Steph vs. Joy | Christmas Shopping


“Making a list and checking it twice.” That’s what this time of year brings to our homes.  However, “the most wonderful time of the year” can become quite stressful for some and a pure joy for others.

Here’s our take on Christmas shopping…

{Steph}. As I alluded to in this post about Children and Spouse Gift Ideas – I can not get enough of this season!! Everything about it (well – everything but the crowds) is just so wonderful.  From the putting up of the tree the day after Thanksgiving to the buying of gifts for loved one’s – I just LOVE it!

But first, here’s a little info about me that you probably need to know – for those of you who have read the book The Five Love Languages, my main “love language” (aka: the way I best give and receive love) is through the Giving of Gifts.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – heck – it can even be a simple note on a post-it that my hubby leaves for me on our bathroom mirror – but I express love to my friends and family best through the buying of gifts and in turn I feel most loved when someone takes time out of their day to get me a gift.  Call me weird – but that’s just who I am.

With all that being said – I LOVE buying gifts.  Love, love, love it!  So come early November I start making my list of who I’ll be buying for this year and jotting down idea’s for each of their Christmas gifts.  And because I love list making and completing lists I start shopping pretty early.  I know… some of you hate me.

This year I was done shopping by the 7th of December (alright – with the exception of 2 “last minute” gifts).  And honestly, I’m so thankful because for me, the longer I wait the more stressful the holidays become.  So by sticking to my list (and budget) I feel like I in turn can give more of myself to the people I love most.

{Joy}  Lists are good.  I need to make more lists – especially with how I’m forgetting my brain these days.  I love Christmas time, the decorations, the general splendor, the wreaths and the smell of pine.  I love it all.  I even enjoy gift wrapping and selecting the right gifts. 

But, unlike Steph it doesn’t energize me to make a list of whos and whats.  In fact, each year I get so stressed by making my list for myself and my family, that I get overwhelmed by who needs what that I don’t do a great job of getting organized.  I often become frozen with possibilities.  If you’ve gotten a gift from me recently you will notice something about it… it is useful, or it comes with the return receipt.  This time of year hits my frugal/practical nature in a funny spot.  I just want to get people things that they a.) Want or b.) Will Use.  Surprises aren’t part of the fun for me, though they are nice, I’d rather buy you something useful OR beautiful.  Within my immediate family, we get really practical about gift-giving because for us, it’s worse to waste money than to just ask.

But, like Steph, I really love giving gifts… but, in my desire to give the perfect gift, I often become paralyzed.  So, I think I need a new system.  I need a new system for gift-giving for my family (in-laws, parents, spouse, kiddo, etc) and I need a new system for gift-giving to my friends.  Any ideas?


What do you do?  What works best for your family?  How do you plan your lists?  How do you decide what to get everyone?