Grab some $5 – 10 items throughout the month.
While I am in Target, grocery stores, and other local stores, I buy $5 items like the $5 Christmas mugs at target. I also find Black Friday deals for $5 – $10 blankets, fuzzy socks, etc. I collect a handful of these items to use as extra gifts, grab bags, holiday party gifts, etc. I also keep whatever is left over for the next year. $5 Christmas mugs don’t go out of style and can be used any year for any event, like the work grab bag that you forgot about!

Some additional tips for next year….

Plan your budget early and set up automatic savings.
I have a neat high-yield saving account with Ally that allows you to set up automatic savings and create buckets for savings goals. I have a Christmas bucket that twice a month I have some money go into. I planned my budget early in the year and allowed the bucket to accumulate. Now, I have a nice chunk of my Christmas budget already set aside, so the financial burden of Christmas doesn’t hit all at once. These automatic savings could be $5-10 a month if need be! I recommend taking your budget amount and dividing it by the number of months you have until November 1st. If you buy gifts throughout the year, take the money out of this bucket and use it to pay your credit card or add it back to your checking account! Having money set aside helps to decrease the financial stress people often feel around the holidays.

Slowly buy gifts throughout the year and have a place in your house to store the presents.
This would be my biggest piece of advice! When you see something you know a person in your life would love but the next closest holiday is Christmas, just grab it for them then and there! You won’t forget about the idea, and you won’t be dropping tons of money at one time. I have an area in my house where I store all the Christmas presents I collect throughout the year, so I don’t forget where I put them. It feels so good in early November when you do an inventory of the presents you have collected, and you don’t have to begin your Christmas shopping from page one.

Happy Holidays and Enjoy Your Christmas Shopping!

2020 Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas is easily my favorite holiday. Every year, I spend hours and hours researching the perfect gifts for each person in my life. This year, I wanted to share some of my favorite ideas from years past and news ideas! These ideas for those in your life you may be struggling to find the perfect gift for.

* I do include links to products; some are affiliated with my account with the company because they are products I genuinely love. They are not sponsored links. *

For the Work Secret Santa

Since WFH is the primary way people are working right now, you may not be doing a regular work Secret Santa. My office is doing a socially distant zoom Secret Santa this year. We are dropping our gifts in the office the week before and having a date to pick them up by. Then, we have a zoom meeting scheduled where we will all open our presents.
Even in these WFH times, I would recommend a fun desk calendar! You can put them anywhere, your desk at work, desk at home, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.!
They have some neat desk calendars with fun facts or quotes. You can find just about any theme of calendar for anyone’s interests. I found these cool The Office and Friend themed ones on amazon!

For the Family Grab Bag Gift
Looking for something inexpensive yet useful for the family grab bag? Check out this Wallet Ninja. It is a credit-card size multitool that can be stored in your wallet or car for any tool emergencies!

For the Dog in Your Life
If you have a pet in your life, most likely you have heard of chewy! They have great deals going on for the holidays and carry my favorite brand of dog toys. Our dog tends to chew toys up and beat them up, so we always get him more durable toys. I love the brand CHUCKIT! and their flying squirrel is one of his favorite toys ever! He hasn’t destroyed it, and it has stood the test of time!

For the Coffee Lover
As a coffee lover myself, I always love getting a new brewing method for the holidays! Having a way to brew great coffee at home is such a delightful gift.
French Presses are an easy and quick way to brew coffee at home. I love the brand Bodum, but you can get a French Press at Target, Home Goods, etc.
Here is a link to a cool Bodum French Press:

Since Cold Brew is becoming more popular, I highly recommend this Cold Brew brewer. I have one, and I love it. It’s durable, easy to clean, and makes a few cups!

A great addition to a brewing method would be delicious beans! I love grabbing some local beans, or you could add a coffee subscription from Atlas Coffee Club. I love this subscription and highly recommend it! If you are getting ground beans, make sure to get them coarse for the French Press and Cold Brew!
Here is a link to Atlas Coffee Club:

For the Sustainable Friend
Grove collaborative is a cool website with tons of items for those in your life who are focused on using sustainable products.
I would recommend a tool or item that isn’t a cleaner or other product with a scent. Wool Dryer Balls, Soap Dispenser and Brush, or even a nice Glass Bottle. Here are some links to items I like on the Grove Collaborative website.

For the Social Justice Friend
Have that friend or family member who is passionate about socially just products?
Ten Thousand Villages is a great place to pick up some fair trade gifts at a reasonable price. They have a little bit of everything from jewelry to baskets to kitchen items. Check them out here:

If you have someone in your life that is passionate about social justice issues, there are a few books that could be informational yet appreciated! I recommend finding a book that applies to their profession or personal life!

Check Out:

How To Be An Anti-Racist:

Color of Law:

Superior: The Return of Race Science:

For the Family Member Who Loves To Cook
I absolutely love Pampered Chef products! They have some inexpensive yet unique kitchen products to level up anyone’s kitchen.
I personally recommend these flexible cutting mats, this coated utility knife, and this excellent brownie pan.

For the Friend Who is into Essential Oils and Crystals
Any of your friends interested in essential oils would definitely love a new oil for Christmas! I highly recommend figuring out their favorite brand and grabbing them an oil from their brand. If you don’t know their favorite brand, I recommend buying an essential oil from Young Living or DoTerra since they are known for having excellent quality oils.
Many times, companies have fun blends like Christmas Spirit that would make a great gift.
Check out Young Living Here:

Any friends who love crystals and gemstones will most likely care about where their crystals are coming from. There are plenty of places to get crystals and gemstones, but they aren’t always ethically sourced. I have heard fantastic things about and how their items are ethically sourced. Wearable crystals and gemstones are a good idea instead of giving just a rock!

For the Book Worm
There is a graphics novel series that just about any book worm would fancy, even if they are not generally into graphics novels. The series is called papers girls. The graphics are stunning, and the story is exhilarating. There are 6 books in the series, and they are quick reads.
Here is a link to the first book in the series:

For the Minimalist
Don’t we all have someone in our lives who just doesn’t want stuff? I have found experiences are the best gift option for people who don’t want actual things. is a great place to find inexpensive, local experiences. I have found neat wine tastings, cider tastings, and even museum experiences on Groupon.

For the Lover of Cozy Things
WEIGHTED BLANKET! Everyone raves about weighted blankets and all of their benefits. If you have someone who loves cozy things, get them a weighted blanket this year!
If they already have a weighted blanket, grab them an Icelandic wool blanket. Iceland is known for its cozy and warm wool blankets! You can find some good Icelandic wool blankets Here:

For the Traveler
The traveler in your life will be looking for help financially with traveling or adventure gear.
If you aren’t able to grab them a travel-themed gift card, I recommend adding to their adventure gear collection.
Passport covers, adventure clothing, and other fun travel accessories would be good gift options.
I highly recommend checking out the company Serengetee. They have really great clothing for traveling, and they have cool adventure accessories. I really love this passport cover they have!

For the Family Member Who Loves Christmas
Since I am that family member, I can definitely give some good advice on this gift! Christmas lovers appreciate a special version of their favorite Christmas item. My favorite is collecting unique and meaningful ornaments. I know people who love nutcrackers, snowmen, and more! Find what Christmas item they love and get them a meaningful version of it!

Happy Shopping!