In a moment of desperation to get out of the house, I made the mistake of taking the girls to South Coast Mall all by myself the other night. It was witching hour, AND I let them con me into letting them “WALK!” (aka not ride in the stroller). As you can probably guess, I ended up sweating as I tried to carry two toddlers football hold-style to the car, both screaming and kicking the whole way. Confirmation to do ALL of my holiday shopping online and in advance!!! Here are my favorite tips to prep now (and avoid holiday shopping disaster zones!!!)

Holiday Shopping Prep Tips

Make a Master List.

Make a list now of who you absolutely need to buy for, and start brainstorming. I like to keep mine in the notes on my phone, and then if I’m going about my day and randomly think of a good gift to give that person I can write it down before I forget. I also keep a note going in my phone of gift ideas, both general and specific. That way throughout the year I always have ideas for holidays and birthdays. For example, if my sister tells me about a new lip gloss she wants to try or a concert she’s looking for tickets for, I can hurry and write it down.

Suggest a Name Draw, and Draw Names now!

We do a name draw for the siblings in our family. Traditionally, we would do the name draw at Thanksgiving. However, since we all live in different states now and sometimes aren’t together for Thanksgiving, we started using the Secret Santa Generator at It’s SO easy – just put everyone’s email in and it sends out a notification for them to sign up. Once everyone has signed up, it does the draw for you. You can set stipulations (like in our sibling group we wouldn’t want a spouse to get another spouse) that say Joe can’t get Sally, etc.

If you don’t already do name draws, I would totally suggest it to your family! Maybe among siblings or cousins, like we do. It’s so much less stressful, and then you’re able to focus your time and budget on fewer super thoughtful, nice gifts.

Plan for Black Friday.

If there are big ticket items that you know are likely to go on sale for Black Friday, set aside time to buy them then. Make a list of the things you want to try and snag on Black Friday. You’ll be so bummed if you go to buy them a week later and realize they were on sale! These days, almost everyone has some kind of Black Friday sale!! I hate browsing without direction on Black Friday, but it feels so good to check things off that are already on your list with a biiiig discount!

Order Christmas Cards now.

Not only is it less stressful to order earlier, but you can take advantage of a lot of sales happening! Minted is currently offering 15% off holiday cards until the 26th with code JOYFUL19, Vistaprint is offering up to 50% off holiday cards with code NOVEMBER19, and Artifact Uprising is offering 15% your first purchase with code NOVEMBER15.

Watch your email for Early Sales…

…and take advantage of them! For example, I saw an email this morning that my favorite shoe brand is having a huge sale, and immediately ordered 11 pairs! Ha! Half for me, half as gifts ;). When you take advantage of sales, you can get way better gifts without feeling sick over the money you’ve spent!! Such a win! See if you can guess which ones I bought ;).

These sandals are still an all-time favorite of mine, so I ordered them in black/leopard! I mean come on, they’re regularly $85 on sale for $25! And literally the comfiest sandal I own.

Best Summer Sandals | Matisse Huntley

And these white booties are 50% off at $80 and also SO comfy, I ordered myself black!!

White Booties | Matisse | Graphic Tee

Ok, so does that help you check anyone off your list?!?! I’ll keep the posts coming as the sales pop up leading up to Black Friday! I also know some of my very favorite brands/pieces are going on sale, so I’ll have those details for you as soon as they’re released!!