Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What is all this talk about Christmas in November?

Today, two of the blogs I read daily posted about the same thing, stores celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving.


Tina’s post was very interesting because it included some shocking statistics about how Americans feel about when Christmas is marketed. While I want to “Respect the Bird”, I have already broken one of its covenants: spending.

I love Thanksgiving, in fact it is my favorite fall holiday. There is just something about gathering with your loved ones to be thankful and celebrate food.  It’s hard to believe that this wonderful holiday is being over shadowed by other holidays and is under-appreciated.

But, here is my dirty little secret: I am an awful gift giver. If I do not start shopping for Christmas in January, chances are my loved ones are getting very very last minute gifts. In an effort to get my loved ones gifts they will love and to help my budget, I shop for presents (both Birthday and Christmas) throughout the year.

Which brings me to the next blogger who also posted about Christmas coming a little too early, Ninja from Punch Debt in the Face.


The only thing that I do to celebrate Christmas before the holy day-of-turkey is to go shopping.  It’s honestly the only way I’d be able to ensure everyone gets what they want and I stay in budget. A win-win!

Ninja explains in his blog how he and his wife divvy the Christmas budget and then asks his readers what we do. I thoroughly enjoyed his post, but I also got a lot out of reviewing the comments.

So I guess I should now entertain you with Jay and my Holiday Spending Plan. I must note this is ever-changing since I just asked Jay what he spends and he said he doesn’t track it. Next year, when we’re married, you better believe he will be tracking it!

From a broad standpoint, I cover my family and Jay covers his with home made gifts as our exception (no, Jay has not mastered the skill of knitting). This plan came about because my brothers don’t really get Jay anything, but Jay’s sisters get me something. In addition, Jay’s friends don’t really exchange gifts, but mine do. So it all kind of works out in the end. Obviously, I play a big hand in picking out Jay’s family gifts.

For my family, I spend about $50 on each of my parents and $25 on each of my brothers. I also buy my grandparents something small which usually equals about $20 for both sets. Now this year is a complete exception because I won a few gifts, some are priceless (more on that after Christmas), and you better believe framed copies of our engagement pictures will be under that Tree. For my friends, I try to spend less than $100 on all 5 of them. So that sort of rounds out to $20 a person.

Shockingly, this year is one of the few that Jay and I are exchanging high ticket items. The past few years we have done things like gone on a date or picked out sleeping bags together. Romantic, I know. But this year we agreed to spend about $100 on each other. Jay already got his watch (on Halloween) because we were together when we picked it up from the front desk of our apartment building. I have a strong feeling mine is a kindle, but unlike someone I can wait until after Thanksgiving.

So, while I am all about Thanksgiving, giving Thanks (today I am thankful for being healthy) and enjoying good food, I say if people want to start looking for good values at low low prices, let them. In terms of shopping, my Christmas season starts on December 26, I am always on the look-out for something one of my loved ones will like.

Post Christmas I will give you a run down on all the gifts I gave and where I got them. This may be a ground breaking year for me in terms of budget. Yes, I am doing that well, but I still have a few gifts left to buy.

How do you feel about stores celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving?


And how do you budget for the holidays?