A Compact Christmas

Several of you have asked me to post about buying Christmas gifts while doing the Compact. It's really quite simple. Here are my tips:

  • Shop early.
    • It's pretty much impossible to buy used/barter/trade at the last minute. Well, you could, but even Goodwill is pretty picked over by Christmas eve!
    • I've been slowly collecting gifts from consignment stores and thrift stores..and occasionally trading for photography.
  • Always keep an eye out for a gift...even if you aren't specifically shopping for that person.
    • I have found the greatest gifts when I wasn't really looking. Keep a list of all the people that you are shopping for so you can keep track.
  • Keep a gift "box" under your bed or in a closet so that you can have them all in one place.
    • I love this. Anytime I find a cool gift, I just pop it right into my gift box and know that I can forget about it until Christmas! This is a great thing to have year-round...because as birthdays pop up, you can just grab a gift from the box.
  • Don't buy gifts for everyone.
    • I used to do this...because I LOVE giving gifts. But this year, I am limiting it to family and a few close friends. For Bella, we would like to start the tradition of 3 gifts only...representing the 3 gifts the wise men brought Jesus.
  • Homemade is fun.
    • Last year I made cool magnets. It's always cheaper to do something crafty. I usually do a lot of photo-related gifts, especially for the grandparents. I have some crafty things that I am making this year, but I can't reveal it on my blog...that would ruin the surprise!
  • Don't get stressed. The focus is on Jesus, not gifts. The gifts are just a great symbol of what God gave us in His son.

Giving gifts is so much fun for me. I thought about just not doing any gifts this year...but then I realized how much joy I get from seeing someone's face light up. Compacting this Christmas has been enjoyable and easier than I thought! And I am THRILLED to not be out at the malls. Wheeeee!

Photo courtesy of Nathan Gibbs/flickr.com