Since beginning this whole “spending plan” business, I’ve come to realize that there’s one thing that always breaks the plan, and that’s gifts. It happened back in May with Mother’s Day, and so I made up a plan for all the rest of the gift occasions for the rest of the year, and started in with shopping slowly and well in advance of the ‘gift needed date.’
This means I started Christmas shopping in June. I also pared back who exactly will receive a gift from us, because, quite frankly, while we can afford it now, with uncertain job outlooks, we might not be able to come January 2011. So, it’s pretty much immediate family and everyone else will get a lovely holiday card from us.
I actually highly recommend sitting down and making a list of all the major gift-giving holidays, who you give to, and then thinking about what to give that person. Having many months to plan means the gift can be both more meaningful AND more economical. I also have some random ‘just in case’ presents stashed if I forgot anything/anyone. Let me tell you, Anthropologie has some awesome stuff on their sale tables that any of my female friends would love/cherish, usually for under $20.
Happy Christmas… in August!