christmas tree baubles
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Christmas bargains…and when to stop

I’m a big fan of Christmas and love trying to find great presents.  Well, I love spotting great gift ideas, and thinking of who would suit that present, but it can get quite worrying when you’re running out of time and ideas.

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N’s really easy to buy for at the moment though, as it’s pretty easy to get him excited about most things.  With him coming up for 3 it means we can move towards older toys, but even that can be confusing as some things you think are for 3+ are actually for 4+, and there’s a younger version.  For example Playmobil is older, but there’s a younger version…but I think the older version he’ll get more play out of it, even if it’s 6 months+ before he gets into it.

With a birthday near Christmas as well, it’s a case of trying to plan for both, thinking of ideas for other people who might want to buy him gifts, and allowing for the fact that the OH will probably want to buy him more tractors!  He’s already taken N to a local farm and agricultural supplies store, where N was gleefully choosing combine harvesters and tractors for older children that he’d like.

But I’ve seen so many things he’d love.  I can split what I’ve bought across birthday and Christmas, and have also got items that would be suitable for family to give him if they’re stuck.  I’ll have to do another toy clear out to make some room although I’ve already got rid of a lot recently at the nearly new sale.  With a toy nearly new sale this Saturday, I’m definitely going to have to hold back and really think about what items he needs.  Puzzles, some games, and maybe some little treats that can work as rewards for potty training.

He does need more toys upstairs so I think a trip to Ikea to get some toy cupboards would be most helpful.

Wherever I go shopping, I’m always on the lookout for a bargain (and having numerous online friends with toddlers the same age, means we’re always sharing ideas and bargains that we spot.  I blame them all for leading me astray with toy buying!)

I’ve done the toy shopping (not just for N, but for the niece and youngest nephew too) in a real mix of places, some I’ve never used before.

I love shopping online at Christmas as it’s so easy (apart from delivery trauma as proven by my Letterbox angst last month!), especially as I can use cashback sites to get even more for my money. Some sites I’ve used this year for gift buying:

The Book People – books, of course they’re great for gifts, although I get distracted buying books for myself!

Amazon – some people may moan about their dominance, but they generally get it right, and it’s great for wish lists to pull ideas together

Letterbox – owned by the people behind Hawkins Bazaar, their sale was a joke in terms of non-existent communication, incorrect delivery timings, closing down their phone line and twitter account in the middle of the sale when everyone was panicking and trying to get hold of them, but all my items eventually arrived after I logged a dispute with Paypal, and the type of toys they sell are great.  Only for sale purchasing as they’re pricy.

TK Maxx – I’ve had a giftcard since the summer, and hadn’t found anything to buy, until today, when I popped in and saw they had their Christmas displays and children’s gift displays out.  I picked up a phonics set/game I’ve had on a wishlist for ages but always seems to be out of stock, plus a couple of great puzzles.

Presents for Men – plus their other sister websites.  Great for nick nacks and stocking fillers.  One of those classic catalogues you can find lots of things that you don’t really need in, although there’s also lots of cool things you could need!

This year I’m working in town, so can easily pop out for lunch to the shops to buy as and when, rather than having to take whole days off for Christmas shopping, or dragging round N with me.  Some of my list is done (mostly children), but I’m struggling for a couple of friends, and rest of the family other than the homemade treats I usually try and make.  Hopefully if I can get most done by the mid November, then I can use any random days off for fun days out doing Christmassy things with N.

How do you do your Christmas shopping?  And when do you aim to finish by?

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  1. I do most of mine on-line. I’ll have finished by the end of this month, and like you have enjoyed finding bargains and great value gifts. I love Amazon, as it’s so convenient (I have the app on my phone, so it’s ridiculously easy to shop there!) and has so much there. Not heard of Presents for Men, so will check that out – thanks

    1. Apologies for telling you about Presents for Men…scarily addictive if you like websites with lots of things that are cool but you don’t really need!

  2. I tend to do most of mine in shops but I am going to do more online and support more independent businesses too. Good luck

    1. It’s definitely good trying to reach more independent shops. For my 2 friends I buy for, I try and shop in those to find something a bit more unusual, with anything nice cookware wise also being from independent shops for female relatives. The kids are generally older now so it’s likely to be boring vouchers. I love to browse, but with a toddler in tow or at a rushed lunch time it’s not quite the same, so online is easier.

      The only thing with online, it’s really hard to see great stuff later and remember not to buy. When shopping on the high street, you see the bags all with you in one go, rather than arriving sporadically.

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