Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Christmas in July!

Yes, I fully expect ya'll to make fun of me. But that's okay. There is a reason for this post today - promise. :)

So it's the middle of July and sweltering hot in the good 'ole Midwest, and I highly doubt Christmas is on most normal people's radar at the moment. But as you probably know, I'm not normal. :) My brain has been in fall and winter mode for a quite a while now, dreaming of traditions and cooler temperatures and all that junk. Seems that I live my life a couple of seasons ahead of everyone else. (Cause believe me, in the winter...I'm more than ready for summertime!)

ANYWAY, it's officially time for crazy folks like me to start thinking about Christmas lists. And why is that, you might ask? Because tomorrow is the usual start of Target's annual TOY CLEARANCE! Wahoo!! Haha.

Basically, many of Target's toys will be marked down to 70% off to make room for a new season of gadgets and gizmos for the smaller set. It's the same every year - the third Thursday in July is when most stores will start their deep markdowns. Like most of my favorite kinds of sales, every Target will be different. What they have to choose from will be totally dependent on what kind of stock they have. So one store might be a dud, while another is a goldmine for super cheap toys. It's the thrill of hunt! :)

To put it into perspective, last year there was a toy I really really really wanted to to get for each of the girls, but I could never bring myself to commit, because it was $30. We really try to stick to a $100 limit for each child at Christmastime, and it just wasn't worth it to me then. WELL...that same toy is currently hanging out on Target's clearance shelves (I know, cause I saw them there last week!) and tomorrow it will be marked down to $7.50. Now THAT I can handle. Patience pays off!


And while we're on the subject of Christmas lists, I thought I would go ahead and share with you all a new tradition that Eric and I have decided to start this year. You know, in case it strikes your fancy and you want to try it, too. In order to keep the gift-giving craziness down to a minimum we wanted to limit ourselves not just on the amount we spend on gifts, but the amount of gifts we get for each child. Cause with my sale shopping hobby, I can make $100 stretch to ridiculous proportions sometimes. And honestly, I find myself picking up things that are totally unnecessary just because I can and because there's money leftover.

There are many families that I've met over the internet who use a little rhyme to limit their gift-giving each year. It separates the gifts into five categories so that each child will have five presents to open on Christmas morning. And it goes a little something like this:


Something they want,
Something they need,
What you think they might like, 
And something to read.
Finally, get them something to wear,
And your family Christmas tree will never be bare!

I love, love, love this idea. While working within the limits, I've heard some pretty creative gift ideas, and I think this actually makes shopping easier when there are predictable rules to follow every year.

1.) Something they want - This one is easy to figure out. :) If there is one thing they want more than anything (within reason, of course) then we will try our very best to get it for them. Done.

2.) Something they need - It sounds pretty boring, but it can be really fun! This year, I think our "need" will be fun new bedding for each of our kids, because they all really will need it. The girls will be getting twin beds soon, and Reagan will be just about ready to move out of the bassinet and into the crib, so I'd like to get him some new crib bedding.

3.) What you think they might like - I sort of think that over the years, this will be the "cheating" category, haha. Because what child only wants ONE toy for Christmas? This is the gift that I'll pay close attention to as my kids list things they think they would like to receive. Who knows - if they're struggling with which toy to ask specifically for one year and it's down to two choices, perhaps BOTH of them will find their way under the tree. ;)

4.) Something to read - Easy peasy. Fun books for now. Their favorite series or box sets for later. Another great idea for this category (perhaps for the non-reader or a teenager) would be a subscription to their favorite magazine for a year.

5.) Something to wear - Obviously any kind of clothes would fit into this category, but later on I can see choosing a special piece of jewelry or fun purse for the girls. If our son happens to be into sports at all (say what? haha) then I would even consider sports gear to fall into this category - like a new glove or shoes or whatever.

The point is, this is a really flexible list and it can be used just as creativity as choosing gifts willy-nilly for the kids. After a few years I think they'll catch on and sort of know what to expect to ask for. I can hear the rhyme ringing through the house all through the Christmas season, haha.

Last year's Christmas morning. :)

In just a few short years we have already learned that after our children receive presents from grandparents and aunts and uncles and friends, by the time Christmas morning comes they already have a room full of new toys to play with. Five gifts will be PLENTY for us. I'm really excited to start a new tradition with our family this year!

So no, I'm not hauling out the holly and playing Christmas tunes quite yet. :) But I am going to officially start scouting for great deals! Those clearance shelves clear out pretty quickly, so if you'd like to check out the sale make sure to stop by your favorite Target this weekend. Heck, maybe I'll find Gracie's birthday present, too!

Merry Christmas in July!

**Just wanted to note (so that I don't get gobs of hate mail) that every Target is different, and some are slower to put out their clearance items. So if they aren't out for you this weekend, keep checking back! They should all be out by the same time next week.

5 comments:

The Independent Spinster said...

I think this is a great idea! My niece and nephew get so many gifts, they are always overwhelmed and they never really appreciate what they are getting. And they usually go back to their old toys the next day. Makes you feel like you wasted a butt load of money.

The Pettijohn's said...

This is an awesome idea and sorry I am going to have to use it as well. Thanks for the heads up on the Target sale. That is definitely helpful with two boys in the house. We try to stick to 50.00 for each child, so that Target clearance I am going to have to check out.

Meagan said...

I am totally thinking about Christmas already too, but mainly because both of the boys have November birthdays so they are getting gifts back to back.

I was totally going to go to Target after work today but I think I will wait until tomorrow to go! I have my eye on some things as well and was waiting for them to go on clearance!

Katie said...

I love the rhyme! I've heard similar ones before and it seems like a great way to keep Christmas simple and affordable but still fun.

Adrien said...

Yay, no one made fun of me! That's why I love you all. :)

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