As Christmas approaches, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed, stressed out, and even grumpy. You may need an extra cafecito or two to keep you going! As a mom, you know all too well that most of the burden is on you, but it doesn't have to be. The key is to spend a little time getting organized, have an action plan, and then the rest is possible. Don't stress out if it's not picture perfect, remember, life is messy and perfection doesn't exist!
Time and Money Saving Tips For the Holiday Season
Start with a shopping list and plan of attack
So the clock is winding down with only a few days left, ahhh! If you're anything like me, you have some shopping done, but not everything. I still have some last minute items I need to get. I have my Christmas shopping list ready to go. Prefer to use your phone? There are tons of list apps that range from very simple to quite complex. Pick the one that works for you. I have shopped before with no plan in sight, roaming the stores for hours trying to figure out what to get so and so and that's not the way to do it.
Shop for Christmas during off peak hours
Now that you have your list and know what remaining gifts you have to buy, make a shopping plan so that you can make the most of your shopping trip. If you can, shop before you go to work and avoid the last weekend before Christmas. Many stores open as early as 8am. See if you can go to work an hour late. Ask your partner to take over the kid duties that day. You want to shop alone, with a list, and a plan.
Do Christmas Shopping online
As a very busy Mompreneur I don’t have endless hours for Christmas shopping. You still have time with Amazon Prime. Need some last minute ideas? Check out my Amazon Storefront with favorite toys and books for kids.
I do a lot of my shopping online but I do like going to stores to get that holiday experience. You know there are gifts that you need to touch and hold and then there are those gifts that you can just order off a click. Be clear and know that most retailers and online stores offer free holiday shipping, like Mi Legasi ;) Take advantage. Don’t want the inconvenience of waiting for packages? Many retailers will ship to your local store for pickup. Just remember that the pickup lines tend to be long during the holidays with only 1 to 2 people working the counter, so avoid peak hours.
Take advantage of reward cards and sites to get money back.
If you do shop online, I recommend signing up for rakuten, they’ll provide you cash back for any online shopping. Simply install their app, activate it before you shop, and every 3 months, you’ll get a check in the mail! Last Christmas I got a check for $54. My husband insisted that I sign up and now I look forward to a check. The more you shop the more cash back you get, but even if you get a $7 check, it’s $7 that you didn’t have before. I also recommend retailmenot to get any coupons you may not be aware of. Just type in the store or product you are looking for and in seconds you’ll get a list of coupons to use. Finally, take advantage of any reward program. Many cards and shops offer double reward points or even discounted items like gift cards. Use them wisely but take advantage of any perks.
Ask for holiday extras and take the help!
Many stores offer free boxes, gift bags, tissue paper, and even free gift wrapping, but you have to ask, sin pena(don't be shy). Don’t forget to ask about coupons either. Think about making your life easier and if that means one less gift to wrap, woo hoo. Ask your partner to help with the wrapping. Even if you’re a creative freak like me, who likes to coordinate the wrapping paper to the tree, you can still ask for help so you can have less to do.
Don‘t go crazy buying your kids Christmas gifts
Your family and friends will do the bulk load and Santa or the Reyes Magos (Three Kings) will do the rest. I like to give my daughter thoughtful gifts and though they aren’t the latest toy in an egg, they are from the heart, and something she’ll treasure beyond the next toy fad. I’ll do picture yearbooks that retell our family’s year or an iconic event, like our first Disney vacation. Shutterfly is my go to place for picture books. If albums aren’t your thing, you can gift your child an ornament that represents something special that happened during the year.
Create DIY Christmas Gifts
If you have the time, a great money saver is DIY gifts. You can personalize them any way you want and people will appreciate that you took the time to create something special and unique. Some diy ideas include, bath salts, baked goods, photo gifts, and artwork gifts. Pinterest has lots of ideas. For my daughter's first Christmas we gifted her artwork to our friends and family. They loved them and I can tell you that it pleases me to see them hanging on their walls.
Your friends and family will forgive you if they don't get your gifts by Christmas.
Ok, so I'm not talking about your kids, or spouses, but your friends and extended family will understand, especially if you have young kids. You try your best to get it all done, but don't kill yourself if your primo (cousin) Juan doesn't get his gift by Navidad. Remember, technically you have until Los Reyes (Three Kings), I just bought you an extra 12 days! Yes, Santa, don't look so shocked.
Final Thoughts on Time and Money Saving Christmas Tips
Don't let La Navidad overwhelm you. It's a time to connect with your friends and family, create memories, and carry on your holiday traditions. Remember, material things come and go. What matters most is not the value of things but how you value what you have. Gifts given and received are simply extra blessings to those we already have. Feliz Navidad!
Need more tips on holiday shopping?
Check out our top post: 2019 Best Bilingual Gifts for Kids of all Ages