|Leo the Cat at the Front Door|
Anyway, you know why I'm writing, don't you? Christmas clearance sales began the day after December 25 and have continued into January. Have you taken advantage of any? You can snag some sweet deals on cards, gift wrap, party supplies, decorations, and other Christmas items! Buy these things now and put them in your designated "Christmas corner." When the holidays roll around again, your money can go toward gifts and groceries rather than these other "essentials" that every Christmas-lover simply has to have!
I got two boxes of Christmas cards at 50% off -- the store was almost out of these, and I knew they wouldn't last until the 75% markdown. I went back to the store when the holiday clearance was reduced to 75% off, and I got two different boxes of cards -- cards that I had liked but had seen that they had plenty left during the 50% off sale. I'm all set on cards!
I went to another store's sale and got a set of ornaments for my daughter, whose tree was sparsely decorated this year. She had graduated to a full-size tree and just didn't have enough ornaments to cover it, so next year she'll be all set. I also bought a good-quality snowflake stocking to replace my cheap one that started falling apart. The 75% off sales are the best time to buy stockings for the mantle! The expensive ones often don't sell out at full price, so you can get a quality product for little money.
I bought holiday paper plates and napkins. I used some for a New Year's Day gathering with friends, and the rest I saved. They don't take up much space.
The last purchase I made was two books written with a Christmas setting. My mother loves to read, and I know she will enjoy receiving those books to read during her Christmas break.
Not only am I now prepared with cards that I could send right after Thanksgiving (if I do things right), but I've also started shopping for gifts. I wouldn't buy perishable items this early, but there are some standard gifts that keep well. Books, candles, ornaments, mugs, photo albums, snow globes, etc. When you can find these at 75% off, and you haven't already spent yourself into the red, it's smart to get started on your gift stash.
Just remember, it's not a bargain if you already spent your money. I wouldn't want you to get into debt with your holiday shopping if you don't have the spare cash for it. It's worth keeping in mind next time around, though. It's a great idea to save some money for the January sales, andit gives you that much less to shop for come next November and December!
What have you done so far this month to get a head start on Christmas 2011?