The Perfect Time to Start Christmas Shopping

August 26, 2013

Yes, you read that right. I’m talking about Christmas shopping already. Please don’t have me. I wrote a post last year about how I owned my Christmas Shopping, and was done around this time. While I’m not completely done this year yet,  I’m confident that I will have my list completed by mid September.

Part of the reason why I am as efficient as I am is because I like to plan in advance. I make a list at the beginning of  year, and try to budget accordingly. Here are some gift ideas if you’re eager to get started but don’t have any ideas on what to get:

Experiences: This could be anything from a pottery class to a week long vacation. The key here is finding something that your intended gift receiver would love or as expressed an interest in, and build an experience around it. We get a ton of stuff for the holidays, and more often than not, forget the we even have them, but experiences stay with us for a life time. I remember getting a photography class for a birthday and I was over the moon.

Things with a Direct Impact: What I mean by this isn’t that you go and get a household appliance, but more so something that has a place in their live and makes it easier. Ie, they have a broken computer or their hard drive  is always over following etc. Getting something that is personal, and just for them;  the key being that it makes their life easier.

Wine: You don’t have to spend $100 on a bottle of wine. Especially if they are a social drinker. There are tons of wines that won’t break the bank. The good thing about wine is that it won’t spoil and they can share it if they want to. Word to the wise: ask if you need help picking out a few good ones, and try to stay away for the $10 ones.

Don’t be scared if you haven’t started shopping yet as you have tons of time. But it’s time to start paying attention and making a list. Oh, and don’t forget to budget!


Have you started shopping yet? 


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  • Mo' Money Mo' Houses August 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I’m totally one of those people who starts Christmas shopping around now because lots of things are going on sale. Love it!

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 12:03 am

      I knew I liked you for a reason 😉

  • Erin @ My Alternate Life August 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    You, my friend, are a serious overachiever! That’s awesome that you do your shopping so early.

    I totally agree with your list. I think the best gifts are consumable — either experiences or food/drink. I also like “boring gifts” of household items or even cleaning supplies. Adulthood is weird…

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 12:03 am

      Adulthood is very weird.

  • Michelle August 27, 2013 at 12:40 am

    I definitely have not started shopping yet. I do LOVE Christmas time though! 🙂

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 12:57 am

      I get the feeling that you really like shopping 😉

  • Simon @ Modest Money August 27, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I also haven’t started on my Christmas shopping yet! Totally love the gift ideas though, I think this year I should focus on giving experiences…the memories tend to last for a very, very long time 🙂

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 5:43 pm


  • Mark Ross August 27, 2013 at 9:19 am

    It’s really great to buy early, even though Christmas season is not around the corner yet, because prices are still fairly low.

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      I find the best deals around this time of year.

  • Michelle's Finance Journal August 27, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I usually start browsing in October for Christmas gifts. It does save time, stress, and money since you’re planning and budgeting for it. But I always have one gift that I end up buying at the last minute. I need to be more organized like you.

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      Me too! But I’m ok with picking up that last min gift.

  • L August 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

    It’s nice to hear about another early bird! My family starts moaning around this time of year because I ask for their Christmas lists and head out. I like to be done by mid-October. It’s cheaper, and less crowded than going in November or December.

    I’m not so awesomely organized as you with getting the lists at the beginning of the year though! 😀

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      The list changes, but I use it as my template every year.

  • Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans August 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    This is great! Usually I get my Christmas shopping done on Black Friday which is such an energy suck! Sure, there are pretty good deals, but the crowd just isn’t worth it most times. Maybe I should start sooner…

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      You should! It feels so good to not have to worry about it later.

  • Money Beagle August 27, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I don’t start shopping yet simply because most of the people I buy for would usually provide a list and that doesn’t happen yet, so anything I bought would likely face a high risk of being returned. But, I have started saving. We set aside money every month for Christmas shopping.

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      Good for you! Saving is the next best thing.

  • The Frugal Exerciser August 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    We pull names out of a hat with my immediate family so I buy one present and my hubby and I don’t exchange gifts. This year I will buy some stocks for my niece and nephew but that about it. I never Christmas shop.

    • Marissa August 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      That makes life a lot easier, doesn’t it?

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor August 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I love experience gifts. I also love making and receiving basket gifts (like sets of things that “go together”-art supplies or crafting supplies, or hot chocolate supplies etc.).

    • Marissa August 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      ME TOO!

  • Tahnya Kristina August 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I love that you posted this Marissa. I always start my Christmas shopping this time of the year because it helps me budget and everything is on sale right now. My family thinks I’m crazy, but I just think I’m organized. I leave my stocking stuffers until December because I do like to get into the Christmas spirit with a Starbucks Latte in hand.

    • Marissa August 31, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      The Spice pumpkin latte is perfect for christmas shopping.

  • Liana September 2, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Great post! This year I would like to buy some stocks for my niece and nephew but that about it..)

    • Marissa September 2, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      I buy everything this time of the year.