Saturday, 29 September 2012

Christmas Shopping Done? When This Is NOT A Good Thing

Unless you have been on Neptune for an extended break, you would be aware that the countdown to Christmas has began. Actually my kids and many others start the countdown the day after Christmas. For many, though, they at least wait until it is about 6 fortnights away to start counting down.

Being a planner, I have already sussed out my kids wants and needs.
How do I do this?
It's amazing the conversations you can have with kids, and the notes you can make each time a toy catalogue is retrieved from your letterbox.
My kids like nothing better than to sit around the catalogue  with a coloured texta each, circling their wanted items as they "oooh" and "aaahh".
Depending on the catalogue, it can get quite a workout - especially the thick ones around the mid-year sales.
I like to hand on to these ones, for future reference.
They are handy to refer to later when I am ready to shop.
I can compare the prices on offer with the prices from mid-year, which are supposedly the best sales.

Do I shop at the mid-year sales?
Yes - sometimes. I'm not manic about it though. I don't line-up, or wait up until midnight waiting for the Internet sales to come on line. I think more along on the lines of, if I get to the store at a time that suits me, and there is something on the shelf from my list, at what I believe is a good price, then it is in my basket. If the items I want are sold out, it was not meant to be mine at this time.

I have learned from past years not to go crazy with the mid-year sales.
I was doing a stellar job one year, when Miss 8 was about 4.
We had been through the catalogues and marked some items. I had taken said catalogues into the stores and purchased or put on lay-by these said items. With the majority of my shopping complete I was feeling quite smug.
Until, that is, it got to about October/November and my daughter informed my that her favourite characters were no longer the favourites. Her favourite colour was no longer pink, but purple. And did I know that so and so got a thing-a-mabob for their birthday and Santa would definitely bring her one for Christmas, because that is all she wants now.
Hmmm .... suddenly every bargain I had sitting in my stack or waiting to be picked up, were less of a bargain, considering the list to Santa had changed.

So I now scatter my shopping from the mid-year sales onwards.

As much as I would like to get it out of the way quickly and painlessly, I have found it wise not to rush it. This way, I can keep my head in the game, keep the strategy fresh, and hopefully come out a winner at the finish line.

What is your strategy for Christmas shopping? Have you learned from past years what works for you?