With six children and as many grandchildren, I have to get a jump start on Christmas. Waiting until the last minute, even October, can result in overwhelming credit card debt which I'll pay for at least a year longer than I should. This year, I've started planning for Christmas while the weather is still warm. I have to make a few gift choice sacrifices but my Christmas in July plan allows me to buy something nice for everyone without placing myself in financial jeopardy.
The first thing I'm doing is shopping at local businesses to take advantage of their Christmas in July deals. Luckily for me, Christmas Town is only a few miles from my house and they've got a big sale planned. Some of my Christmas gifts this year will be special ornaments and holiday decorations. (Marked down at big discounts!) I'll also be looking for some new LED lights for my front porch. I'm hoping to save ½ on some new decorations.
I'm buying classic toys instead of seasonal ones. I love it when Hasbro and Mattel release expensive new toys just a week before Christmas. Remember Talking Elmo years ago? What a disaster that was trying to locate one of those red, furry monsters. I'm not even going to bother this year. I've picked out a Red Flyer wagon, some tricycles and board games.
For my Christmas in July plans, I've included participating in a holiday crafting circle. Each weekend in July, the local community center hosts this fun shindig. Each week, I pay $10 for the supplies they provide. I learn how to make cool, handmade Christmas gifts. Sounds like a fun trade-off which could save me money on my lengthy holiday list. (I'm the kind of gal who likes to give everyone, including the mail carrier a gift!)
I'm marking off July as the month I'll peruse the local thrift stores for second hand toys. If I can wash or clean the toys and nothing is missing, I'm picking it up! In the past I've found soft, washable dolls and plastic yard toys for nearly nothing.
My July will be busy but taking advantage of local events and sale savings is going to help me time-wise and financially, in the long run. By shopping ahead, I'll have more time to enjoy my family and less time stressing about finding the perfect gift. It will require discipline but I'm determined to get the best deals I can for my dollars!
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