This is a shout-out to all those working parents, busy holiday event-planning hosts, and budget-conscious parents. There are many reasons besides different faiths that may cause families to pause of toy buying until after the holidays. To those parents who can fight the urge to hit the shopping malls and online stores before the holiday madness, you might be surprised to learn you are not alone.
Top Selling Toys Selling Out
Each year, a new list of hottest selling toys comes out in time for the holiday rush. This list is mainly for aunts and uncles because chances are, if you have children, you already know what the “must haves” are of each stage before that list is ever compiled from observing what the kids in your children’s age groups are talking about. Kids today have a keen sense of what they consider the “it” toy or game, and they usually know all about how to play with it before they ask for one. Even young children tend to gravitate towards pointing to certain toys in the stores each time you are out or seem repeatedly fascinated by that special something they find in the preschool play area. But, what are parents to do when those popular toys are sold out in stores before the holidays?
We saw just how nuts the holiday rush can make parents in the comedy “Jingle All The Way”. Yes, it is a movie. However, many of us can relate to the pressure of finding that one toy our children desire to unwrap above all other gifts at Christmas. After all, those hot selling toys are flying off the shelves near the holidays and can be hard to find even online. If you do find one, you may have to pay a hefty shipping and processing fee to have it delivered in time for Christmas. As parents, we dread the disappointment that goes along with not having that wished for item, and we fear the lasting imprint it can make on a child’s faith in the spirit of the holiday.
This is one reason some parents are choosing to shop for toys after the shopping frenzy that precludes the holiday season. Instead, they focus on family coming together or volunteering at the local charities. After New Year’s Day, they begin to look around for the toys that are now being replenished in the stores and distribution warehouses. No long lines at the check-out, no elbows poking you from being herded through the stores like cattle, and no stress from not getting just the right gift. If your children can wait until after the holidays to open presents, it is easy to see why just might be a great new strategy for some families.
Trying To Help The Family Budget
Another big trend causing some parents to wait to buy toys and other gifts until after the holiday season is the anticipated sale that possibly could include items on that wish list. Of course, this is a guessing game because stores sometimes put those items on sale before the holidays and sometimes they are too in demand to go on sale at all. Many budget-conscious parents combat unknown element by buying what they can during sales before the season while waiting until after the season is over to purchase the remaining items that did not go on sale at that time. They figure if it never goes on sale, at least they saved money where they could, and their children still receive those gifts that make their hearts flutter in the end either way. Besides, with the purchasing taking place after the holidays, families can spend more time focusing on the spirit of Christmas during the holidays with loved ones and the community.
Avoiding Temptations To Over-Spend
Let’s face it. Sales or not, the holidays are expensive! This is the biggest season for gift giving and budget-busting with a whopping $1.1 trillion in estimated American spending alone in the holiday season of 2018 per a report by Lauren Thomas CNBC! It isn’t only the gifts you had on your list either. Some of that has to do with those adorable stocking stuffers and Santa gifts that are independent of the family gifts.
The sharing of gifts dates back to the 1800’s when parents decided to make a public celebration of Christmas more intimate in a family gathering within the home. While the spirit of Christmas still includes charitable donations, volunteering and other public events, the holiday season has increasingly become a more private affair within the home with an increasing price tag to match! What is a family with strict spending limits to do?
In an effort to spend less on impromptu items, some parents have turned to making a list and checking it twice after the holiday rush where the temptations of those precious knick knacks will not be as prominently displayed. This keeps one’s eyes on the task at hand instead of the little extras that quickly add up to a big budget-breaker. Whether shopping before or after the holidays, making a list is always a helpful tool in a parent’s toolbox of tricks to keep spending in check.
While there is a lot of pressure to have something under the tree, maybe a good meal with family and some time spent outside the home in the community can be equally special until the timing for gifts suites your budget and well-being needs. If the kids can have the toy later, maybe they will find even more joy during Christmas in the anticipation and shift of focus. Either way, we hope those who decided to wait until January and February can find comfort in knowing you are not the only people trying to be smarter and less stressed during the holiday season.
Thomas, L. (2018, September 19). Retailers could ring up more than $1.1 trillion in holiday sales, topping last year. CNBC. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/18/retailers-could-ring-up-more-than-1point1-trillion-in-holiday-sales.html