It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And it’s only two months away.

You got plans for Christmas? Stores have been dressed up with the latest holiday decorations for months now. But even if you feel unprepared and you haven’t thought one iota about gifts, we’re here for you.

 Take the stress off and make some of your plans now. Here’s a quick way to get a head start.

Don’t delay. You still have time to be ahead of the curve. But time is of the essence.
Make your list! Yep, it sounds simple, but write down a list of everyone you want to buy for this Christmas. Start with immediate family, then extended family.

Check it twice! You knew this one was coming, but make sure you include friends, coworkers, bosses or others (e.g. teachers, pastors) to whom you want to give gifts.

Let’s talk money. Now that you have a complete list, go through each name and assign a dollar value that will help to establish your Christmas budget. Don’t compare what others are doing or may do, and don’t feel pressured to do something you’ll regret come January.

Parties, decorations, food. One last thing to remember. Planning for Christmas also means all the extra-curricular activities, such as parties and food. Those can be big surprises if you haven’t factored them in. Remember those after-Christmas sales at places like Hobby Lobby, Kirkland’s, and other stores if you don’t need decorations right now. Buy early for next year.

Sticking to your budget is more about your values and your peace of mind. Remember, you don’t have to keep up with the Joneses (they’re broke anyway), and you can be creative with your gifts and genuine in your approach. And, take it easy on your bank account.

One more thing to consider. Shop early, order early. Supply lines have been stretched over the past year, and experts are warning it may get worse as we head into the holiday season. Download our Gift-Giving Guide for 2021. It includes some unique and creative ways for gift selection that are easy on the pocketbook and will put a smile on your face – and theirs – on Christmas Day.


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