Christmas 2012: Strategies to Succeed

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Mavens-Christmas-2012-Savin-guideTwas 12 weeks before Christmas, credit card companies are reeling
Parents did not budget again and their debt will hit ceilings.
Will they pay crazy fees to buy gifts for their kin
Or be smart, use coupons, follow Maven of Savin’

This is an updated version of last years post that I hope was helpful to you in planning your Christmas shopping.

OK, so I am still not a poet, but I wanted to start the holiday season with some strategies to simplify Christmas and avoid paying WAY TOO MUCH during your holiday shopping this year.

The first thing I cannot stress enough is Don’t Buy Stuff you Cannot Afford.  I know it seems obvious, but seriously – the holidays are about family, not about material goods.  I will be posting lots of deals, but that does not mean you need to buy them all.  A deal is not a deal if you cannot afford it.  You may save $100 on an item, but if you are charging them to credit cards with high interest rates, you may end up paying more in the end.  Do not use credit cards to finance your holidays – it is not worth it in the end.

Watch out for crazy shipping fees.  I love FREE shipping and highly recommend Amazon Prime.  You can get a FREE 30 day trial you can use for holiday shopping.  Then it costs $79/year which you can SHARE with other family members (yes at different addresses) – totally worth it in my opinion.

Also, beware of Layaway as well – make sure you understand the terms and fees associated with it to determine if it is the right thing for you.  Sometimes the fees end up being more than the interest on a credit card.

We have cut way back at our house in an effort to save money, but also teach out children the meaning of Christmas and the value of a gift.  Christmas’s of the past had so many gifts, some remained untouched for months after Christmas morning.  It was unnecessary and wasteful so we have moved to the “WANT, NEED, WEAR, READ” method and the kids really enjoy it.

I highly suggest you budget and keep a list handy of the gifts you need.  Even if it is not specific, at least have the names handy so you can cross them off as you grab their gifts.  Here are a few resources that may help:

There are many tools out there, or create your own, just make sure you create some sort of PLAN.

In the coming weeks I will strive to bring you all the great deals on the must have holiday items – keep an eye out for this tree to mark if I think it is a good holiday gift idea, but please keep the following in mind:

  • Some deals are time sensitive and may not be available for long so make sure to check facebook and twitter for the most up to date information.  Prices can change by the minute.  Or download the Maven of Savin toolbar to see the latest Holiday deals right in your browser.
  • I am an affiliate for a lot of stores (you will see my disclosure policy linked on the posts), but I will only post deals that I think are good.  I appreciate when you use my links as they support the up keep of this site, but please do not feel you need to.
  • If a deal is time sensitive and I do not know or have the time to research, I may post it but clearly state that I do not know if this is a great deal, so please use your own judgement.  I am human and I cannot possible know everything about everything.  So please let me know when you find a great deal or if what I posted is not a great deal – nicely please – LOL!

You will see the above button on my sidebar and you can click on it anytime to see all the latest Christmas deals.  I will also begin to spy out the Black Friday Deals as we do every year.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have a plan and do not dig yourself in a financial hole this season.  You can still have a fulfilling holiday without a bunch of meaningless STUFF.


  1. I am curious how you have adapted/ handled scaling back to the want, need, wear, read Christmas format. How many gifts do you do now? I am guessing 4 ana then stocking stuffers. Hubby has suggested 3 gifts based on the 3 gifts given by the wisemen. But I am liking your idea, they are only kids once, but I do need to keep things in check

    • Bonnie – We kept chasing gifts – we have 3 kids and we would buy one more for one which meant more for the other 2…. and it keeps going. So now that we tried this (still working on being super strict) it has gotten much better. Year 1 it was like – OK, but then how many from Santa. This year we will do the WANT and stocking from Santa and the more boring – need, wear and read from us. I think.

      BUT what has been helpful is I make the kids put their lists into those categories – 2 or 3 for each.

  2. I love this idea, but I want to add one more category. “GIVE” each child can decide what they want to give to the less fortunate this year. It could be something that costs mostly their time, sing christmas carols at a nursing home, write thank you cards to deployed soldiers. Or something that is within budget of parent or child depending on their age, they can help out with a couponing trip for a food pantry or buy a toy for a children’s charity. The heifer project has a ton of really cool charity donations, you can purchase a flock of chickens for a family in a third world country or buy a soccer ball for an orphanage.

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