[[This blog has been compensated by Groupon. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]]
We had to run into a store last night to make a quick return, and while Ethan handled that, Momma and babies ran off in search of a bathroom. On our way there, I noticed that they were starting to put up their Christmas section. It wasn't even a craft store (where supplies for Christmas crafts go up in July because festival season starts in October and professional crafters need to have their inventories ready), but like... a normal store.
OMG you guys, Christmas is coming up SO SOON! I'm brainstorming Halloween costumes now, then once I'm done with those, it's Thanksgiving dinner time, then the whirlwind of Christmas gatherings and tasks starts. Whew. I always feel like the last third of the year just WHOOSHES right by me.
I like to start on Christmas shopping as early as possible. We budget for the season with a separate account that we pay into from every pay check, so we can start making purchases as we see things we think our loved ones will enjoy. But, despite these plans... I inevitably end up scrambling to finish things right at the deadlines. One of these things that I always always always have trouble finishing is filling Ethan's stocking. (Santa fills kid stockings, parents fill each other's. Of course.)
For stockings, I like to do small things that are quirky and/or useful, and I like to stick to a pretty small budget for it. Usually, the "big" gift is wrapped separately and under the tree. One place I have been able to consistently find good quality, inexpensive, and fun gifts has been Groupon Goods.
Did you know Groupon isn't just for tickets or restaurant discounts? Their "Goods" section has great discounts on THOUSANDS of fun products for everyone on your list. In fact, as I was scrolling through it just now, I found something I'll probably order for Ethan, something for our niece, my Papa's favorite cologne, aaaaand maybe a thing or two I need. Plus a water filter for our freezer (which, while not necessarily a great gift, is something I'm always glad to save money on!). Just on the first couple of pages!! Go dig through for yourself, let me know what awesomeness you find!
(And don't worry - if they're surprises for someone, I'll keep the secret, haha!)
(A word of caution, though - I was not anticipating stumbling across all of the "adults only" items. If you don't want your eyes bugging out of your head, your cheeks turning bright magenta, or your innocence getting a little bruised, you may want to use some filters or more targeted category searches.)