Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Quick Tip for Christmas Gifts

Never seem to have enough money for gifts when the holidays roll around? Wish you could buy gifts all year long but have nowhere to stash them? Like the idea of gift cards but feel they are too impersonal to give to your loved ones? 

You know I’m all about preparing in advance. I have a gift cabinet where I stash the gifts I find throughout the year. That helps me avoid a Christmas that’s a blur of stressful shopping. I know not everyone has storage space available, and some may have curious children who  invariably find gifts while snooping through drawers and closets! (And some kids find gifts while helping a parent, like a friend who, as a boy, was sent to retrieve something from the trunk of the family car, where his mother had hidden one of his gifts.)  I want you to be able to avoid stressful shopping too, whether the stress comes from lack of cash or deciding where to shop!

Try this: set aside Christmas cash each month by buying a gift card or two. Choose something general like a Visa gift card, or choose cards for stores that appeal to the various people on your gift list. Keep them in a lock box or other safe place. Then, you may give them as gifts if you like (making sure they don’t expire soon), or instead of giving the intended recipients a gift card at Christmastime, use the cards to buy each recipient a gift closer to the holiday. It’s like a Christmas club bank account, except by choosing the gift cards in advance, you’ve chosen where to shop for the gifts, saving yourself some time when you’re ready to do your Christmas shopping! 

By the way, you can stack cards to shop with, meaning you might buy a $25 gift card for the same store each month, and then use them all together for your gift shopping spree in November ... because you want to avoid the December shopping crowds, right? *wink*