I know, I know, who wants to think about the holidays now? But hear me out, have you ever gotten burned in December when you had a lovely idea for a gift but not the time to get it or get it together? Frustrating! Some gifts just need more lead-time, including these...
If you start now you'll be able to enjoy the holidays more instead of worrying about finishing your gift.
Personalized or custom gifts
Planning on having something engraved, monogrammed or otherwise special ordered? Plan, also, on extra time. Usually these additions only take a few extra weeks, but it pays to plan ahead.
Every year I learn the hard way that many Etsy sellers suspend their shops in early December either because they want time off at the holidays or because they need time to fulfill orders already placed.
Having a photographed, painted or drawn portrait is a great idea (and could be your holiday card), but if you wait too long you'll find artists already booked up with work.
Do you love to buy super trendy-right-now gifts? If something is so popular it has a chance of selling out, strike now before it's too late.
Similar to the "it" gift - every year there are a few hot toys that sell out for the holidays (and create a "black market" for them on eBay). Until the holiday frenzy is truly in swing it's hard to know what these toys are going to be (prediction for 2015: Star Wars toys), but pay attention to what your child is asking for or interested in over the next few months and buy early to avoid disappointment.
Have your eye on a gift that's overseas? If you buy it now you'll avoid rush shipping costs and the stress of wondering how long it will take to clear customs.
Is it just me or has the cost of mailing packages skyrocketed in the past few years? Similar to buying overseas above, if you plan to send gifts to loved ones across an ocean, at least think about acquiring or making their gift now. If you send it soon, you may be able to send it more cheaply and, of course, slowly.
Another Good Reason to Buy Gifts Now
If you typically buy a lot of gifts, spreading the cost out over several months will take the pressure off you wallet in December and help you avoid paying for things on credit.
Anything I've forgotten? Chime in!