This post is sponsored by the friendly folks at LivingSocial in order to promote their contest.
December is a busy month in most American households, but I am confident that it is safe to say that ours is one of the busier ones. Not only do we celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas, but my husband, Horatio, and two of our sons, Dwight and Harold, celebrate December birthdays, as do my dad and sister! I could literally shop ‘til I drop from exhaustion.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with different ways to make the shopping easier and more enjoyable. I remember, as a kid, going to the mall on Black Friday (I’m pretty sure we just called it the Friday after Thanksgiving back then) with my mom, sister, aunt and cousins. It was crowded but fun to shop with my family. Those days are long gone, though. You couldn’t pay me to go to the mall on Thanksgiving weekend. I try to get my shopping started early, and by early, I mean summer and fall. If I see something that someone in my family will like, I buy it when I see it. The way I look at it, there’s no reason to wait. The angst I avoid by getting things done early is worth more than the money I might save by waiting to see if the items go on sale.
The trick is to remember what I bought for whom and where I put it. After years of routinely forgetting that I’d bought gifts for people or where I’d put said gifts, I am more proactive. I keep a list on my smart phone to keep track of everything.
I think the most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for gifts for loved ones is that I am buying for them, not myself, and should get them something they will be happy to receive. If that is a tangible item, great, I’ll buy it, if it’s a gift card, that’s ok too. I used to think that buying a gift card was a cop-out but now I can clearly see that getting a gift card can be a real joy. It’s so much fun to buy something I want without spending my own actual money. Gift cards are fantastic and often the best way to ensure the gift recipient is getting something he or she really wants! The main thing I really keep in mind is to give a gift that the recipient will find joy in receiving.
At holiday time, I also like to remember helpful community members. From the time I was little, I remember my mom baking cookies and brownies that we would deliver to the police station and fire station during the winter holidays. Now, I do that with my own children. Plus, we bake and deliver to recovering soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines at the military medical center.
My personal holiday hero is my husband. He always comes up with gifts I love. We have known each other for so long (24 years!), he really knows me better than anyone. Whether it’s an e-reader, because he knows I love reading, or a set of new knives because I am cooking more, he hits homeruns.
Do you have a Holiday Hero who always finds a way to make the holidays extra special? Someone who buys the most thoughtful presents, bake cookies for the mailman or generously donates their time during this season of giving. LivingSocial wants to help you recognize them with its Holiday Hero contest.
If you’ve got something to shoot video with (your mobile device will do), a few minutes, and a friend (or coworker, mom, crush, barista, mailman, the person who runs your local animal shelter, you get it) that rocks, LivingSocial wants to see a quick video about them. Until midnight on Tuesday, December 31, anyone can nominate a Holiday Hero by submitting a one to two minute video telling LivingSocial why their hero deserves the honor and a prize.
First, second, and third place winners, as selected by LivingSocial, will be announced in early January and will receive $3500, $1000, and $500 respectively in Deal Bucks to use on LivingSocial.
“It is our mission to make our shoppers into gift-giving heroes and at the same time recognize their heroes. We created the Holiday Hero contest to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the people who make the holidays, and every day, special for others,” said Elizabeth, LivingSocial’s gifting expert.
To enter and see the Official Rules, visit: blog.livingsocial.com/HolidayHero.