December 21, 2010

It's A Wrap (Or, What Brown Did For Me)

I am done with my Christmas shopping. I did some quick calculations and it turns out that I did 96.7% of my shopping online. The other 3.3% I couldn't swing, not because I couldn't find it but because I had no idea I was looking for it.

In doing all this online shopping I've learned several lessons. First, Amazon Prime is a wonderful thing. And they're not paying me to say that. Second, that little one-click purchase option? Dangerous as a blind monkey with a hand-grenade. Third, it's harder to know when to say when when you buy online (follow that?) because anticipating the delivery of boxes is just so damn fun.

So what I've ended up with after this seasons of successful Christmas shopping is a pile of gifts to wrap and a credit card bill the size of the great state of Texas. And the irony is that I love giving gifts but sincerely hate wrapping them.

How about you - did you overdo it this Christmas or take it easy on your credit cards? Do you have shopping left to do or are you done?

Posted by Chris at December 21, 2010 6:55 AM

We do most of our shopping online as well - and have a permanent path to our door for the Big Brown Truck. If you hate wrapping - next year have Amazon do it for you! (I personally love it - so it's not a big pain for me).

Merry merry!

Posted by: Kellie at December 21, 2010 7:43 AM

I haven't gone crazy with gifts, so I don't have too much to wrap. But the 47 inch flat screen TV that Hubby and I gave each other more than blew our budget!

Posted by: Maribeth at December 21, 2010 7:46 AM

I love, love, LOVE amazon prime as well. I actually did pretty well this year... I started shopping the day before Thanksgiving (when a lot of the sales went up) and was more or less done 2 weeks after. I have 1 more thing to go buy this evening. I also didn't allow myself to use my credit card except for 1 amazon lightning deal, that I didn't want to spend out of my bank account. But I paid that off as soon as I got paid. Didn't spend a lot, but got things people wanted!

Posted by: Kim at December 21, 2010 8:02 AM

Been paying cash the whole way, and wife is handling the finances so not looking in on major repayment, but also means that you can't go as crazy as one might ( no Halo figures for the *cough* kids ). That being said I did all my wife's shopping through Amazon ( _loved_ it ) as well as one surprise item through CafePress ( where else can you get a "Mom Kicks Butt" Halo Kitty mug? ). I may hit Target for a few stocking stuffers, but will avoid the Mall at all costs.

Posted by: metawizard at December 21, 2010 9:18 AM

I've done all the big stuff but still need small gifts. And yes, one-click is killer. Especially when I am looking for books for the kindle. I one-click my way to a weekly bill of phenomenal amounts! :) And then I remember I was supposed to be Christmas shopping.

Posted by: Claire at December 21, 2010 9:47 AM

My wife and myself are canceling gift giving for each other, and just buying a few things for the kids. Luckily, they are teenagers so I don't have to explain why Santa is skipping us this year. When I got laid off my daughter took her Christmas list and revised it down to two items - both books. And then told us that we could skip that too if we needed the money to pay the board bill for her horse.

I think I have something in my eye...

Posted by: COD at December 21, 2010 9:51 AM

Done shopping. Overdid it. Lean January. Maybe February, too.

Posted by: Laura Gato at December 21, 2010 10:13 AM

Since we're boycotting Amazon for not having stricter rules on what they publish (what's going on with the guy:, I got stuff off of Etsy, made stuff myself, and went as green and upcycle-y as we could. Oddly, our nephews and nieces liked our presents best.

Posted by: alektra at December 21, 2010 10:35 AM

I've been on a quest to PAY OFF credit cards, and I've managed to pay off a bunch of debt PLUS do Christmas shopping. My shopping list is quite small, though, and I don't have any kids in the mix to shop for, so it's easy to finish and keep it small. It's the Christmas knitting that gets me every year, but all my projects are finished as of yesterday! woot!

Posted by: Manda at December 21, 2010 10:50 AM

I did the vast majority of my Christmas shopping online - and got some awesome deals! I didn't go too crazy, I just moved to the US from the UK in September, married in October and right now I'm not allowed to work (awaiting greencard) so I had to be somewhat careful with money - I think the biggest single expense was the cost to mail all the cards and a few parcels to the UK! We don't have kids yet so our fur-baby (dog) has the most presents out of everyone, but they were all half price in the sale. Still have some wrapping to do and am waiting on one last online purchase to arrive, which hopefully will be here any day now! Even bought a couple of cards online ( and they were buy one get one free - under $5 for 2 awesome cards, completely personalized (the 1 for my hubby even has a couple of our photos on it!). Gotta love the internet!!!

Have a wonderful Christmas and hope everyone loves their presents! :-)

Posted by: Emily at December 21, 2010 11:16 AM

I'm with you. I got my last Amazon delivery last night. I am a BELIEVER in Amazon Prime! Love it. I haven't looked at my credit card balance and am contemplating just sending them a check for a grand in the hope that it will net down the balance enough for me to be able to stomach it in January. Gah. I did give my UPS driver and his runner gift cards, though, for all the extra work they do on my behalf at this time of year.

I hate wrapping, too, my friend, and I don't do it. I have a mess of those sturdy boxes with lids, printed with jaunty holiday pictures. I stuff in some tissue paper, put in the gift, stuff in more tissue, put the lid on and top with a bow and tag. Shazam! Reusable gift wrap. Easy for you and good for the envrironment.

Posted by: Brooke at December 21, 2010 11:45 AM

My shopping is done! And I budgeted pretty well this year, so no credit card debt for us. Yay me. This is not the norm for me, so I'm really proud of myself.

Posted by: Stephanie at December 21, 2010 12:21 PM

We were all done and wrapped by last weekend, but ask any Canadian how hard it is to find good gifts online that don't require a fuckton of extra money for shipping...we RARELY get offered free shipping from anywhere, so it makes it more expensive to shop online. We only have Amazon for books and movies also and certainly can't order our groceries and household items and electronics like you guys. I'm regularly jealous of Americans this time of year.

Oh and for the first time ever, we managed to pay for Christmas with cash. The apocolypse is coming!

Posted by: Procrastamom at December 21, 2010 12:48 PM

We saved all of hubby's OT, threw it into an account, that was the budget. We charged nothing and YES as always I went a little overboard on the kids. Hubby and I made a deal no gift exchange between us (new TV and carpeting 3 bedrooms after the holidays) but I dd sneak one smallish gift under the tree for him to open :)

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Posted by: Kami at December 21, 2010 1:15 PM

We had a credit card free christmas this year. We're trying to pay things off and be more "mature" and "grown up" about our spending.. man, does that suck! BUT - we made it thru - we had to spread out the shopping a bit over a month or so of pay checks, and I did do SOME on line shopping with the old debit card, but all in all, we did pretty good this year!
PLUS - it feels good not to have Christmas bills to pay now!

Posted by: Kim at December 21, 2010 1:15 PM

I've done about 75% of my shopping online and I totally second that blind monkey/hand grenade thing. I won't use it for just that reason.

I signed up for Amazon Prime at the end of last month, specifically for the shopping season and it was the most brilliant thing I've done for Christmas shopping EVER! I'll likely pay the cost of it for now because I love it so much.

As for overdoing - yes, definitely, but I do that anyway at Christmas. I got a shipping notice on an order for the girls that I barely remember ordering. Hi, My name is Amy and I have an online shopping problem...

Posted by: zanie at December 21, 2010 1:23 PM

My shopping is done! The vast majority of it was done online, and I paid for everything in cash! WHOOP!

Posted by: Mindy at December 21, 2010 1:31 PM

Done. Shopped, wrapped, and mostly delivered. I am so glad to be done. We went pretty simple this year, which doesn't always mean cheaper. As the kids get older, they want bigger things (like an electronic drum set) that make it easy to shop for (one gift), and easy to wrap (see that big box in the corner with a huge ass bow on it?), but not cheap.

Posted by: Jen at December 21, 2010 1:32 PM

I dislike Christmas but I'm done and over with the gifts. Made it easier this year starting earlier and off peak shopping times.

Loved it, to be honest. The wrapping was great fun, also.

Enjoy the Season.

Posted by: Isa at December 21, 2010 4:56 PM

our solution to the gift wrap problem: Santa does not wrap toys. He's much too busy to be dealing with tape and paper and bows. so all toys go under the tree unwrapped. double bonus: kids can play with santa presents before everyone's awake. kept us from getting my mom out of bed at 5am. My 2 are still locked behind the baby gate until I say so, but I anticipate this being a major boon in years to come :)

merry merry!

Posted by: jeanne at December 21, 2010 5:10 PM

omg somebody stop me! this year i am way ahead of the game, organized and happy. and way, way over budget. i'm wondering if that's the secret to not being stressed about time? ha :)

and i love wrapping. it's one of my favorite parts. a little sparkling wine... some christmas music... midnight wrapping... love it :)

Posted by: kati at December 22, 2010 1:25 AM

I still did my shopping the old fashioned way (i.e. navigating through a mall packed full of people) but I still need to finish shopping for my hubby. I think shopping online might be nicer (in the sense that you don't have to contend with the masses in a mall at the busiest time of year), but for me I like to be able to see, hold and touch the thing that I am buying. Guess I'll still be doing things the old fashioned way for a while :-)

Posted by: Delia at December 22, 2010 2:14 AM

I did 99% of my shopping online too. Mostly from Amazon as the kids wanted books, movies and DVD's. Even got some obscure band t-shirts for the kids through Amazon. Pretty much stuck to the budget. We have a Christmas Club and I use that for the kids gifts every year. Husband and I didn't not buy gifts for each other this year as we got carpet and furniture for the Living Room. Furniture came Monday. Then our ancient old tv up and died so we ended up using the credit card to buy a new 46 in LCD tv. Merry Christmas to us! My FIL always gives us money for Christmas so we plan to pay that off with his gift. Of course this year we will get a subscription to the Jelly of the Month club instead of cash.

Thought I didn't get enough for the kids (who really aren't kids at 14 & 24)..until I wrapped everything last night and realized that I overdid it again!

Posted by: Lisa at December 22, 2010 8:06 AM

I love giving and wrapping, but I'm not really done shopping - even though we're not "doing" presents, I still want to grab a couple little things for my family.

Posted by: Heather at December 22, 2010 4:25 PM

I actually think I did alright this year - I didn't get too carried away -- in fact, I may have gone lighter than years past - and not really intentionally.

(However, I have done so much shopping FOR MYSELF this year - it's insane. I really retail-therapied myself through this holiday season)

Posted by: sarah at December 22, 2010 10:10 PM

We did most of our shopping online, most at Amazon. Overboard, yes. Reconsidering what we do and spend as our teenager is counting gifts. He obsessed for days and wanted to know if we ever have a certain number of gifts in mind. Being out of town on Christmas morning probably didn't help with his anxiety.

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