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When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 12, 2007

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Photo of Brenda Cooper

“I would say I start about December 23rd, but I’m always running late.”

Photo of Darrel Harden

“I usually start the day or two before Christmas. I’m still shopping when the stores are closing on Christmas Eve.”

Photo of Shane Stover

“I’m a December 20th kind of shopper. Not necessarily the last minute, just the weekend before.”

Photo of Kendra Oakes

“I start thinking about it in early December.”


Richard Heckler 10 years, 6 months ago

Hey retail corporate america put away all that christmas stuff.

Face it most holidays including christmas have become major commercial events......not a special day. Consumers can take it back from corporate america if they so desire by not participating in "shop and spend till you drop" the day after thanksgiving. Retail commercials are running the lives of consumers as if there is nothing fun left in our lives.

We are so close to being done. It starts when we see something hopefully unique that will be enjoyed for years to come. The lions share of gifts for children become dust collectors as they focus on one or two items.

Some of the most fun things are the music,lights and christmas scenes scattered about.

chemegirlie 10 years, 6 months ago

I start shopping on the after Christmas sales and continue all year. I have most of my shopping done already, but I kind of have to do that. Both of my parents are divorced and remarried giving me a whopping 40 people to buy gifts for. As a college student, if I didn't spread it out over the year, I wouldn't be able to afford it.

preebo 10 years, 6 months ago

My wife goes shopping at a ridiculous hour on what some call Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) to wrestle with other women for a Tickle-Me-Elmo or something. I don't get it, but she and her friends turn into a full on military-style operation.

jhkfan 10 years, 6 months ago

blue73harley--you sound like a peach of a guy. I bet you never buy your wife a present & are still wearing the same sweat suit you bought on your last trip to the mall 10 years ago! Get in the spirit & enjoy the holidays.

preebo 10 years, 6 months ago

No malls for me either. I think there is an age restriction enforced most of the year. Anyone over the age of 18 is not permitted except from November 23rd to December 24th.

acg 10 years, 6 months ago

I despise shopping so I always put it off til the last minute. I have to literally drag myself to the store/mall because the whole thing aggravates me so much. From the poisoning of the idea of Christmas, to the way everyone gets grumpy, snatchy and rude around the holidays (masking it, of course, with fake cheery smiles and copious amounts of egg nog). Bell ringers make me nuts and they're everywhere. The whole deal is unpleasant. I think I may make the hubby do it this year.

trinity 10 years, 6 months ago

thank you py for posting what you did; jhkfan's post about getting into the spirit&enjoying the holidays really ticked me off! i'd betcha blue is one of the sweetest sweeties on here&treats his wife very well! and lord have mercy, if getting in to a holiday spirit entails being caught up in a frenzied throng of shoppers in order to spend money that could be better spent elsewhere on geegaws and jimcracks that'll be forgotten in a matter of days, well-count me out. whew that was a long sentence, lmaooooooo...

friday friday friDAY friday friday friDAY friday friday friDAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! :)

canyon_wren 10 years, 6 months ago

Some great posts here! Congrats, harley, on avoiding the malls. Like pywacket and trinity said, whatever you give your wife is bound to be picked out with more thought. I live 110 miles from any real mall (it is great!) and the one mall available to me (in Grand Jct., Colo) is pretty small and manageable. I try to "buy local" here in town when possible, but you can only give so many t-shirts, mugs and Indian jewelry every year! I make one of my "quarterly" trips to GJ in mid-December, usually.

I certainly hate to see all the seasonal stuff already--I just try to ignore it. It would be nice if folks could follow merrill's advice and refuse to buy anything Christmas-y before December. But for many, the habit is too strong to overcome. I still give small presents as we all have 'way too much stuff as it is!

Crossfire 10 years, 6 months ago

My plan this year is on Monday the 24th I'll grab a hand full of cash go to Cottin's, see what I can find for everybody. Should be done just in time for lunch. If I have time I'll wrap the stuff up. If there's cash left over I will hand it out on the way out the door on Tuesday. Ho Ho Ho. Gotta Go...

sgtwolverine 10 years, 6 months ago

I don't really spend much time on it. My family has gone to a system in which each sibling buys a gift (or gifts) for only one other sibling, so instead of buying small gifts for lots of people, we can buy nice gifts for one person. It makes shopping easier.

ms_canada 10 years, 6 months ago

In our family we don't buy gifts for a lot of people out side the family. Our family is small, me, hubby, two daughters, one son, 4 grown grandsons. The 4 boys get money. So, that means I only buy 4 gifts. Not difficult to shop for them a week or two before Chirstmas. grandson # 3 just signed with the American Hockey League to play with Norfolk Admirals and has been told to get an apartment and has to buy furniture, dishes, bedding etc. So I think I will send him his Christmas gift early, like next week. Exciting time for a young lad.

ms_canada 10 years, 6 months ago

Hey there snap, pop no crackle - would you be interested in seeing a picture of my grandson, Rob Klinkhammer? If so, just google - click on team, click his name and there he is, my handsome wee laddie.

jonas 10 years, 6 months ago

I go on the day after Thanksgiving.
But I don't buy anything, I just go to get in people's way. I generally target the most highly sought after good, and get there real early to grab two or three of them, put them in my cart, and just wander the stores, parking my cart perpendicularly across isles while I look at DVD racks, and sometimes criticizing other people's selections in semi-audible voices. Then I'll take my sought after products up to the line, and fish in my wallet for a minute or two looking for the credit card that I (cough) forgot to bring, muttering and cursing my luck, until I have to admit I can't find it and get out of line. Then I put the products back where no one would think to look for it (Tickle Me Elmo? Meet Automotive Products!) and then I head out to the next store.

Of course, I just heave my cart off into the lot when I'm done with it too.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 6 months ago

ms_c: Congratulations to your grandson! Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they make the trip out to Michigan to play Grand Rapids. If they did, I might go to the game.

jonas 10 years, 6 months ago

My Hummer H2 takes up two spaces, also. But sneakily, by parking all twisted in the space next to an empty space next to another big truck or SUV, so there's the space available, but no car can safely fit into it! Mwahahahahaha!

CindiCat 10 years, 6 months ago

Some good posts here. What was the question again??

Oh ya.....start my list throughout the year....if any of my kids happen to mention a particular "want" or need, I write it down cos I'm gonna forget. That "over 50" thing ya know ;)

The husband and I do the shopping the morning OF 12-24 and get it all done. DO NOT hit any Mall to do this. No way, no how. We shop for our 4 kids and 2 granddaughter's only.

Did the "Black Friday" once.......jeez-a-loo never again.

canyon_wren 10 years, 6 months ago

ms_canada--your grandson IS cute! How exciting that must be for him! A local boy signed on last spring with the Minnesota Twins as a pitcher--we're pretty thrilled about that.

jonas--sounds like you have a lot of fun with your shopping--will have to try that sometime.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 6 months ago

Yes! What a cutie that Rob is...I can see the family resemblance! He favors his gramma.

Shopping: Don't do a whole lot of it. Only buy gifts for the hubby and girls. In the hubby's family, we don't exchange gifts, and in my family, we only do a gag gift. We draw numbers out of a hat and we can keep the gag we got or steal from the person ahead of us. Last year I got a lovely Nacho Libre pen set. I cherish it. The hubby got a redneck flashlight which was a paper towel tube with matches duct-taped around the end. Very classy...and useful to boot! Good times!

Linda Aikins 10 years, 6 months ago

Ms_C - what a cutie patootie! And he has one proud grandma!

I always get my kids something very strange (one year I gave one of them an antique false teeth kid that a salesman would use - they still talk about it). But every year, fewer and fewer gifts are bought and more goes to a charity. Except for the little ones! One year I went to Paxico and bought antiques (i.e. junk) for everyone, but it had meaning to that person. I didn't spend much but had a great holiday.

Blue, we support you!

Flap Doodle 10 years, 6 months ago

Very cool, ms_c. Too bad the Admirals don't get down this way.

mom_of_three 10 years, 6 months ago

I ususally start buying Christmas gifts around October. But if I see something for my kids, my mom or inlaws, I will usually buy it and hope I don't forget where I put it by Christmas!! My mom usually tells me not to worry about them. But I always buy them something. Basically, I buy for my 3 kids, my 8 nieces and nephews, my grandma, my parents, inlaws, and maybe something for my sisters. Oh, and my husband.
But my dad's side of the family does the "Silly Santa" thing, with my sisters, parents, cousins, etc. The more the merrier.
My cousin shops for Christmas ALL YEAR LONG. She is usually done by October. She is SO organized.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 6 months ago

RI, Tell ol' Sinter that I'll leave my boots out in the pump-house next to the water softener.
I've been very, very bad and will need lots of salt. :D

Ceallach 10 years, 6 months ago

Let he who is without "bad" cast the first salt :)

If Black Friday offers something I really, really want and it is really, really cheap, I will venture out. That rarely happens because come 5:00 am, I usually decide to pay a little more and get it later. Most of my shopping is done the last two weeks before Christmas. Crowds are nicer, and I'm more in the Christmas spirit . . Family members teenage or older get gift cards. They use them on the sales and get more for the buck. We all get something for the little ones, but then again, they are quite easy to please.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 6 months ago

If you see a middle-aged blonde/redhead with lots of empty Prince Albert cans (my daddy smoked it and he's gone and I miss him), that will be me! (And yes, I did that prank phone call when I was little. ) I didn't know about the Santa - that would be fun! I never want to stop believing in Santa! I nominate BlueHarley to play him on the boards this year.

sigerson 10 years, 6 months ago

So Jonas is the person we were cursing in the "how patient are you with lines" thread. Would love to go Christmas shopping with you!

Agree with Gepetto: Too early to be asking this. But since the question is on the table...

Only have one present to buy. The rest of us just ignore gift-giving. My brother and a friend, though, think Christmas begins December 26. They made Black Friday and the Day After Christmas into a military-style operation, communicating with each other by phone in different cities as to what's available, with strategies on where to head first in the store and how to "duck and roll" under the metal gate as it comes up when the store opens. Every second counts, y'know.

I am not making this up.

His exploits in late December are particularly fascinating to watch. He'll buy Christmas ornaments and decorations at 70% off. Great bargains, right? But he's just getting started. In following days, he cases the store to see when the prices go down further, then then returns the merchandise and re-buys it at an even greater discount.

I am not making this up.

This sordid cycle continues, over and over, taking back the stuff and purchasing it again, until he's bled every drop of savings out of the deal (or March, whichever comes first).

I have a suspicion: one of us is adopted.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 6 months ago

blue, I would actually drive by to see your decorations...the sleigh pulling flamingos, that is.

Bobbi Walls 10 years, 6 months ago

I already started... picked up an order at JcPenney today, and bought my 9 year old a mp3 player. I will be done by Thanksgiving, and will have everything under the tree the day after.

coolmom 10 years, 6 months ago

i start about now with occasional casual shopping but mainly do money or gift cards for the neices and nephews and i watch for the stuff i know my kids would want on sale between now and then. i do the black friday thing every year but usually do not buy anything. last year i bought dog food while roaming the store in morbid fascination. then i go to breakfast meeting friends and go home and nap.

gccs14r 10 years, 6 months ago

I used to be a last-minute shopper, but I got tired of fighting the crowds and finding everything picked over. Now I keep my eyes open year-round and if I see something I think someone will like (that they're unlikely to buy for themselves), I buy it then and stash it for the holidays.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 6 months ago

Woo-hoo, I'm sunflower_sue!!! I do all that domestic goddess stuff!!! I'm a "food snob"!!! woo-hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

beatrice 10 years, 6 months ago

As soon as I run out of re-gifting options.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 6 months ago

Wait a second. I just re-read the question, and now I'm confused. At what store can one buy Christmas?

camper 10 years, 6 months ago

Remember the story about the wife who sold her long hair to buy her husband a watch band? And the husband who sold his watch to buy his wife a hair braid? What a great story. If there is any gift to give, love is the best. It is more valuable than anything in the world. I hope everyone has a memorable season. I always cherish this time of year because I see people tryin to do the above.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 6 months ago

I stopped shopping for Christmas years ago. (Now, if I could only stop paying for all those years of Christmas shopping.)

BTW, from one happy "camper" to another... It's true, the spirit of Christmas cannot be captured between cash registers.

GretchenJP 10 years, 6 months ago

I start earlier and earlier every year. I start thinking about it in August already but I don't like going near the stores... internet shopping for me. eBay been bewwy bewwy good to me.

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