Christmas Starting Too Early?

Updated on November 07, 2012
A.S. asks from Dallas, TX
20 answers

I am definitely not the mom that gets out and does her shipping for the holidays in Septemeber. I'm lucky that I sat down last night to think of things for gifts so I can start to budget for holiday shopping. What prompted this was my Mother-in-Law started asking what the girls wanted/needed for Christmas. I'm one of those people that thinks that Christmas comes too soon these days. Too early in the stores, TV/newspaper ads, and on the radio. She isn't pushing for the list but I still think that it is way too early. Unfortunately I also know that if I don't get started soon I will be at a loss when Christmas sneaks up on me and I'm not prepared. My questions is: When do you start your Christmas preparations? Do you feel it is too early to start? If you start early, when do you finish?

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answers from Dallas on

We're like Melissa and don't use credit cards for anything, so we start about September (sometimes earlier) so that we spread out the expense. I'm almost finished now. :)

This year I decided I didn't want my closet crowed with gifts I was hiding, so I have wrapped everything as I bought it, so I have a pile of wrapped gifts in the corner of my room. I love it!

I'm a Christmas girl, though, and my boys love the holidays, too. We've been listening to Christmas music 'round the clock for a month already, and we've managed to talk my husband into decorating next weekend. We won't decorate outside until later, but inside will be beautiful! I love decorating and shopping early because then the holidays aren't stressful for me at all, and I can enjoy the season with my family stress-free.

However and whenever you choose to shop and decorate, happy holidays! Too soon for that? ;)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Last year I had all my shopping done in August --I shopped summer clearance.

In any case, my goal is always to have it done by Thanksgiving. I get my list of things for the kids to everyone the first week of Nov too --partly because my son's bday is the first week of Dec, and my family uses that list to buy his presents.

I finished shopping for my son eons ago. We are buying my daughter a netbook or tablet, so we are waiting a bit on that. I will finish up her other stuff this week.

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answers from Austin on

Ha! i have over 50 Christmas wreaths in my house, we are taking off the old lights and putting on the new. This is for a client I will be decorating her home on the 15th because they will be going out of state for thanksgiving and not back till the end of November.. then she has a party that weekend.

I also have a house we will decorate on the 17 and just got another email from a lady that likes to have her tree up the sat after Thanksgiving.

I was at target on Nov 1st and purchased every box of white Christmas lights that were not LED and they still did not have enough.. So I am a reason they put that stuff out so early..

I was also a Christmas buyer and I have said it before. The merchandise is shipped to the stores in July... If the stores do not have enough space for storage (which is expensive) we put it on the floor. We light the store trees in August so they are ready to roll out at the end of Oct. beginning of November.

Hey it is business and I am not going to turn it away. I will work when the client hires me.. ..

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Well, actually, I shop for Christmas year round. I just keep my eyes open and sometimes I find exactly what So-and-So would like... in July! So why not get it and tuck it in a closet? (This works better for grownups than for children.)

It could be that you're dismayed by the advertising that appears even before Hallowe'en is over (and Thanksgiving is gobbled up along the way). I can't blame you a bit. But many people ask for gift lists this early so that they can avoid the inevitable post-Thanksgiving crowds. You can hardly blame anyone for wanting to avoid that.

Probably the thing to do is to be kind to those who shop early and want early inside information, while controlling your family's celebration as much as you and your husband can. All the decor and hype doesn't need to show up at your door too early just because you're whispering to your MIL what your girls would enjoy. Start playing Christmas music when it's closer to Christmas. You can even wait to decorate until December 24 if you want to! So there! ;^)

For what it's worth, I used to HATE seeing Christmas products appear in stores in October. Now my feelings are, well, ambivalent. I still don't like seeing them, but it's so helpful to families who have to ship to loved ones living overseas, especially military personnel. They have to mail their packages so early that it's good they can find the Christmastime goodies and decorations when they need them. It helps me to remember that some little child's dad or mom will be pleased to receive the things that are being stocked while I'm still wearing my shorts and sandals....

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answers from Dallas on

I think there is a difference between putting out decorations and starting to celebrate Christmas and preparing for it. Like others said below, I like to budget out everyone who I want to buy for and spread out the cost over a couple of months. I have asked my siblings what their children want for Christmas because I may have some more $ now than I will in December. Obviously everyone is different and if your MIL is asking for a list, there are probably some things your children have talked about that you could offer to her. Or generic items like "books, games, or clothes".

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would imagine that your MIL is asking because all of the big toy books from Toys R Us, Target, Walmart, etc came out within the last week. Some of the best toy deals are now occuring before Black Friday, so sometimes it is better to shop early.

I do feel that it is too early to celebrate Christmas, but I don't mind getting all (or most) of my shopping done before Thanksgiving. It allows me to enjoy everything else that the season has to offer. I truly dislike the whole gift-giving aspect of Christmas. That's why I like to get all of the shopping out of the way so we can celebrate fun traditions and just spend time with each other.

I already got started with the gift shopping shortly after Halloween. I think I will be done shortly after Thanksgiving. It really helps to keep me on budget when I plan things out and shop early. Good luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I start mid-October, using the cruising through the holiday schedule. I used to not even think about Christmas until Thanksgiving but now I'm an early planner convert. Drives me nuts that I don't yet know which sibling I have in our grab or what my nieces want or need and I don't know when we're celebrating Hanukkah or who is coming. I have already started planning my menus and decorations, have replenished my supplies of tape and wrapping paper and am buying some of my baking ingredients with each trip to the grocery store. Sometimes it feels like the season is dragging out too long, but this way by the time December comes I have time to DO things like go to the various holiday events in our town, plan fun crafts with my Sunday school classes, attend parties and visit relatives without feeling pressured because I have to go shopping or run errands.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I'm feeling the Christmas spirit early this year for some reason. It's cold out and dreary and I'm ready to put up the decorations. My mom has already ordered some of the kids gifts and is waiting for me to finish their wish lists. My MIL just asked for their wish lists. We just went to TRU and bought the kids a bunch of stuff. There were some good sales like buy one get one 50% off Bratzillas. Which my DD really wanted and the same for the Ninja turtles my son wanted.

We don't use CC's so we buy a little here and there leading up to Christmas with each paycheck. We don't end up with a big debt after Christmas. Plus, I hate crowds and I hate sold out toys on websites. Plus, Amazon gets crazy on some prices once the see the trends in demand. I get the stuff early before all that hype.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I start shopping for Christmas whenever I start finding things- sometimes that is as early as June or July, but usually after Halloween. This year with a relocation as a possibility just before Christmas, we're holding off. I don't want to move boxes of gifts that can be purchased in FL.

We do not decorate or do anything for Christmas before Thanksgiving otherwise. I feel strongly that we have forgotten how to be thankful in this culture and I refuse to skip over it. We also celebrate Christmas a religious holiday in our family. We celebrate Christmas Eve Mass as a family and have a big formal dinner together. Christmas Day is all about Santa, but we don't skip over the actual reason for the holiday. It's not all about presents and "stuff"...and we work really hard to make sure that our kids know that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Oh Lord! I hear ya!
Something SO fundamentally wrong with Halliween candy on O. side of an aisle and Christmas stuff on the other.
And thanksgiving g gets squeezed out completely. Lol
I am a procrastinator since birth.
We save all year in a credit union account, and I ready HAVE the funds to shop.
When will I? Not Black Friday, that's for sure.
On principle, it HAS to be a date starting with "December"! Usually around the 10-12th is my norm.
Of course, every year I buy O. thing super early, lulling myself into the "I've started at least" mentality. I have that O. thing ready.
I know I'm toast when the "wrap on an at-need basis" starts.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I love the holidays and everything that goes with it so I get excited to see the Christmas stuff, even in October :)) I usually start shopping in November.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Considering I am already done with it..yeah..I think it's far too early. I rolled my eyes and tried to ignore it when Target had up large aisles of Christmas stuff before it even finished putting up the Halloween costumes. When it wasn't even Halloween and they had their full section of Christmas stuff up and Halloween on clearance I was getting annoyed. When shopping in Toys R Us having to listen to Christmas music already, that's about when I was done.
The commercials aren't too bad yet, but that's only because we're being bombarded with last minute panic politcal ads. I'm sure November 7th we'll be flooded with them.
I do put a little thought into some gifts this early if I'm making them or if we see a one of a kind something that screams someone we know that will love it. But the pressure from everywhere is too much.
Yes, it is far too early and far too much!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I usually try to do wht shopping needs done in Nov because the lines get crazy in December and the good stuff is usually gone by then. But things are really tight this year so probably will have to wait till December. Ugh long lines

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

Ihate to sayi t but i'm not liking this time of year at all any more & my kids are still young for their mama to feel this way & it's not about them making me feel this way it's the media,stores,infomercials,others talking about their outragous spending inside i'm laughing at them that bill will come next month & your "perfect present's"have already been forgotten not to mention all the time & effort you spent putting into the Holiday.
This year I don't want to stay in a store looking shoppiong endlessly i'm hoping right into Dillons gift card center have my list & checkout nothing to wrap other than my chidrens things.Sorry maybe it's thoughtless but really I never see what I buy being used or worn.My decor will be cing out soon & taken down the night we get home Christmas alwasy done this & not stopping now,have a birthday party 2 weeks after.



answers from Los Angeles on

I think it's too early for Christmas music, ads, decorations etc.
I was shocked to walk into the local drugstore & found the Halloween
items moved & discounted then saw the Christmas decorations up!

I used to start shopping Oct 1st when I worked & had money.

Now I pick up things along the way when I find them on sale.



answers from El Paso on

I try to start thinking about it/planning about this time, but we also live out of state from family, so if we're going to do our own Christmas at home, it has to happen early. This year, I'm going to stay with family for about 2 weeks for Thanksgiving, then home for about 2 weeks, then back with family, so I REALLY have to get on the ball. I'm down to 10 days before I leave for Thanksgiving! AAAAAAAAHHH!!! (In case you're wondering, yes, I feel like a chicken running around with its head chopped off.)



answers from Dallas on

Well, I am pleased to say, I have not seen a lot of Christmas decorations up yet. In fact, I saw where Nordstrom has signs stating that they like to celebrate one holiday at a time:)
However, I am a walking contradiction. While I don't want the retailers or society to start with the Christmas, I have already emailed my SILs and asked what their kiddos want. I have asked my kiddos to write a list (to be prepped when the aunts, uncles and grands ask) and have already purchased their "big gift" - it is a bahama vacation in the summer.

Like a lot of moms here, I don't like to use CC for gifts, so planning ahead really helps me space it out. In the past, my husband and I used to save up and then do a blitz on the 23:) I loved it, but now that our kiddos are older it is harder to get away with sneaking the Santa gifts back in the house:)



answers from Los Angeles on

Yes! I hate how early Christmas comes these days. When I was a kid, Christmas started the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday was really the beginning of it all. Then, it inched to the day after Halloween. Now, it starts in August. Seriously, I have seen xmas trees in Macy's and other stores in August and it makes me CRAZY!!! I have given up on getting annoyed when it starts before Thanksgiving. BUT, I really, really, really, really get irritated and annoyed and just generally turned off when it starts before Halloween.



answers from Kansas City on

I start in the summer. I like to buy and put things away over several months. It's less stressful and easier on the budget! We do not decorate until mid-December, though.



answers from Washington DC on

I think that the stores need to wait at least for Halloween - they were moving the Halloween stuff to the discount aisle and moving in Christmas already! I love that Nordstrom's doesn't deck the halls til after Thanksgiving. I prep for Christmas presents all year. I've asked for lists from family in part because they are pathetic. SS waited til December 23 do to his shopping last year. I have a few gifts now. I'd tell her you will give her a list when you've thought of one, but their current sizes are x and y. We will not put up the tree til December.

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