Since I was a young teen, I have been buying my own gifts to give to my parents and four siblings. That means that my babysitting money was quickly spent. When I was in college I began shopping by mid-fall for Christmas gifts for my family and friends. Now I shop year round, looking for deals and things that remind me of someone. Now that many of my siblings have children and/or spouses, and I shop for my husband's family, too, December could be tough financially.
We keep things realistic. With over 25 people in our parent/sibling (and significant other)/niece/nephew category, we know our limits with spending money. Though we don't have a firm budget, I do try to be careful as in my spending WITHOUT shopping on Black Friday. That kind of chaos is not my style.
I currently have a shopping list. I have a group of gifts that I know I can buy locally (because that is how I prefer to shop and I wrote about its benefits and the 3/50 project that you might want to read). I have another shopping list of items that I will purchase on-line through stores/sites that offer good deals. I will likely do most of this shopping on Black Friday sitting in Grandma and Grandpa's living room. LL Bean has free shipping through December 20th. I intend to purchase several hanging toiletry organizers because I love mine! I will also do some shopping with Amazon and likely CSN Stores. Whenever I use Amazon, I try to use an Amazon associate by clicking on a blogging friend's Amazon link. It gives the associate a tiny percentage of the purchase price instead of just giving it to Amazon. Yes, I am an Amazon associate, but my purchases cannot benefit me, but I want them to benefit someone!
One more thing...it's good to support stores that support Christmas...not just the "holiday" that brings them in tons of money. You can check out a naughty and nice list for stores who support Christmas if you wish.
So what about you? Are the deals worth it to you on Black Friday? Do you do any (all?) shopping on-line? Do you have any gift favorites for giving this year that you want to share?
Skillet Meatloaf Recipe - Maybe my mom made meatloaf when I was a child, but I don't remember it. Any time I had it as a teen, I disliked it. Maybe I just needed to wait for the rig...