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My kiddos are very excited about Christmas this year. They have finally hit that age/understanding where they WANT to shop for other people. In fact, my 8 year old has been driving me bonkers since mid November worrying she won’t find the “right” gift in time and wanting to shop or create something ASAP. To ease her stress I decided to take all the kiddos holiday shopping last week at Big Lots since I was headed there to grab a few things to get our holiday baking started. I always like to go to Big Lots first when holiday shopping because I know they have a large variety of quality items for an affordable prices and I am often lucky enough to find unique gifts that I cannot find in department stores.
But wait, you are probably probably thinking, “You took ALL of your kids shopping at the same time to shop for each other?” Yup! I too was afraid at first, but I quickly figured out how to make it into a game and it ended up being a lot of fun instead of stressful! Let me share with you what I did…
What You Need:
- Pens or Pencils
- Excited Kiddos
- Cash (optional, but it’s fun for them to pay for their own gifts)
Step 1: When shopping with multiple children at the same time, find a time to shop when you are not in a rush or are a little flexible with your afternoon schedule. For us, we went right after school and I had dinner in the crockpot ready for whenever we got home.
Step 2: Before you even get out of the car, tell all participants that they are shopping for the other family members and will not be buying any gifts for ourselves that day. I also made and administrative decision and told them that they would be only shopping for their other 2 siblings during this trip and gave them their budget for each sibling. This helped keep them in one general section of the store and from getting overwhelmed trying to decide on a gift.
Step 3: Browse! Take about 10-20 minutes to look around the store, so they had a good idea of what was available as styles and assortments vary by store.
(Mom multi-tasking sneak shopping tip:) This was also a great opportunity for us to pick out exactly what we wanted to do for our holiday baking for our neighbors and friends. Seeing what was available help us narrow down our “baking wish list” to a few of our favorites and we decided to make a few different varieties to share…like our favorite Best Ever Banana Bread (mini loaf style), Peppermint Brownies or our Hot Chocolate Brownies (very similar) and our Ugly Sweater Cookies we just shared earlier last week.
In the center of the store, Big Lots has a holiday baking section that has everything you would need if you wanted to run in and out fast. On one side of the shelf are not only basic baking sheets/pans, but also the holiday themed ones, like Christmas trees and gingerbread men. I even found our sweater cookie cutters that we used to make our fun Ugly Sweater Cookies, which I couldn’t find in ANY store last year. Yay!
And of course, you have to have some paper plates to deliver all our goodies on! We found some super cute ones that were in our budget.
Now back to the kiddos shopping!
Step 4: Give each child a piece of paper and a pencil or pen and tell them to write down 5 items they saw that they would enjoy receiving. I told them they could be as specific or general as they wanted. This took only a few minutes
Step 5: Exchange lists and grab a small basket, if possible, for each child to put their gifts into when they found them. Remind them of their max price limit for each sibling and let them shop! Since they both were heading for the toys, I let one sibling go first while I waited with the other child on the edge of the toy section where they could see me if they had any questions or needed help. The other sibling waited also in my view, but out of view of their shopping sibling.
Step 6: Don’t forget to grab some wrapping paper, tape tape and any other wrapping needs. We are completely out and since they were such a great deal, I let each kiddo pick out their own to wrap their gifts with. They loved that!
Step 7: Check out! If possible, try to bring cash to let each child pay for their own gifts. I think it is a great experience for them to learn what everything costs and see it in action! Can you tell he loved getting change back.
As an added bonus, the kiddos were having a toy drive at school and when they were done shopping, they were each able to get a gift to donate with their leftover funds. I love that they were excited to help other children in need.
Step 8: Wrap those gifts up and enjoy being done with most of your shopping! This time of year my husband is really busy with work and using all his “off work time” to study for exams he needs to take. Having half our family done with Christmas shopping and our holiday baking goodies started the 1st weekend in December is a HUGE relief! Now we can truly take the time to enjoy the rest of this Christmas season and all the fun activities that come with it.
What are your Holiday Shopping Tips and Tricks?
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