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Nina Garcia's Holiday Shopping Tips

“Nothing’s as mean as giving a child something useful for Christmas.”

-Kin Hubbard

Am I the only one who had heart palpitations when the Christmas decorations started going up in September/October? Listen, I love the holidays as much as anyone else, but I like them to come one at a time. First Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, etc. And I refuse to be rushed or stressed about it, thank you very much. I am not one of those mothers who has her entire shopping list done before stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey. I know those women. I envy those women. I will never be one of those women.

My gift-shopping season exists between the Friday after Thanksgiving up until Christmas Eve. If I buy a gift before that, I feel like I deserve a trophy.

So, I know you may be looking for some insider knowledge about what the hottest toys and items are to buy this year. Stay tuned: I will write this post in the near future. This week, I offer you my timeless holiday shopping tips that will never fail you, no matter what the trend or toy of the moment may be:

1. Thou shalt not stress about it. This is supposed to be a time of joy and giving and spending time with loved ones and eating too many cookies. It is not supposed to be a time of running from mall to toy store to Target in search of some obscure item that everyone has already bought at 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday. Everybody just chill.

2. Set a limit and stick to it. And set the limit before you ask your kids to make their wish lists. Your kids will survive if they don’t get the everything they ask for, I promise you. I’ve done a case study.

3. Do not set foot in a toy store if you can help it. Order all toys online and be thankful that we now live in an age when FAO Schwarz and Toys "R" Us will come to us.

4. Don’t buy other people’s children extra large or obnoxiously loud toys. If you do, they reserve the right to get you back in whatever manner they see fit.

5. Stock up on quality wrapping paper. If you have ever tried to wrap gifts with flimsy, extra-thin paper, you know why this is so important.

6. Save those big cardboard boxes. The children will put all the gifts you bought them on the side at the sight of a big cardboard box; and you will be left to wonder why you tore your hair out searching for anything else.

Happy holidays and happy shopping, everyone!

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