It’s been a fun (but busy) beginning to December. We’ve had our tree up for a while so we’re just enjoying it now. For the last few years we’ve had it in a corner kind of outside of the living room, but this year I wanted to be able to see it all of the time so we put it right beside the TV. It’s great because if I’m home then I’m either at my desk doing homework and blogging, or watching TV. Also, the cats love it. Usually they spend most of their time in the bedroom, but lately they’ve bee under the tree or on the couch by the tree and just loving the lights.
I also decided, kind of on a whim, to dye my hair darker. The upkeep with blonde is just so time consuming, and I’ve had blonde hair for so long that I just wanted a change. I’m really happy with it!
For this day in Blogmas I wanted to share some tips for planning out gifts and gift buying in general, and there’s a free downloadable at the end to help you out a little!
See what everyone want way before Christmas. This can be hard, especially with kids who change their minds every hour, but if you can do it then it’s totally worth it. This way you can catch sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or just markdowns in store.
It is always great to support local businesses in your area. Usually you can find it cheaper somewhere else, but it doesn’t support the people in your community. I also HIGHLY recommend visiting different Christmas markets and craft markets because you can find some really unique items that no one else is going to get. The best place to look for markets in your area is in Facebook events.
For people in Nova Scotia (mainly the Halifax area) here is a list of local stores you can shop from this year that I highly recommend:
– Duly Noted (Stationery store with beautiful little trinkets and wrapping)
– Black Market Boutique (Jewelry, clothing, decor, henna, incense, and much more)
– Bookmark (a local bookstore!)
– Poppy & Olive (Clothing and accessories)
– Taz Records (Records, CDs, tapes, record players, and some t-shirts and fun stuff)
If you can’t find what you want locally, the next best option is shopping small. By this I mean shopping from people online who don’t have a brick and mortar store, or people who do have a store, but only one or two locations. Not a franchise like Walmart or Target (as much as I love them). Sometimes this has to be done a little further in advance. Some shops on Etsy can take a little longer to ship, especially around Christmas time.
Here are some of my favourite small shops:
– Sighh by Polly (Stationery, home decor, phone cases, and much more)
– WindowShopGal (Vintage inspired art based on movies and TV shows)
– Foxy Frog Scents (Candles with funny themes)
– Tall Pines Sign Co. (Beautiful signs for your home)
– Bad Mouth Soap (Handmade soap with pop culture themes)
Leave Significant Others for Last
It sounds mean when I say it like that, but what my husband and I do is wait until January to get each other gifts. That way we aren’t as stressed about money, we get all of the sales, and I have an excuse to keep my tree up a little longer. Last year we got each other gifts around mid January, but you could also do what my mother-in-law and her partner do, which is they buy a joint gift for themselves, like a big TV.
Keep Track of Who You’ve Bought For
For my last tip I’ve actually created a little free downloadable for you. It’s a good idea to keep track of who you’ve already bought for so you don’t just keep buying presents for the same person. It also helps with sticking to your budget.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY SHOPPING!