Monday, October 7, 2013

Holiday shopping before Thanksgiving

We've already chatted about the fact that Chanukkah and Thanksgiving are at the same time this year, but what does this mean for our holiday shopping?  How can we go about filling our houses with new items when none of the sales are happening.  What do we do about the lack of foreplanning, and extended return policies that we love about the holidays.

Well, I have a few ideas.

The first is that we started our holiday shopping in July.  We went to Comic-Con international (yes, we go every year!) and picked up a bunch of items there.  It's a one-time-only event, and has a lot of unique things that you can't even find at a Macy's Black Friday sale.  In addition to that event we attended the local Fiesta Hermosa with an eye to shopping for friends and family presents.

Our family, both sides, does a name draw event.  This means that we get presents for the immediate family (mom/dad, sisters/brothers) and then get one name from the extended family.  So, that means the mountain of presents decreases somewhat.  Of course, I have 5 nieces and one nephew, so there are still lots of gifts to buy.

We limit ourselves on both quantity and amount.  We try to buy the same number of items for each child, and for a few years I've been doing handmade presents for everyone.

I did homemade bees wax candles one year:

Then the next year I made coasters for everyone with photos:
The coasters were quite a challenge because I was also pregnant!  Which meant I couldn't spray things, and couldn't do a lot that I wanted to.  Working Dad Husband did a lot for me, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted.  Everyone seemed to love them, but they never did really well with actually holding beverages.  Looking at them at my moms house just this past weekend they looked a little worse for the wear.

Then I did something I found on Pinterest:
 These were a HUGE hit.  I made one for just about everyone.  I did each person's name on the bottom, so the multiple Millers were each different.  I did them for a few friends too!  They were very easy, and I was pleased with the results.

After a few years of doing hand-made presents, I've decided that this year was another one to invest in the DIY, rather than trying to find good deals/presents to buy for everyone.  So, I'll be making celebration calendars. I've bought all the supplies on Amazon, so I'm psyched to begin! I'll post more specifically on what those look like/how I did them in a bit when they are finished.

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