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It's Never Too Early to Start Christmas Shopping

Oct 19, 2007
Many people complain that retailers push the seasons by putting up Halloween decorations before Labor Day and Christmas displays before Thanksgiving. Maybe so, but for some people Christmas shopping is a year 'round affair.

By starting early, some of us are able to find much nicer gifts than we would if we started after Thanksgiving. It's also possible to find sales on items that won't be on sale nearer to Christmas. There's also the fact that some people just really love to shop. They get a lot of pleasure out of finding just the right gift or toy for the people they love.

Whether you love shopping or just want to avoid the last minute rush, you might want to consider making a list and carrying it with you throughout the year. That way, you can refer to it whenever you come upon a sale or find a bargain. After a while, you'll know what's on it and can pounce when you find an item at a better price.

Layaway is another option for people who like to spread out their shopping - and the payments for what they buy. Putting toys and gifts on layaway lets you pay for them gradually over the course of a few weeks until they're paid for. The store lays them away for you until you finish paying, so you don't have to find a place to hide them from the kids at home either.

Unfortunately, some stores are discontinuing their layaway programs to cut costs. If that's the case where you shop, you can layaway money instead of gifts. When you save enough, you can buy the toys and gifts you would have put on layaway. The only problem is that very popular toys may not be available by the time you save up for them.

One of the best ways to shop for gifts, especially popular toys, is online. The stores are always open and you don't have to shlep all over town to find bargains. Of course, in the case of toys, what with all the recalls, you really have to do your homework nowadays. It's best to buy from sites that have a good reputation and ethical standards. If in doubt, there are sites online that can direct you to safe toy info.

So, does it make sense to limit your Christmas shopping to a few weeks in November and December? Not unless you like to shop at the last minute and enjoy the feeling of being under pressure. I think most people would agree that spreading out your Christmas shopping can give you much better selection and save money too.
About the Author
Lill Hawkins blogs about resources for finding safe toys for Toddlers to Teens and maintains a recall list at How to Find Safe Toys
Check in daily for the latest toy and sports equipment related recalls and a long list of alternative to blah big-box gifts.
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