Debt Free Christmas: Gift giving

Spreading reindeer food.

I like to start with gifts. I start shopping early and aim to be done no later than Black Friday. This allows me to get/make gifts that are specific for the receiver. It also makes the entire Christmas season so much more enjoyable. Instead of fighting the crush of people at the malls on the weekends, We get to stay home and make gingerbread houses, and spread reindeer food on the lawn.

Instead of spending lots of money so they have piles of presents to open, we keep gift giving simple. Every Christmas our children receive three gifts:
Goldthe thing they have wanted most all year long
Frankincense– something the whole family can do together. It could be a game, passes to a theme park, a special vacation- anything goes as long as it’s a bringing the family together thing.

Myrrh – something useful for the kids. It might be a set of clothing, an educational toy, or furniture.   They also get a stocking with small items, but this way the focus isn’t Santa.

Gifts of the Magi, means that we will have many opportunities to discuss the real reason for the season.

Once you have your list made, it is time to shop. Check out the leaked Black Friday Ads, check weekly ads and for any specific brand of item you are shopping for, like their Facebook page and watch the stores that carry it. Last year I was able to pick up a $69 toy for $49, by price matching at Target and using a corresponding Target coupon from their toy catalogue.
I was also able to pick up games at Toys R Us the weekend before Black Friday for 10% less and avoid the long lines in the middle of the night.

I recently posted some great jewelry deals on Amazon that are still available. Order soon though, as shipping is slow and you want to make sure you get them in time.

In addition to checking my Deals tab, check these websites every day to find great gift ideas/deals:
OneSaleADay
Groupon
Fab.com
6pm
DealChicken
LivingSocial
Woot

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