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Last Minute Xmas Shopping…

by J. Money on Tuesday, December 14, 2010

santa arrested
We’re 11 days away from Xmas now, and I have yet to pick up a single thing for anyone. That’s pretty bad. But something tells me I’m not alone here ;)  When you all find yourself in this pickle, what do you do? Does it end up costing you more in the long run, or do you get even MORE clever as the days fall behind you?

Personally, I think I get more clever.  And also more decisive.  Last year I remember buying 1/2 of all Christmas presents 2 days before the big event.  Know where I shopped?  Kohl’s ;)  It’s amazing the amount of things you can find for everyone there! Haha…  We also threw in TJ Maxx, Target,  and Best Buy.  Best Buy is the only one that probably definitely cost me more waiting to the last minute.  Oh, and also Starbucks for gift cards and Safeway for lottery tickets… no Xmas is right w/out ‘em!

But I watch my wife scour Overstock these days, and every time I get stressed a little bit more ‘cuz she’s on top of it and I’m slacking.  And then she tells me things like “Free Shipping during Xmas!” and I wonder if a) that’s true?  (it is) and b) Why the hell am I not DOING IT then?!!  That should be an automatic butt-kicker.  That and Free Shipping Day which, I believe, comes out December 17th.  On the other hand, if you wait until the last minute there’s no way possible for these gifts to arrive on time anyways, so what does it matter? :)

Oh, but back to the clever part. It reminds me of writing term papers the night before they’re due @ college.  It’s like all of a sudden you’re in overdrive and you turn into this highly passionate and MOTIVATED rock star, and nothing’s stopping you from your one and only mission. It’s awesome.  And there’s a part of me that likes it.  It’s during these times that you have more of an open mind and really ask yourself HOW you’re going to get it done.  You make decisions faster, and you tend to get much more crafty and resourceful, prompting you to make more things.  Small things :)  Like cards, mix cds, anything you can pretty much do from your home (and late at night) when you forgot to pick up all 18 items on your list 2 hours ago. I’m pretty sure that 75% of all things I ever made for Xmas were concocted in the last 48 hours, and with lots of speedy love. That’s gotta count for something.

So here we are.  11 days out and plenty of time to get it together. I’d like to say it’ll be different this year, but I’m not even gonna try and kid myself.  The fact of the matter is that I’m up to my eyeballs in “hustle” work, and I honestly have no desire at all to start the whole process (maybe it’s a guy thing?)  Organized or not, Xmas always comes in the end :)

How are you all doing this year?

———
PS: Oddly enough, just came across this poll by Visa – “What kind of holiday shopper are you?” It seems there’s a word for people like me: “Cruisin’ Caroler”  – what are you?

(Santa arrested by kevindooley)


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew December 14, 2010 at 8:01 am

I didn’t realize it was only 11 days. Uh-oh. Guess what i’m doing tonight…

I’ve been making lists of the things I am going to get for everyone, but haven’t given any thought to actually buying anything yet. I’m going to hate my credit card by tomorrow, but oh well.

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2 Mercedes December 14, 2010 at 8:17 am

Christmas shopping is pretty much all done for me! (YAY for Overstock!) I’d like to get one more thing for my brother, but I have NO idea what to get him. So he’s going to have to be happy with the one gift this year! (Any ideas on what to buy a 25 year guy old that buys himself everything he wants?)

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3 Annelise December 14, 2010 at 9:13 am

As someone who lives away from home and ships almost all presents home, I rely on Amazon. If you’re a student, you can get Amazon Prime (free 2-day shipping, cheap overnight: http://www.amazon.com/gp/student/signup/info) for free and if not, you can always sign up for Amazon Mom (don’t have to be a mom! http://www.amazon.com/gp/mom/signup/info) for the same deal.

I think I just have to buy stuff for the people I don’t want to buy present for…random aunt, etc. I have once done the very last minute magazine subscription gift. Thankfully, you can also get any gift card at Walgreens or CVS these days.

Good luck!

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4 Trinnie S December 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

CRAP! 11 DAYS?!?!?! Ugh…. My 3 yr old son is taken care of…but NOBODY else is! Amazon, Overstock, here I come!

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5 Megan December 14, 2010 at 9:47 am

@Mercedes: Brothers are tough! Both of mine are in their 20s and now that we’re starting to have some disposable income, there are fewer and fewer things we’re asking others to get. I really enjoy etsy.com, which is mostly crafts done by some really incredible folks. You can find something for pretty much everyone there. For example, if he has a sports team he is a big fan of, type in the team in the search bar and see the cool, (often wacky) things people make–a lot of home goods, like cool glassware or picture frames. This way, you’re getting them something you know they’ll like (cause its related to something you KNOW they like!) but something they maybe never knew existed. This also works for a bunch of TV shows, movies, video games–anything with a cult following!

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6 Kathleen December 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

I started in early November this year when I found a really cute purse for my niece on the super clearance rack AND I had a coupon. :) And from there, I just made my list of people to buy for and got started looking for deals. I hate waiting until the last minute – it’s way too stressful, and I despise malls full of crazy last-minute shoppers. I’ve found some awesome deals this year! Still have those last few difficult people to shop for, but I refuse to stress out. If all else fails, they get a Christmas mug w/ some fancy hot chocolate. :)

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7 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com December 14, 2010 at 10:22 am

I have to fly home for Christmas, and I prefer to purchase presents in my hometown instead of traveling with them. I get in on the 24th. It works for me.

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8 Jeannine December 14, 2010 at 10:22 am

Actually I hate to brag….because “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” but I have 3 groups of people I get gifts for…family, work, close friends. For the past 4 years I have knit the (7) gifts for my close friends, work is 3+1 pollyanna gift, and as a family we try not to pressure each other for gifts. I have 1 cousin in college as a student, and the youngest member she is entitled to gifts (at this age usually money or gift cards…easy) anyone else mom, dad, aunt etc. we exchange gifts, but their is no expectation. I knit my sister her gift this year …some legwarmers she has been asking me for for over a year, and my brother is not working right now, and we share a cell phone plan, for his gift I am paying the whole bill this month. I think about Christmas year- round, and sometimes end up getting gifts in the summer and saving them :o) If the need to obtain gifts takes the joy out of the holiday, there is a real problem..

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9 Tom Meitner December 14, 2010 at 11:38 am

A great strategy my wife and I use is, since we have the money set aside, we just hop on Amazon every time we think of something and just buy it. More often than not we get free shipping, or the price is so low that with shipping, it’s still cheaper. Amazon has still been really reliable and fast at fulfilling orders, and most of our Christmas shopping is done without ever leaving the house!

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10 Edward - If You Can Read, You Can Cook December 14, 2010 at 11:50 am

My shopping is done, but I had it easy, the wife and my present to each other is our trip to NJ in January. I bought two presents this year, one for a gift exchange with the roommates, and I bought my wife a little something anyway with a $10 coupon from Kohl’s.

I’ve been boycotting Amazon ever since I discovered they pulled their Affiliate program out of Colorado. If they don’t want to give me money, I don’t see why I should give them money.

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11 Kitchen Penguin December 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Aloha J$!

I’m a “Gift Giving Guru” and I’m done shopping, have been for a couple of weeks, but I start shopping on Dec. 26…and I found two big plastic tubs of gifts that I collected during my travels but didn’t give away so those are going out this year. The only thing left is baking until I run out of ingredients or the final gift exchange happens…but I need to get the baked goods in the mail this week so maybe I’m not technically “done.”

Did you decorate for Christmas?

Warm wishes,
KP

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12 Jenna December 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I’m doing home made gifts for most of my friends. Then for my family we do smaller gifts and donate money to charity.

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13 Janet December 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Umm, I just started my shopping last night, and it’s not last-minute until December 24. So I’m ahead of schedule. :)

I’m excited about my parents’ gift. It’s a huge deviation from the norm. I got them tix to go see Jerry Seinfeld, who made me cry I was laughing so hard when I saw his stand-up routine.

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14 LB December 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I’m a Gift Giving Guru and finished my shopping and wrapping. There are a couple of other things I am picking up, but not because I have to. All I have left to do is make some holiday cookies and ship them. :)

I usually search for deals all year and buy stuff we want and need that way. On the stuff we can wait for, I put in a gift drawer for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Everything that doesn’t get given away through out the year, gets wrapped up for Christmas. Of course there are always a few special items for Christmas that are purchased later, but I look for deals starting in October.

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15 J. Money December 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Forgot to mention – if you’re looking for more ideas, check out my 10 Frugally Sexy Gift Ideas :)

@Andrew – Hey, a list is a nice start!
@Mercedes – Damn girl, you are GOOD. 25 y/o male…hmm…. women, beer, video games. That help? ;)
@Annelise – Hah! CVS gift card, that WOULD actually be pretty good. Esp for all those CVS coupon lovers!
@Trinnie S – You can give them the gift of USAA ;)
@Megan – Love etsy!
@Kathleen – If it’s a funny mug, I say go for it. Funny mugs are where it’s at.
@Kevin @ Thousandaire.com – Haha, I feel your style homeboy. 24 hours is plenty of time ;)
@Jeannine – You forgot someone! *cough* Me. Better start knitting! :)
@Tom Meitner – That’s not a bad idea… great for those with A.D.D. too – quick in and out! (that’s what she said!)
@Edward – If You Can Read, You Can Cook – What! They did? dang…. I’d be pretty pissed too. Although, probably not their fault – I bet there’s some weird law in place that makes things difficult. Or maybe they just don’t like you guys ;)
@Kitchen Penguin – Aloha! And you start on my birthday ;) I’m usually out and about then too, only I shop for myself then, haha… And you better believe our place is decorated for the holidays! Xmas tree up, lights, snowmen things, candles, stockings, and everything else tacky that you can imagine. LOVE xmas. Nice seeing you here :)
@Jenna – I like that donate to charity idea – we always say we’re going to do that but then we forget and/or wait ’till last minute to all decide on it. Guess it runs in the family.
@Janet – GOOD ONE!! I like that because it’s an “experience” over stuff. And you just reminded me that I lied when I said I didn’t get anything!!! I forgot I pitched in for my dad’s present – Race car around the track!! Experiences, baby – people like those.
@LB – Now you’ll have plenty of time to find me something good ;) Hint: I take money. And beer.

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16 Bobby December 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I finished my Christmas shopping about a week and a half ago, the earliest I’ve ever had it done before, but it sure feels nice.

My family all makes up a Christmas list (along with birthday lists as well) so it makes it much, much easier to get people. A couple of hours at the mall and I had picked up everything but 3 gifts and I already knew what I wanted to get those 3.

Hell, even the gifts are wrapped. I usually don’t do that until Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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17 Edward - If You Can Read, You Can Cook December 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm

J. In February, Colorado passed a sales tax law that requires online retailers to send sales info for purchases sent to Colorado so the state can make sure you are paying the sales tax due. It’s a stupid law that they can’t possibly expect to be able to enforce except against a handful of larger retailers. But in protest, Amazon pulled their Affiliate program out of Colorado, despite the fact that it has nothing to due with sales tax. That’s the part that upsets me the most, the disconnect between the new law and the company’s retaliation. It’s like getting fired from your job because your company doesn’t like your state’s stance on gay marriage.

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18 J. Money December 14, 2010 at 9:42 pm

@Bobby – Oooh I like that list idea… kinda goes around the “thought that counts” – but at least you know you’re getting something people want and are excited for :) Nixes the minimalism problem I seem to have where I’m VERY thankful for the stuff I get, but then not sure how to deal with it if it doesn’t fit in my new program. Big pimpin’ on knocking it all out though!

@Edward – Ahhhh, yeah – that’s not good. I imagine they’re losing a nice chunk of change from all those hustlers out Colorado too! I guess they ran the numbers and decided it was worth it?

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19 Pete L December 15, 2010 at 8:12 am

Only 10 days left now! No pressure, anybody.

What I usually do is walk around looking at everything in the mall, then start wondering if I can get it cheaper or in a different color or better online, go home, look it up online and order. Then feel guilty because I “used” the mall without paying, but then remember that I bought a sub and a giant cookie from the food court so at least I spent something, but still…

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20 J. Money December 15, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Haha…. you are too much dude. I used to do that too until I got lazy and then waited until the last minute. Next time I see those giant cookies i’m gonna think of you :)

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21 Mike December 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm

My wife and I are pretty much done with holiday shopping, but we are going to keep looking for deals on stuff we would normally need during the year, like clothing. We figure if we can find a great deal on the things we know are going to need replaced this coming year we will go ahead and buy now.

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