This holiday season is a little different for me this year. It is my last Christmas with my husband as just the two of us. At the beginning of next year, we will be welcoming a sweet baby boy to our lives and we couldn’t be any more excited. Along with the excitement comes a lot of change. We found out in July that we are pregnant and since the second we have found out our thought process has changed, our way of thinking has been skewed and we have constantly felt joy.
With Christmas just around the corner, I decided to get my stuff organized this season so I don’t stress myself out when I’m 7 months pregnant and frantically looking for presents for friends and family. The key to stress free Christmas Shopping is organization. Here are some of my tips for making it an easy holiday shopping season.
- Start planning NOW. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, just start planning and don’t put it off. I’m notorious til waiting til the last minute to getting my shopping done – like I’ll go shopping the night before Christmas because I’m that horrible at planning. The earlier you have an idea of what you’ll be buying or who you’re buying for will give you a sense of relief.
- Focus on needs instead of wants. Although your child might want the newest toy, what item might he need instead? I’m not saying to throw all the fun toys out the door this holiday season but start thinking more practically. The items that you are buying will last longer and you will get your moneys worth.
- Shop from reliable stores. If you’re on Facebook, you know as well as I do that you are spammed with ads all day long. You might not even see them anymore because you’re so used to seeing them. Remember that any store can put these ads in front of you including un-reputable stores or businesses that might not be around for long. Be sure to do your due diligence and check out each and every store before buying anything, especially large purchases.
- Buy a bulk of your presents at one store. I buy mainly tech items as presents for Christmas because who doesn’t love and want the latest tech items? I can wrap up most of my shopping for everybody at Best Buy and then finish off shopping at some smaller stores. The beauty of buying everything at one store is getting it all done in one or two stops and it’s so much easier to keep up with receipts and purchases.
Since this holiday will be our final one alone, we have many more things on our mind rather than our usual Christmas routine. We’ve recently finished almost all the renovations on our house that we’ve been working on for the past 4 years and have slowly but surely started getting the nursery put together. It’s all coming together. We’ve added a few features and technology upgrades to my house that we decided to finish upgrading for our Christmas present this year. I also snuck in some awesome presents to store away for my husband that he can open on Christmas Day.
For our house, we have been wanting to add a few Arlo Cameras to our system. We already have 4 cameras but since we have a large, open floor plan we wanted to add a couple more and add some outside so we can see it all in a glance. Arlo recently released new cameras called Arlo Pro.
These cameras are an upgrade from the cameras that we already have installed. My favorite feature on the Pro cameras is the ability to have 2 way communication. There is a built in microphone and speaker let you hear what happens around the camera and talk back through your phone, no matter where you are. Also, unlike the other Arlo cameras, the Pro comes with rechargeable batteries. Nothing beats having a set of charged batteries ready to go when your others are drained.
Another item that we bought this year as a Christmas present is an additional Nest Thermostat for our house. We upgrade our thermostat for one of our A/C units last year but never upgraded our 2nd thermostat. When we bought the first Nest, we only bought one since we didn’t know if we would like it and had never used one before. We quickly fell in love with the Nest and it’s features. We’re able to take control of our home’s heating and cooling without lifting a finger with this thermostat, which learns your habits and adjusts to automatically regulate your home’s temperature based on your schedule.
I’m able to control both of my Nest thermostats easily through the Nest app. I can take a look at what temperature my house is set at, change the temperate and track how much energy we’ve used and follow tips that will help you conserve. Make an energy-saving temperature adjustment and the Nest Leaf will notify me immediately. The Nest Leaf feature alerts you when you choose a temperature that’s energy efficient and helps us save money.
Since I didn’t want to buy only stuff for the house for Christmas, I have added a few things to my list to go back and buy for my husband when he isn’t with me. When we were doing some shopping for our house, we browsed through the store and he pointed out some items that really caught his eye. To be honest, almost everything catches his attention there but I can tell when he really likes something. The drones are one item that he not only stopped at but checked out every single box and all the components. It’s something that we’ve talked about buying for a while. We own a real estate brokerage so not only would it be a toy but we could use it for great pictures of the homes we sell.
The other item that I will for sure be buying him is the new Xbox One S. The small console and streamlined controller make playing easier and more comfortable, and it can store up to 2TB of content. This Xbox One S gaming console lets you play your favorite Xbox 360 games and stream movies, all while experiencing rich colors and dynamic graphics. Although he already has the Xbox One now, he plays it daily and puts it to good use. He has mentioned upgrading to the new system often so I know it’ll be something that he will absolutely love and use often.
I’m excited for my stress free holiday season and I hope you are too! Take advantage of deals and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you’re looking for the hottest tech items, check out Best Buy and all they have to offer.