Yes, Christmas is still many pages away on the calendar, but gathering your lists and gifts now can save you from hectic impulse buying in December. I take no pleasure in shopping with my two children, so since I'll have three in just a few months, I've already tackled my long list of people to shop for. Here are some ideas that I've found helpful when shopping for children:
*As summer comes to an end the clearance signs go up on lots of potential Christmas gifts. I picked up some oversized beach shovels that will work great for digging tunnels through the snow this winter. Speaking of summer deals...I can't say enough about Landsend.com. About this time every year Lands"End will drastically mark down their high quality summer apparel. I already bought new sandals for my boys that will fit next summer.
*Art supplies, backpacks and lunchboxes get cheaper as Halloween approaches. If you're not desperate for these things in the fall, why not wait until Christmas?
*If you're crafty this is a great time of year to get a bargain on fleece. I picked up one yard and have made several hats with a lot leftover for scarves as well. Fleece also makes cozy gifts like blankets, pillows or stuffed toys.
*Dress up clothes can be so expensive! One costume by Melissa & Doug starts at $20! Get to the store right after Halloween to fill up your Dress Up Trunk with lots of Pretend Play Clothing at a fraction of the original cost.
And if your house is at all like mine, your toy box is overflowing! Consider some gifts like these that will still bring smiles but won't require you to buy a bigger house...
*Auntie Anne's At-Home Baking Kit or Gingerbread House Kit - hours of fun!
*Bubble Bath - they won't put up a fight at bath time.
*Glow Sticks - these things never get old at my house.
*A gift card to your local roller rink, bowling alley or indoor play place.
*A magazine subscription
*Alex Toy Craft Kits
*Disposable Camera & Photo Book
If you have more ideas, please share!