I am the opposite of a procrastinator, especially when it comes to Christmas buying for my kids. While others might be out fighting crowds in late December, hoping to score that hot toy every other parent is searching for too, I've had mine sitting in my basement hiding spot, ready to be wrapped since before Halloween. I am aware this makes me sound like a self-congratulating a**hole, but stick with me here. I might just convert you to become an early shopper, too.
Last Christmas, my oldest kid was 5, which, in my experience at least, is pretty much the first year that your kids will give you very specific ideas of what they want Santa to deliver, then not waver from their list with every new toy commercial or YouTube video they see. And last year, my daughter wanted a Hatchimal, the hottest toy of the season.
Because I wasn't aware that she had hit the age when she wouldn't change her mind and I couldn't talk her out of a specific toy choice, I waited until mid-November to buy the thing, which just happened to be sold out in every single store I visited online and in person. I ended up paying more than double the retail price for one on eBay, and she played with her pink Penguala for approximately 20 minutes, before deciding it was kind of annoying and way too much work.
Yet, I guarantee she's going to want a Hatchimal Surprise this year, because she's 6 and a sucker for marketing. That's why on the day the twin-version of her neglected must-have toy of last year came out, I bought one immediately. When the company sent me a 20 percent off code for my next purchase, I bought another one for her brother. If the toy doesn't end up on their wish lists, I'll sell them to another mom who's desperately searching for one three days before Christmas.
I've also already purchased a Batbot Xtreme, which I'm currently using as a bribery tool for my 3-year-old son, who desperately wants one and I desperately want to stop pooping in his pants. I told him if he can go seven days without an accident, the toy is his; otherwise, it's going under the tree. (Unfortunately, it still looks like I'll be wrapping it up.)
And I purchased two WowWee Fingerlings Interactive Baby Monkeys just because I read they were going to be the hottest toy of the season, and I figured I should get in on them when I could score two at their $15 retail price. They're already going for more than $40 from Amazon resellers and are currently sold out at most big-box retailers, proving my buying-early-is-best philosophy.
Of course, there ares other big advantage of starting your holiday shopping well before you take your kids trick-or-treating. I'm spreading out my spending over three months instead of having to cringe at my January credit card bill. I can start wrapping presents early instead of spending every weekend in December elbow-deep in Scotch tape and bows. It might be a little less fun to Christmas shop when it's 70 degrees out, but lowering the stress and last-minute rush of the holidays is totally worth it.