Christmas Gifts: The Best Time of the Year to Start Shopping

By Petal Mashraki
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published October 14, 2021.

A couple shopping for Christmas gifts

You can shop for Christmas gifts throughout the year whenever you see a good deal or unique gift. If you're prepared to fight the crowds, you can wait until Christmas sales to get special deals and less expensive gifts. Then again, as Christmas approaches, many stores put their prices up because they know we have no choice but to buy gifts!

Should You Wait Until Black Friday to Buy Gifts?

Black Friday happens in late November (the first Friday after Thanksgiving). The day is promoted as the best time to buy products with massive discounts. It could be a good idea to buy gifts on Black Friday, but not always.

Here's what you need to know about Black Friday:

  • Some items get marked up as Black Friday approaches so that they can be "marked down" for the Black Friday sales.
  • TV sales soar on Black Friday, but the big discounts on cheap, low-quality models. The better quality TVs are only slightly discounted.
  • One of the best items to buy on Black Friday is a cellphone. Digital devices tend to have their prices slashed on Black Friday.
  • Black Friday is not a good time to buy jewelry! Buy discounted jewelry in the post-Valentines Day period of March-July.
  • To get the best Black Friday deals, sign up for the store's email newsletter. This way you'll know about all their sales in advance.
  • If you want to avoid stores on Black Friday and still get great deals - shop online on Cyber Monday.
  • Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year.
  • Black Friday crowds have been known to stampede into stores and even crush innocent shoppers. But stores often spread the discounts across several days before and after Friday when you can avoid the crowds.
  • Things really are cheaper on Black Friday. Prepare for Black Friday by researching where the best deals are, and make a battle plan of how and where to shop specifically for the items you want.
  • Do you know how to get online Black Friday deals? You have to go online in the weeks leading up to Black Friday and even pre-book online for the big day.
  • It's easy to go crazy and spend too much money on Black Friday, so set a budget.

Do People Shop Early for Christmas?

Some people start shopping for next year's gifts the day after Christmas, on Boxing Day! You can get great Boxing Day deals and after-Christmas deals in January sales. Buying Christmas gifts throughout the year takes the stress off of last-minute shopping and helps you avoid the before-Christmas rush. So long as you find great gifts and reasonable prices, why not shop early?

Make Christmas Shopping Less Stressful

Christmas shopping is often stressful because you have so many people to buy for and you have to think of original, thoughtful gifts for each one. There is the stress of maybe not finding an ideal gift or not being able to afford gifts.

Let's look and see how we can make Christmas shopping less stressful.

Do Gift Shopping Online

More than 60% of US shoppers prefer to do their Christmas gift shopping online, and the number is increasing every year! Gift buying online can take some of the stress out of facing crowded shops and searching for gifts on foot.

Shop for Gifts in October

Many people choose to start their Christmas shopping in October. This gives you enough time to calmly select your Christmas gifts and do your Christmas budgeting, deciding how much to spend on each gift.

More Tips for Stress-Free Christmas Gift Shopping

  • Make a list of your gift recipients.
  • Go through your list and decide what would be the right gift for each person.
  • Jot down a few options in case you can't find your first choice.
  • Make a Christmas gift budget.
  • Plan your shopping so that you can get as many of the gifts as possible in one store or mall. This way, you can tick several gifts off your list in one shopping trip.
  • Do some of your shopping online to avoid the crowds.
  • Don't leave Christmas shopping until the last minute!

What Is the Best Day to Go Shopping for Christmas?

Starting your Christmas shopping on Boxing Day is a bit extreme, and leaving gift shopping until December is cutting it too close. And don't forget you also have to pick up a Christmas tree and do all your other holiday shopping!

So when is the ideal time to start your Christmas gift shopping?

38% of people say they start their Christmas gift shopping in October, which seems like a good rule to follow. It is early enough to avoid the crowds and get good deals, but not too late to get you stressed in December.