Holiday purists will complain that the leaves are just starting to turn and already there are Christmas trees twinkling in store windows. However, if you’re a BirminghamMom who has any intention of having a relaxed holiday while Santa delievers the must-have toy of the season, you’ll want to get to work now.
1. Tune in more closely during your family’s casual conversations for clues on hobbies, books, or interests that would be thoughtful themes for gifts.
2. For young children, a trip to the toy store to select a gift for a friend’s birthday party is also the perfect time to browse. You can observe what toys interest your child without their expectation that you will purchase for them.
3. Develop reference prices as you watch sales circulars, knowing that many toys will be on sale during the week before Thanksgiving, and often with free shipping from online retailers.
4. Amazon.com is Santa’s best friend. Not only are selections delivered to the front door, contents are concealed in cardboard boxes, so there is less effort required to keep curious little eyes away.
5. If your kids want a popular item that is potentially in short supply, better get it now and hang on to your receipt incase you’re entitled to a price adjustment later. You may have a chance to find a Wii in October, but you’ll kick yourself if you’re scrambling to find one in stock anywhere after Thanksgiving. Same goes for the iPhone your spouse has been eyeing – pardon the pun.
6. For the truly fearless, you can always duke it out with fellow champion shoppers at the doorbuster sales. However, I recommend you make your purchases ahead of time so you can enjoy “Black Friday” (the Friday after Thanksgiving) and Christmas Eve as a shopping spectator.