To have started my Christmas shopping..

(81 Posts)
insummeritrains Mon 26-Aug-13 12:10:04

Am prepared for a flaming grin

Every year I leave my Christmas shopping till the start of December. Inevitably I end up stressed and running around in a packed shopping centre and buying stuff without a lot of thought.

This year, I've decided to be a bit more organised and started picking up a few bits and pieces and can't believe the good stuff I'm picking up in the sales. Will end up saving an absolute fortune!! Got me thinking that this is the way stress and cheaper, more thoughtful presents. What's not to like?!

Selks Mon 26-Aug-13 12:19:31

YANBU to do your Christmas shopping whenever you like.

YABU to remind us of Christmas in August however! grin

wtf1981 Mon 26-Aug-13 12:22:54

4 months til Boxing Day...


haggisandneeps Mon 26-Aug-13 12:23:46

I have finished totally for my DS and only a few more bits for DD and DSD. Everyone else is gift vouchers so I'm pretty much done and dusted.

Love being finished by September/October at latest!

LimitedEditionLady Mon 26-Aug-13 12:25:27

I started mine a month ago too.Got ten kids to buy for besides my own and i hate rushing around and end up desperately grabbing kak presents!just makes me feelmore chilled about it all!

CaptainCapybara Mon 26-Aug-13 12:28:57

I've got a couple of things for DD, not for anyone else yet though.

pianodoodle Mon 26-Aug-13 12:30:08


Just reminded me to do the same! DC2 due Christmas Day so better not assume I'll have the weeks beforehand to shop smile

Dawndonnaagain Mon 26-Aug-13 12:33:02

Almost finished mine. I tend to do it during the January/Summer sales. Will be starting on the wrapping in a week or two!

YANBU - we started at the end of June; there were certain things we wanted to get and the deals being offered were way too good to pass up.

I loathe and detest shopping during the xmas rush, and much prefer to have it done early and smugly watch dh run around like a headless chicken grin

CrazyOldCatLady Mon 26-Aug-13 12:42:26

YABU! I have most of mine planned. I'm going to start shopping next month. I like to have it all done by Halloween; it makes the whole affair much less stressful : ) I actually don't go into shops in December at all.

CrazyOldCatLady Mon 26-Aug-13 12:42:39

Sorry, YANBU. Duh.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 26-Aug-13 12:43:20

I like to be all done by November so i can enjoy December. Started in January sales and set aside an amount every month to cover DS's presents. Dont wrap until December though so that i still get a christmas feeling.

We're planning a marathon shopping trip to start the 3dds tomorrow, I always like everything bought early can't abide being disorganised and risking dds being disappointed if I can't get something because I left it too late. I like to have dds done by end of september, every one elses by November, leaving end of November/December to by surpises for dds

Also their wish list's are growing by the day

TeaAndABiscuit Mon 26-Aug-13 12:55:39

Yay! I heart Christmas.
I've done fair bit too. You can get more for your money if you shop all year round for them and pick up some different gifts-not all the stuff targeted as Christmas gifts.

monkeymax58 Mon 26-Aug-13 12:56:55

Am sooooo glad that I do not do Xmas. smilesmilesmile

(((Goes back to reading in the sunshine)))

insummeritrains Mon 26-Aug-13 13:26:25

Ah, glad to see I am not alone in my festive buying smile

Christmas and the build up is without doubt my favourite time of year but because I'm usually racing around for most of it, it usually passes by in a flash and I feel I haven't made the most of it.

Hopefully this year being more organised I can just sit back and watch too much tv enjoy it all grin

Beastofburden Mon 26-Aug-13 13:36:51

I have a thing about doing things in season, so I would never start before December on any of it. But I manage the cost/ headless chicken thing by giving smaller presents etc.

I do see that it is sensible t buy things in sales, but as the UK seems to be one big perms-sale at the moment, I'm not sure that I would save much, given that if I start buying earlier, I always buy too much.

YANBU but I personally don't want to do it.

jakesmommy Mon 26-Aug-13 13:40:21

YANBU, I have bought everything for my 2 sons apart from chocolate and their clothes and have finished my 2 nieces and nephews.
Have started putting together my 2 brothers (and their partners) gift baskets, I am doing a cinema gift basket for one and wine tasting experience basket for the other.
Bought my husband his main present so just need to get him some small bits and pieces, just need to start my parents and Mother In Law.

Beastofburden Mon 26-Aug-13 13:44:18

Like the gift basket ideas, classy.

Elsiequadrille Mon 26-Aug-13 13:44:30

I bought my first Christmas presents this month, too.

specialsubject Mon 26-Aug-13 13:48:10

wow. Glad presents are kids only round here.

ShabbyButNotChic Mon 26-Aug-13 14:11:47

Yanbu, i have a folder on my bookmarks bar labelled 'christmas' from about july usually. I like to really think about peoples gifts, and also like to spread it over a few paydays. Christmas is on the same day every year, yet people seem shocked when it quickly comes round!

I have a shitload of gift ideas bookmarked, and will start properly wading through them in the next couple of weeks. If i see something i think someone will love, it gets added. So much simpler than trying to remember what you saw/what they mentioned they liked.

This is also brilliant for me as i hate shopping!!!! Online all the way..... My postman usually hates me from about october smile all that carrying!

Mojavewonderer Mon 26-Aug-13 14:23:25

I'm starting mine on Friday!

Gullygirl Mon 26-Aug-13 14:26:02

Started mine in June!
Here,in Australia, the shops have huge toy sales in (our) winter.
You can put it all on lay buy, then have until December to pay it off. huge credit cards bills come January, best of all,it is all stored at the shop,so less chance of my kids finding their presents before the big day.

daisychain01 Mon 26-Aug-13 14:27:24

I buy things all year round - if I see the perfect pressie in Jan, then I buy it - would be daft not to! These days, shops need to stop ripping us off with sub-standard gifts at Christmas. So it is beating them at their own game ... So YANBU at all

Mintyy Mon 26-Aug-13 14:29:13

There is a Christmas Topic for nutters like you!

LeGavrOrf Mon 26-Aug-13 14:30:35


I've already started. Can't get too far ahead though as we have nowhere to store stuff (house renovations) and DHs side of our family do a secret santa for the adults, so I don't know who I'm buying for yet. I think I'm going to have to make a spreadsheet to keep track of what bits I've bought and where I've stashed them. Last year I was still finding stocking fillers I'd forgotten about, in March. blush

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 26-Aug-13 14:34:42

YANBU. Especially if you or your partner is pregnant!

2 years ago I did not get a Christmas present because DH planned to use the last paycheck (and weekend) before Christmas to buy it. We knew DS was due the 27th so I sorted everyone else's gifts out by October.

I went into labour on the Friday, and didn't give birth until after shops shut on Christmas eve...

The trouble is what if people (mainly children) change their minds?
Or what if someone then buys themself the gift you have bought for them between now and christmas?

I am tempted to get ds's now as it is quite cheap on amazon and I have to say generally once he's decided he wants something he doesn't change his mind. But what if he does?

I always say that I'm going to get it out of the way early and end up with a last minute panic, not this year though, my due date is 27th November and the last thing I want to be worrying about with a newborn is Christmas shopping! grin

YANBU. At this moment, I have stockings prepared and compete, bar for chocolate, and wrapped presents for everyone bar two people, with nearly all cards written, and with presents placed in gift boxes if necessary. Also have written down exactly what's needed for Christmas dinner and bought some extra decorations. blush

Silverfoxballs Mon 26-Aug-13 14:45:21

I have bought almost all the gifts already, I buy most in January sales every year, crackers, wrapping paper everything.

Loving the raging on this thread.

insummeritrains Mon 26-Aug-13 14:46:08

Bah humbug, mintyy!

where is the Christmas topic please?

Yanbu and i'm jealous envy as i'm skint until next week!
Can't wait to start getting organised for Christmassmile

insummeritrains Mon 26-Aug-13 14:49:45

See, I class the beginning of Christmas as December 1st..since we are almost in September I make it about 3 months to Christmas..that's 12 weeks, that's....well I can't be bothered to work out the days. Point is, it's not that long!

Does anyone know when the festive radio times comes out? wink

Beastofburden Mon 26-Aug-13 14:50:11

HOw did Xmas become such a huge task that we need months to prepare for it?

I do mine in december largely by being less ambitious than you guys, I think. One nice present each for key people, a lot of kids-only deals among the extended family. My mum makes the Xmas cake and some chutney as her present to all of us (she's on a pension), so she does start before December, but I don't think anyone else does.

Not criticising, you understand, just offering an alternative way to do Xmas, where you don't feel you have to do quite so much, and its just one day, with a nice family meal, a few treats all round, and a chance to travel around and see extended family for the rest of the holiday.

SweetLathyrus Mon 26-Aug-13 15:10:21

Started mine last month too, because DH saw something in a shop he wouldn't buy for himself and I will have forgotten about by Nov/Dec, but he will love when he sees 'it'

Mintyy Mon 26-Aug-13 15:13:30

I find this thread genuinely sad tbh.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 26-Aug-13 15:22:21

Haha re Radio Times, not for a while yet. Did look if M&S had put the christmas food online last night as the shop was empty last year so might pre order. Their deserts are lovely.

Have made my list and will start looking online for those I have not yet bought so that there is no rush and i have time to find the perfect gifts.

I know MN usually only advocates an orange in the stocking and one tree gift otherwise children are spoilt but i just close my ears and shop grin

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 26-Aug-13 15:23:00

We start early because it is much cheaper - for eg second hand kids toys on eBay will go for much less in the summer than in October/November.

Our kids are young enough that they aren't set on having one thing for Christmas, there are lots of things they would like. get a couple at a good price, put them away and job is done. Any special requests get suggested to grandparents etc (who spend way more than we do)

Other relatives get handmade so they require thinking about in advance too

My excuse fr being organised is that I'm having a baby around December 1st, but track record means it's probably going to be at least a month early, so I want to be ready by November at the latest for Christmas as by then I will have a baby and two toddler and in the meantime I'm having to spend time with my family for a month due to my brother- in another country where I won't be able to get Internet access and I have limited space for gifts in a suitcase. So I have to finish by the end of September to be comfortable that we will have presents, cards etc; for Christmas.

How is it sad to start Xmas shopping now? Some people have to spread it out over a few paychecks, meaning a few months if they get paid monthly.

insummeritrains Mon 26-Aug-13 15:35:18

Ok, mintyy reckon you've made your point.

AnneUulmelmahay Mon 26-Aug-13 15:50:00

We asked for a specific Christmas topic, to then be hid, as Christmas can be sad, or triggering for some. I know y'all having a laff etc but do have a wee think, please.

TheOnlyPink Mon 26-Aug-13 16:02:58

Ya most definitely nbu. I have started with a few bits and pieces this month.

manalive makes a good point, people who are paid monthly only have 3 or 4 more pay checks until Christmas. I am one of those people and have my wedding anniversary, ds2 birthday and nearly all the yearly bills like car insurance in the same time. So a little every month means its not a huge burden.

insummeritrains Mon 26-Aug-13 16:03:39

Are you serious? Then couldn't everything be triggering to someone out there? Cars? Ghosts and spooky stuff? Illnesses?

Jeez, it was meant to be lighthearted.

insummeritrains Mon 26-Aug-13 16:04:17

Sorry, that was to Anne

twistedtoffee Mon 26-Aug-13 16:09:32

YANBU to spread the cost and hassle over a few months.

What is unreasonable is shops putting out big displays of Christmas cards and decorations in September; discussions about the office party starting up in early October; Santa arriving at shopping centres all over the place in early November; and people putting up their Christmas tree the last week in November. By the time Christmas actually arrives the whole excitement and novelty has worn off. Could we keep all the displays, discussions and decorations until 1st December? Pleeeeeeese!

CatAmongThePigeons Mon 26-Aug-13 16:12:01

I started at the end of July grin

monkeymamma Mon 26-Aug-13 16:55:10

I did this for the first time last year - saw something I liked for a close friend in Sept, them there didn't seem any reason not to keep going till I was finished. It spread the cost and meant I managed to find very thoughtful, appreciated gifts that were all within budget. Usually I panic buy in Dcember, throw way too much money at it all and then get intimidated by the 'perfect gift guides' that magazines love so much. You know, £150 for some grouse flavoured oatcakes in a rattan box is an ideal stocking filler for your husband type of thing. Urgh I hate those things - when will they start compiling them with the kind of budgets that real people have in mind?!!

HickeryDickery Mon 26-Aug-13 17:17:33

I'm starting next week. We want to get DD1 Birthday out of the way then we start for Christmas. We like to be finished by December so we can avoid the Town Centre.

BuskersCat Mon 26-Aug-13 17:32:25

#i bought my first Christmas present in the January sales!!

We have a lovely little pile now, just little ones now that we will pick up as and when. There are only 3 pay days left to go

chanie44 Mon 26-Aug-13 17:37:14

I've been doing this for a few years now and I totally recommend it as it spreads the cost out, makes December less stressful (more money for the party season) and I can pick up some bargains in the sales.

Word of warning - most shops won't let you return something you've bought 6 months ago, so make sure you know it's a present they will like.

cardibach Mon 26-Aug-13 17:41:39

I don't get the 'spreading the cost' argument for buying early - isn't that what saving is for?

chanie44 Mon 26-Aug-13 18:21:05

It's two halves of the same coin. I prefer to 'spread the cost' as it means I can get some bargains eg I once bought some pjs in the sale which were £10 from £20. If I saved the money, I wouldn't have been able to get them at that price in December.

The disadvantage of course is that you can't return the present if the recipient doesn't like it

londone17 Mon 26-Aug-13 18:59:46

I've almost finished mine including food and cards.

SarahAndFuck Mon 26-Aug-13 19:09:23

I started mine about three weeks ago OP.

We do a combination of saving and buying early. We put money away so we can by things closer to Christmas but if I see the perfect thing for the perfect person a few months early I will buy it and put it away.

I tend to buy cards in the January sales and put them away in the present cupboard.

SlobAtHome Mon 26-Aug-13 19:14:20

Glad to see so many Christmas folk around. I love it! :D

bronya Mon 26-Aug-13 19:27:41

I'm doing this, as my salary will decrease from October, and we can pick up things that are on offer now. Have already got DS's presents, am on the hunt for DF's (v specific but difficult to find!), will get gift cards for relatives' children so just need to put money by for those.

Yonionekanobe Mon 26-Aug-13 19:30:14

I'm expecting DD2 on 30 December so have most of DD1's presents, just in case...

MamaBear17 Mon 26-Aug-13 19:43:03

YANBU. I am starting mine next week (after pay day!!) I have been writing lists and working out budgets for the next four pay days so that I can make Christmas lovely for my family without overspending or getting into debt. I absolutely love Christmas and everything that goes with it. We are taking our dd to see Santa for the first time this year as she will be almost 2 and a half so will hopefully be old enough to enjoy the experience. Christmas rules!

DontmindifIdo Mon 26-Aug-13 19:45:57

Not starting this early, I will not do Christmas until I've put away the summer clothes and started wearing winter boots. However, I do insist on all Internet purchases being done by mid November since the disaster that is known as "the year Amazon ruined Christmas" (about 8 years ago now, the year that everyone realised amazon existed and they couldn't cope with the massive demand, I think it snowed as well, so we only had half the gifts until mid jan).

I do get the "spreading the cost" thing, I'm on mat leave now and I put aside a little from my last two preSMP pay days to cover the costs, hate going into January with a big credit card bill.

DontmindifIdo Mon 26-Aug-13 19:49:39

Oh and as well I have my dads birthday in October, DHs in November, and DSs in December, so often I generally buy them things and give some for birthday and others hold back for Christmas.

ipswichwitch Mon 26-Aug-13 19:51:06

I have started buying for DS and will aim to be done by beginning November. I'm pregnant and due 14th December and there's no way I'm schlepping around the shops with a bored toddler and newborn.

<stealsjakesmommys themed gift basket idea>

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Aug-13 19:56:15

We will shortly be moving this to our Xmas topic

ipswichwitch Mon 26-Aug-13 19:58:24

However, I won't be buying chocolate til the last possible second, since I can never hide it from myself and end up eating it all, several times over

raisah Mon 26-Aug-13 21:12:26

I remember last year people complaining about the celebrations tin shortage last year. So I thought I'd let you all know that Tescos have got tins of Celebrations, Heroes & Roses for £5 now.

ShakeAndVac Mon 26-Aug-13 21:23:03

I'm usually one of those who leaves it until the last minute to do Christmas shopping, but I have actually started to get a few stocking fillers for the kids.
Mainly because they take so long to fill up and find decent things to go in (as well as all the bits and pieces adding up cost wise!) that I've started to get a few things now as I see them so that there's not as much to get nearer the time.
Not made a start on the main things though!

LimitedEditionLady Mon 26-Aug-13 23:22:23

I feel im spreading the cost as i find things that i know the kids like on offer throughout the year.I have a lot of children i buy gifts for and it can be a bit stressful trying to buy ten kids at different ages a gift in december plus i dont wana just get a generic xmas promo gift for them i want them to know i thought about them.Also i like buying presents,i get more joy buying for than recieving.

SecretLimonadeDrinker Mon 26-Aug-13 23:51:36


I love Christmas and have whispers just finished my Christmas spreadsheet.

Couchpotato I am in awe of your Christmas planning. This year will be our first year hosting both families for Christmas, the lists keep me sane

Dawndonnaagain Tue 27-Aug-13 00:33:30

I have just hHad my m&s points through, so Christmas chops and biccies will be purchased tomorrow.

Isetan Tue 27-Aug-13 06:28:26

Way ahead of ya. I make a budget (this is imperative otherwise you can easily overspend).

Christmas decorations and cards bought in January when they are practically giving them away. Presents for people are purchased when what I want is at least 50% off.

I make a picture of the inevitable food waste from the previous year and stick it to the budget and food list for this year (rarely tempted to overspend now).

I store DD's presents (Christmas, advent/stocking and birthday) in a crawl space that is a known spider hang out, DD hates spiders. This onsite present store has come in handy when I've had to get presents at short notice for forgotten birthdays.

I have never understand people bankrupting themselves over Christmas.

Bullygirl Tue 27-Aug-13 06:49:12

Gully I missed the brilliance of the Christmas lay buy so much when we lived in England. Dd's and dn's Christmas is sorted. I've been putting stuff away for the few family and friends I but for for the past couple of months and will start buying alcohol next month (alcohol is MUCH more expensive in Australia than it is in the U.K. MUCH!). That leaves me with money in December for cherries and prawns. grin

IsaacCox Tue 27-Aug-13 07:06:45

Yanbu. I started in January. I have a cupboard that is slowly filling smile

fuzzpig Tue 27-Aug-13 10:10:35

YANBU. We have done this for a few years now.

For me, the main motivation isn't saving money, but avoiding the rush. I have social anxiety and going to the shops when they are crowded with stressed out shoppers is a guaranteed meltdown for me.

I do a lot of it online although I am going to make more effort to support a local independent toy store this year. But for online stuff, I will try and have it done by December 1 so I'm not worrying about snow, postal strikes etc. I keep wishlists on amazon for present ideas.

The main disadvantage of starting early, for me anyway, has been the risk of overbuying because I see more things that they'd like as the months go by. I have had a huge change in mindset this year though and it will effect Xmas - basically for the last few years we have gone overboard due to guilt (DH injured, me becoming disabled, basically a really shit couple of years) and while our DCs do appreciate and play with their toys, our house is just too cluttered and we are making a big effort to simplify our home, and not have so much Stuff coming in, so we will be more selective.

Although actually we have got their main present already as I found out that playmobil won't be making the pyramid anymore, and DD is fascinated by ancient Egypt. I am also putting together a big craft stuff kit so I will keep an eye out for stuff to put in (eg going to the fabric shop for remnants rather than end up paying over the odds for precut foam shapes in ELC, etc.) - I am quite excited about doing this blush

So far the DCs don't really ask for anything particular (they don't see adverts on tv as we only use it for DVDs) and we can just choose a few things we know they will love. We don't have a big family so basically they only get gifts from us, DSCs and my parents (but the latter is chosen by us anyway as they don't like choosing).

I don't wrap until December as I found it gets tatty if I do it earlier, and plus I love wrapping on my own with some carols playing etc. But mostly I want December to be free for lazing, cooking, carol services, crafts, walks in the woods collecting pine cones, and our new pre-Xmas tradition of a family trip to the movies and then a pizza lunch (did it with just DSDs and DD last year but now DS is old enough he and DH can come too).

Sorry for waffling blush

SoWorriedPleaseHelp Fri 30-Aug-13 08:00:34

I have so far brought:

Diary Wimpy Kid Calender from American distributor via Amazon - cheaper than over here and plenty of time for it to arrive.

David Walliams children's books from ebay

Pre-ordered Skylanders swap force via Tesco as get 500 extra Clubcard points

Pre-ordered the new Diary of a Wimpy kid book from Amazon as on offer

1kg diary milk chocolate bar from Cadbury World

starjules Fri 30-Aug-13 21:54:29

no need to appologise for waffling fuzzpig, its great to hear what everyone is doing!

starjules Fri 30-Aug-13 21:59:04

I've nearly finished, done my LO and her birthday is on 23rd Dec so have to spread it out. We also have a big party (40 people last year) mid december where everyone gets a present and I've done all that too along with DM, MIL and FIL, in fact the only ones I need to sort out is OH and Me LOL! I always wait until the tree is up to wrap and write cards with a big glass of baileys and xmas film on in the background. Love Love Love Christmas.

grin I have to hide/curb my ridiculous OTT Christmas excitement until December.
My DH is a bit hmm but he's used to me by now and knows better than to question.
I'm sure he's grateful when Christmas happens . I'm not saying it's seamless but hopefully it's smooth.

My DS has a December birthday.
The shopping centres are the Seventh Circle of Hell in December.
If it snows, everything grinds to a halt.

When I went out last year (end November) I shopped and took stuff back to my car at least three times. It's easier to shop alone than have DC or DH following me like Velcro.

DH and I do an adults only shopping day on a Friday in December to get the bulk of the presents without the DC.
We order online alot.
I use my Nectar points for Christmas food shopping (and sadly that is one of my favourite bits of the preparation) blush grin

We don't buy the DC presents till December, it's impossible to know what they want.
But when they go back to school I'll start buying the Stocking Gifts then the Christmas Eve Hamper.

And I love Costco Christmas stock

BankerMommy2010 Mon 02-Sep-13 07:35:15

Ive started mine, mainly for DS the problem I have is the earlier I start the more I buy :/ I love buying gifts for people and putting effort into wrapping them NNice, I like to be finished shopping wise by November, we do lots with DS in December so we don't have time to shop. I do save wrapping for December though as I am one if those strange people that enjoys wrapping presents and it makes me feel all festive.

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