Less is More.

Most years, I am "that person". That person who starts Christmas shopping in September, and is finished before Black Friday even arrives.  Actually, I've never even been shopping on Black Friday.  I hate crowds, lines, and waiting.  I really hate waiting.  I also don't like the idea that I could potentially have a broken leg by the end of the day, considering that everyone is going to be fighting over the same flat screen HDTV as me.

Nothing says "Christmas Spirit" like a pair of crutches and a cast, right?!

I love a bargain as much as everyone else, but I love my limbs even more.

So, although I don't fight it out on Black Friday, I am usually grossly prepared for he holidays.  This year, however, I am no longer an "I".  I am a "we", and "we" just paid for a wedding.  "We" also just took a honeymoon in the Turks & Caicos.  Not to mention, "we" just remodeled "our" kitchen.

What does all of this mean?

"We" are experiencing a recession of the Christmas variety.

There will be no lavish Christmas gifts this year.  For "our" family, there will be thoughtful, loving gifts, some of the handmade variety.  I will be enlisting the help of some very crafty skills for these gifts, which you will likely see turn up in my new She's Crafty feature.  I have a sewing machine, and I know how to use it.

[dammit]

I love giving gifts.  That is quite obvious on the blog, considering that I usually buy the items for my giveaways with my own cashola.  I just love giving things away.  It makes me happy to make other people happy.  The challenge comes in when I am forced to stick to a budget on gifts, because although I am not especially frivolous in my gift-giving, I don't really like being forced to do anything.

[especially when I was forced to overlook that adorable Tory Burch bag that was perfect for my sister, because at $485, it was WAY out of my gift-giving budget]

The solution?

I found it on eBay.

At 70% off the retail price.

Score!

I also decided that the gifts I buy this year for My Gazelle (and the ones he gets for me), will be things that we picked out ourselves.  There will be only a few gifts, and they will be things that we really want.  This will ensure that we're not wasting money on things that the other person doesn't want and won't ultimately use.

Enter...The Amazon Wishlist.

This is the most genius idea ever.  You can go on Amazon's website, create a Wish List for yourself, and each time you come across something on Amazon that strikes your fancy, you just click on the "Add To Wish List" button on the right of the product listing.  You can then make your Wish List "public", and email friends and family the link to the Wish List, and they can purchase items directly from Amazon.

In addition, Amazon has an add-on (for Firefox as well as other internet browsers) that inserts an Amazon Wish List toolbar on the top of your internet browser.

So, if you're on another website and you see something that you absolutely must have, you just click "Add To Wish List", and it will add the item from another retailer's website.  That's how I added my Gap Always Skinny Cords...

Some other highlights from my Christmas Wish List:

I have a Kitchen Aid mixer, but I'd like to sell it and upgrade to this professional version...

I found this adorable 8 x 10 print by CakeSpy, and it will look delectable in my new kitchen [I also added this through the Amazon Wish List button on my toolbar]...

A set of Wusthoff Gourmet knives, which I am hoping to upgrade to [from my current Ikea knives]...

This watch, which proves that Swatch can still be cool after 1993...

And these Miz Mooz boots, which I am hopelessly in love with [and frequently daydream of wearing with a cute sweater dress and tights]...

[I Die!]

So, there ya have it.  Christmas in November.

What about you--do you pick out your own Christmas gifts, make a list for family and friends, forgo gifts altogether, or just wait for a surprise on Christmas day?

And...if you have a Christmas list, what's on it??!!