Christmas shoppingI made a Wal-Mart run over the weekend and there it was. The Christmas display where the outdoor furniture used to be. Pre-lit trees and inflatable lawn . . . um . . . ornaments. Ack.
I’m one of those folks who really, really wishes we could wait until December to start putting out Christmas. Shoot, I’d probably settle for waiting until the Halloween candy goes on clearance, but this is retail in America and I feel pretty certain I’m not going to change it.
But seeing those white, flocked trees did make me think about my Christmas list. And while I’m all for saving the decor for December, I do often start shopping in June or July. It’s genetic. Blame my mother. This year I’m behind. I only had one gift purchased as the calendar turned to October.
So, while looking for my baby brother’s birthday present, I got started. I LOVE buying people presents. We do stay within bounds–we rarely do anything over the top–but starting early means I can give thoughtful gifts. And it means I can shop around for a deal! Because what’s better than getting someone something they really like and getting it for a steal?
Now, I know Christmas isn’t about presents. It’s about Jesus coming into the world and saving us all (if only we’ll let Him!).  But showing people we care about them by getting the perfect gift, well, that can be a whole lot of fun. And I like presents almost as much as I like cake.
So now I have three folks on my list done and two more halfway there. (I keep a spreadsheet–I can tell you what we gave my mother-in-law six years ago. It makes me happy and keeps me on track spending-wise.) Over the coming weeks I’ll have the pleasure of thinking about the people on my list–parents, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, good friends–as I keep an eye out for the perfect gift.
Christmas shopping can be stressful–or it can be a time to focus on important people in our lives. I say shop early and enjoy. And buy books. Books are always good gifts.
So how about you? Have you started shopping yet?