Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Christmas Gifts To Start Thinking About Now

It's never too early, folks! 
A few ideas.......

1.  Collection Gifts: 

I did one of these for Britney a couple of years ago.  Started in January.......and bought a DVD every time I thought about it or saw one I knew she'd love.  By the time Christmas arrived, I had 20 or so.  I wrapped them each individually, stacked them up and tied a ribbon around the stack.  Coupled that with popcorn kernels and m&ms in small glass apothecary jars. 

Had I gone to the store to buy 20 DVDs all at once, it never would have happened.  But, because I stretched the expense over 11 months, I was able to complete this project.  I loved giving this gift. 

This year, I have one in the works for Caroline.  A completely different take on it.......but a collection of gifts all with a common theme.  Spreading out the purchases not only helps financially, but also allows me to find specific things I love.

A collection of gift cards - $5 or $10 each - would be fun.  Think about giving 10 different cards and how loved your recipient would feel each time she reached into her wallet.

Other ideas:

cute socks
inexpensive perfumes or body sprays
matchbox cars
art supplies (not all the same, but definitely something to collect as you shop)

"Collection gifts" are easy to do if you plan ahead.  Skip Starbucks one day and buy a gift card instead or put that $$ towards one of these gifts.  With a sacrifice here and there.....and some simple can give a gift with lots of impact.

2.  Clothes:

Shop for clothes year round.  Browse clearance racks for items that could be used during the winter months.  JCrew and Gap put socks and boxers on sale throughout the year.  As you see these, grab them when they're $3.99 each, rather than $12.00.  Jewelry, scarves, accessories and such......all can be bought year round and will be appropriate for Christmas.

3.  My favorite holiday project:

Operation Christmas child.  Check out this link

Why start now? 

Because box collections are in November.  Samaritan's Purse has to allow shipping time to get these gifts to children overseas.

This is one of our favorite holiday traditions.  Drop off locations are not posted yet.  I'll update you again with more details.  For now, look for the following items while you're shopping:

*small toys
*toothpaste and hygiene items
*school supplies

(((((watch for stores to put school supplies on sale as Halloween comes in......grab plenty for this project at a fraction of the cost!)))))

What I love most - We tailor the boxes to relate to our kids' ages.  Each kid will choose "boy" or "girl" and the age group that they can identify with.  This way, we further teach the lesson of giving from the heart.....because they'll be choosing items they would love themselves.

4. Yard Sales and Resale Shops:

When you drive by a garage sale, think Christmas.  I found a darling set of wicker doll furniture for Lainey.  2 chairs and a small table, plus an old school desk cost me $3.  I am going to paint all of the pieces to match her room.  What would have cost me $100+ at Pottery Barn Kids will cost me $7.

Painting and re-purposing can turn an old piece into something fabulous.

5. Photo Gifts: 

You're going to be too busy to create gifts like these in the month of December.  Watch for sales now and get a jump on personalized gifts.  I'm posting photo deals often to the Just Hatched Photography Facebook page.  Like it here to keep up.

The latest deal?

FREE photo calendars with paid shipping, starting at $5.67.  Link here.

Check in each day to see what else is new.  I'll be posting all sorts of specials from your favorites like Kodak Gallery, Shutterfly, Snapfish, and more. 

Hope that helps! 

Other ideas?  Please let me know!


Dee Stephens said...

They have already started the Operation Christmas Child stuff around here. The headquarters is very near our house and they had some big even there the other day.
I wish I was bigger on shopping and gift giving.
I do start early with buying little things I see here and there at different places we visit but for the most part we try and keep it small except for the kids.

Impulsive Addict said...

You are stressing me out! I usually have lots of Christmas gifts purchased by now and I have ZERO. I'm not sure whats up with me but after reading this post (full of excellent ideas), I now want to slit my wrist with a dull chip.

Pam Bowers said...

Holy Moses Casey! GREAT ideas! Thanks.

Nicky said...

I am so glad to see I am not the only who starts thinking about the holidays early.

I love how each of your ideas is so thoughtful. The collection gifts say I am thinking about you all year round...and who doesn't want to hear that.

Love these ideas!

Monica said...

You are so on top of it girl!

Brittny said...

Thank you for doing this!!!! I always start thinking of Christmas gifts in September, but never buy them b/c I'm always afraid that I will be given ideas in December and I have to go get that instead. This year I don't care. People never give me ideas so I'm going to start doing this instead. Glad I'm not alone and glad you gave me something to start looking for. Keep them coming!

aunt caroline said...

You know I already have a closet full of bargain presents!

ps. I want to do the box this year!

Susan said...

Love your header! Can't wait to find out what you do for Caroline. And thank you for the Operation Christmas Child reminder. Want to get my boys more involved this year.

Jodee said...

Love, love, love your new header!

I have only bought two Christmas gifts so far and these are all GREAT ideas! Thanks for posting!

Merry Mack said...

I love you. That collection idea is the bomb! Why haven't I been doing this? My plan is Zuiliy this year, if I have any $ to spend. Clever, clever you. I want that doll furniture!

Sara said...

I'm annoyed.

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Okay, I LOVE the idea of collection gifts - brilliant!

Vincent Family said...

I am so glad to know that I am not the only who starts thinking about the holidays early. And thank you for the Operation Christmas Child reminder. I want to get Paisley more involved this year.

Amanda said...

love these gift ideas!