Labor Day in the US

For quite a few years, my mother-in-law always requested christmas lists from her kids and the grandchildren. When you have over 20 gifts to buy, you start early.

Now she didn’t just buy one gift for each person, no, it was usually 3 or 4 gifts for everyone and it was what was on your list.

I liked to ask for a set of king size sheets from QVC and was happy with that. Eventually I was told to order my own. I didn’t really want to do that because then I would end up adding other items to the order that I don’t need but wanted.

Back to the list gathering. I started making my lists for the people that I needed to buy for. Nothing fancy with the list just a half used notebook from one of the boys school year, Note: They always started the new school year with new notebooks.

Along with creating the list of people, I included gift ideas. I can’t remember it all and when it gets to be December, wholey crikes, I am asking Santa for a memory chip in my brain to remember it all.

Writing down the list of people and the gift ideas was all it took to get me to start buying gifts. My husband usually started working overtime right after Labor Day so we had extra money coming in and why not buy a few gifts here and there to ease the cost of the Holidays.

First items to get purchased on the list were gift cards. How easy is it to grab one at the grocery store each time you go. Some weeks, I am there three times with all the supply issues we are having.

After that, I started watching for sales on the other list items. Another factor on how soon I purchased, was availability. Was this an item that was in short supply? Hard to find? I learned to keep an eye out for those items and make sure I had the cash to purchase these items when I found them.

Sometimes you have no idea what to get the person on your list. My Father-in-law and Mother-in-law are these people. My MIL will buy anything she wants instead of waiting for Christmas or even better will tell us she doesn’t want certain items only to buy them right after Christmas, like December 26th. Talk about frustrating.

For people like my MIL and FIL, you almost have to pay attention year around as to what you can get them. Start paying attention to what they do throughout the year. My FIL gardens so new tools, row markers, netting, and sprayers are what I put on his list. The MIL is trickier because she like to cross stitch and doesn’t purchase from one supplier, so usually gift cards or good ole cash works for her.

Don’t be afraid to purchase gift cards or give cash. You are not being lazy or unimaginative. Some people prefer to do their gift picking themselves. Some have a high dollar gift that they would feel awful asking for but a gift card to help offset some of the cost is welcomed.

Subscriptions are excellent gift ideas and sometimes ordering too early will have them getting notification way before Christmas. Some people have no problem with this and others are concerned about giving gifts as close to December 25th as possible. If you can do the subscription on-line, you can pretty much wait until the day you celebrate to make your purchase.

Why do I start thinking about Christmas gifts on Labor Day?

I get behind in the months that end with “ber”

I save money all year for the holidays and have trouble spending it but can easily fit it in to my weekly budget.

I have had years where we get some “crud” sickness and are not healthy enough to shop intensively in December.

Weather – I haven’t forgotten the December that it iced the roads several days including weekends.

Money – not every year I have had enough money to cover Christmas. Not many want to admit that they don’t have money for Christmas due to emergencies or lack of being able to control regular spending.

As you can see, there are several reasons why I start early. But have you picked up on the common thing? The reasons are from life experiences. Been there, done that. The memories are still vivid in my mind and I don’t want to repeat them again.

Grab a notebook, turn to the middle of the pages, and write down everyone you want to buy a gift for.

Now write down the gift ideas you can think of off the top of your head. Don’t worry if you don’t have ideas for everyone. Only a few folks (not me) are thinkers like that.

Put the notebook in a place to access easily but not that snoopers can find.

Go enjoy your Labor Day cookout or whatever you were going to do on this day. You don’t need to completely plan the holidays in one day.

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