Don't hate me, but I started my holiday shopping in earnest. In June, actually. Partly for practical reasons: every December I'm swamped hunting for bonsai trees, making Krampus switches and tiny snow bottles, untangling my mirror garland, and picking up extra shifts at work. The other reason is that San Francisco summers are often chillier than the winters, so it's the perfect time to cuddle up with cocoa and start checking my list twice.
There are lots of other reasons why I'm starting so ridiculously early this year...
Best Selection I love to do my holiday shopping at little local stores, but they generally have limited quantities of their (often handmade) products, which sell out quickly- especially in December. And if I've had something in mind that a shop is currently out of, there's a good chance they can special order one for me, since I'm giving them a 4-month window!
Best Selection, Online Edition Last year I ordered a few gifts online a month ahead of time, and was so stressed until they finally arrived at the last moment...though some didn't, and I had to cancel those orders and figure out last-minute gift replacements. Mail-order companies are overwhelmed in December, their suppliers are overwhelmed, the delivery systems are overwhelmed, so I'm a big fan of shopping now, when there's less chance something will go wrong. And if it does, there's plenty of time to make it right.
Inspiration, Not Deadline I love gift-giving so much, and hate doing it when there's a deadline looming. Sure, my mom will like this whatever, but I want to give her something perfect, something amazing that was seemingly made just-for-her. I find it infinitely easier to find those perfect things when I'm relaxed and not rushing.
Is It Christmas Yet? I live across the country from many of my loved ones, and miss them all the time. Our Christmas celebrations are one of the highlights of my year, so starting my dreaming & scheming early helps stretch out the fun, and makes them feel a bit less far away.
Ease the Crafting Crunch I usually make about half of my gifts, so starting my shopping now helps me decide whose gifts will be handmade, and what those might be. I might even start on them soon, or at least start gathering materials.
Plenty Left On The To-Do List Even if I finish all of my holiday shopping by September (doubtful, but I can dream), there will still be a million cozy holiday tasks to complete in December. I always make my own cards, and last year I made my wrapping paper, too. I also make tons of edible gifts, bake cakes & cookies to bring to my family gathering, and try to send party care packages to events I can't make it to. I'm actually getting a little stressed- but excited!- thinking about getting all of it done, so if most of the gifts are safely tucked away, I'll be able to enjoy the holiday craziness that much more.
Is anyone else joining me on this crazy quest? Do you think there are downfalls to shopping early (stores often save the best stuff for December, missing out on sales, people thinking you're a freak)?