Frugal Tip: Christmas Stockpiling – Don’t Go Overboard

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This week we’ve talked a lot about planning ahead, buying ahead, and cooking ahead for the holidays. Just giving a few thoughts to Christmas now will help us be a little more organized (and joyful?) when the season really rolls around.

But, there can be too much of a good thing.

One of the things that I love to do on Dec 26th is wake up when it’s still dark and dash off to SuperTarget where I can nab all sorts of deals at the after-Christmas sale. It’s kind of sick to be standing in sub-zero weather with fifty other people, waiting for the doors to open. Just so I can get a few rolls of wrapping paper half price.

There is a kind of frenzy that occurs once the front door is unlocked. People dash for the back of the store as if their hair is on fire!

Stockpiling for Christmas can be a good practice of stewardship if

  1. I have the cash to do it, meaning it’s allotted for in the budget.
  2. I will stock up on things we will actually use.

But, stockpiling, whether for Christmas or any other time, can backfire on you. Ask me how I know.

Ask me about the 30 miniature Christmas tins that sat in my holiday gift box before I realized I had absolutely no use for them and ended up ditching them in a garage sale.

Ask me about the wire Christmas card tree that kicked around my closet for two years before it went out with the donations because I don’t own a coffee table to display it on, nor do I receive enough cards to make it actually hold something.

Ask me about the gifts that I so cleverly purchased ahead of time, but then forgot about in the attic.

All week I’ve said, plan ahead. Start making gifts. Gather gift items now so that you won’t feel crunched come the holiday season. I believe this is a good thing. Just keep good records. Plan accordingly. Stay within your means. Give thought to your purchases and make sure in your mind that it is, indeed, something you will use or gift away.
As Ma Ingalls says, “Enough is as good as a feast.”

For more frugal tips, visit Crystal’s blog every Friday.

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  1. “Enough is as good as a feast.”
    I love this quote. It is so true. I have been doing some early Christmas shopping, and have scored some AWESOME deals, but one of my goals to make gifts of one of the things I love to do – cooking. My family appreciates my cooking (even my extended family) so I am looking for ways to incorporate that into gift-giving…. it’s usable, won’t collect dust somewhere, I enjoy doing it, and they’ll enjoy eating it! 🙂

  2. too funny, this post is so me! i buy things early, but then as Christmas gets closer i feel like i have to shop to get intot he Christmas spirit. so i end up spending even more.

  3. This is such good advice!

    I shop year round for all holidays, and I keep an email list of occasions I need gifts for. Once the occasion is filled, that is it, no more thinking about it (no matter how perfect the gift might seem), plus I have a record of what the gift is and where it is stashed! This also lets me take advantage of sales, and of free shipping with visitors take stuff home for me (like my husband’s mom taking gifts home for my husband’s brother’s family!)

    I find when I am done my Christmas shopping early – like by the end of November, I am more able to enjoy the entire season rather than feel frazzled by the preparations!

    Plus, to avoid the over baking fiasco which plagues us all, I work from a list each year, and use the baking for the Christmas Season – so in my husband’s lunches, for our snacks, for fun things, not just Christmas Eve and Day! It makes a big difference and is also not quite the huge hit to our budget that way too!

  4. I just made a spreadsheet to keep track of what gifts I’ve already purchased for the next year. Hopefully, that way I’ll remember to go digging in the basement.