By: Brooke Takhar
One year in early December I got stuck in a mall parking garage traffic jam. The impotent rage and colourful swear jar language that spilled out of me was gross. It made me vow: no more malls at the holidays. Ever. In this golden age of online shopping, if I can shop from my couch, wearing festive mismatched pajamas with a jug of wine at my side, why would I ever want to put on pants and jostle and sweat and stand in line with the masses while one Toys R Us clerk calls for a price check?
After a few years of blissful stress-free online shopping for my kid and family, here are my top tips.
- Before you start it is imperative to prepare a list of who you need to buy for and know your budget. Remember the gifts you buy for your own child are just the tip of the iceberg for the haul he/she will score, so think small and meaningful. One of my favourite guides for gift-giving came via the lovely Bleubird Blog – buy them something to wear, something to read, something they want and something they need.
- Feel like getting crafty? Feel like saving some money? Take a peek at UsedEverywhere.com then select your closest city. They have tons of great listings of gently used items that you can get all Pinterest-y on; some are even free. If you have the time, why not list some of your child’s unwanted toys on there to a) clear some room for the new stuff and b) make a little extra money for their savings account. And by savings account I mean Mama’s wine fund.
- Just because you’re online doesn’t mean you can’t shop locally. Supporting your neighbours with their creative endeavors is just one upside of choosing to spend in your own backyard. Avoiding expensive unforeseen border duties with international packages is another. Some of my favourite Canadian sites to shop are Raspberry Kids for their adorable and educational stocking stuffers; Collage Collage for their beautifully curated selection of books and crafty projects; and Shoo-Foo for their insanely gorgeous bamboo linens and blankets.
It’s only one month until Christmas! There’s still time to shop online to avoid the crazy that is the mall at Christmas.
How do you take the stress out of holiday shopping? What are your favourite online hot spots for kid’s goodies? Let me know in the comments.
Brooke Takhar is a mama of one monkey, based out of Vancouver, BC. She blogs about the trials and triumphs of parenting at missteenussr.com. When she’s not obsessing about her lack of DIY skills and exotic face creams, she shares her life and loves via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram (@missteenussr)