How To Christmas Shop In July

The title alone will divide people into two camps: the perennial Santas, always listening for the next gift idea, and the Christmas dreaders, who would wait until December 24th if they could. I think it's similar to coursework, some people can produce diamonds under pressure, and others (me) are left thinking of shoddy excuses, and I don't dig the pressure on my bank account, either. Of course, Christmas isn't all about the gifts, but I love the feeling when my dear ones open something really special, and for me, the best way to achieve it is to be well ahead of the game. Here's how...

Clued Up
When my family say "I want..." I don't bat an eyelid, because I know they will snap it up for themselves long before the first tin of chocolates is hidden. Instead, I listen for "I like...", and watch to see if it's just a passing comment or a Christmas clue. For example, if my mum really likes a scarf, she will hold it up against her coat, or ask us if it would go well with a certain jumper. Ding ding ding! We have a winner.

Another sneaky secret is to look out for what they've used up but wouldn't repurchase themselves. Their favourite fragrance might be too fancy for them to buy, but that makes the perfect excuse for you to swoop in and stock up.

Note-y Or Nice
The notes app on my phone is a great place to sneakily jot down items whilst out and about, as it's much more discreet than writing in a notebook, and you're guaranteed to record it there and then rather than risking forgetting it if you wait until later. I try to be very specific, so rather than noting 'Lakeland green scarf', I would put 'Lakeland olive green Amelie scarf, Southport store' so I know exactly where to find it, but also what to search online. 

In a similar vein, I also screenshot specific pictures or links that my family send me, and this way I can head straight to the site when I'm ready to buy.

Net A Deal
If I see the item when I'm with the person, then there's no way I can buy it without them noticing, so my safest bet is often to order online. If an item is expensive I will look for deals on different websites, or sign up with email to the site in order to receive updates on all their offers.

Secret Santa
Once the presents are both, it's up to you to keep them well hidden, but not forget them yourself! Tick them off on your notes app and tuck them into your best hiding holes- think airing cupboard, the back of your wardrobe, or even in the garage.

On a bitter note, make sure you don't take the tags off anything and do keep the receipts. If your recipient makes it onto your naughty list you may want to return it later, and we all know that adding BNWT gets you bidding brownie points on eBay!

Which team are you on?



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