Growing up, I was your average middle-class kid. My brothers and I started working at a young age by doing things like paper routes or babysitting, earning money to be able to buy the things we wanted. My parents didn't spoil us. But for Christmas every year, my mother always went completely overboard. When we would run downstairs on Christmas morning, far too many presents would be sitting under the tree. And the one thing I always recall my mom telling me about the holiday season was how she shopped for our presents all year long. And now that I'm a mother, I make sure to do the same thing for my kids. Not only does it save so much time, money, and hassle (shopping malls in December are my worst nightmare), but it also allows me to give my kids a little more than I usually do.
I'm also just crazy for the entire holiday season and can't help but get wrapped up (literally) in it all. It's a tradition in our house that we decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. Our tree goes up, I put on classic Christmas tunes, and by the end of the day, it looks like the North Pole threw up in our house. The holiday season is such a magical time, and I do everything I can to embrace it.
Shopping for two young kids all year can be tricky, especially since their interests are constantly changing. But, overall, I think I've gotten it down. My son is easy — it's Legos everything, which I know he'll be obsessed with for years to come. I'll scour online deals and browse stores all year, picking up things here and there, which avoids the financial burden of getting everything in the same month. And if I think I've gotten too much, I'll save some for his birthday or as a reward for good grades.
My daughter is still relatively easy to shop for, too. While her interests change a little more rapidly than my son's, I know I can't go wrong with any kind of lip gloss or pretend makeup finds. And a lot of what she's into can be found at our local dollar store, which is even better. And throughout the year, I'm always searching for deals on books to add to their library. I get a little bit at a time, which adds up to be a pretty great Christmas for both of them.
By shopping early, I'm also able to avoid the crazy stress of last-minute shopping. I have more free time to attend holiday parties, take my kids to see Santa, and organize and partake in holiday activities in our area. I don't have to worry about standing in long lines or whether or not that Amazon order will make it to my doorstep on time. I have all of my presents bought and wrapped and can enjoy the holiday season at ease, soaking up those magical moments I might otherwise miss.
So, while I don't spoil my kids nearly as much as my mother spoiled my brothers and me on Christmas, I steal her trick of early holiday shopping to be able to give them a little bit more. They deserve it, and to be totally honest, so do I.