I know that Christmas really isn't about shopping and presents. But let me tell you, I love to buy people gifts. I tell people let's not exchange, but I find myself finding things I know they would love without a list. I finished 5 people yesterday :)
I am done buying Phyllis what I put on my list that I was going to get her. Christmas presents are scaled back this year, that's just how it is. I got her 2 things she REALLY wanted, and a few things she'll be surprised about. And I must have done something right because she's said so many times "Mom, you don't have to get me all that stuff" and I believe her. The hard part is that I have until December not to buy her anything new because I love to buy her gifts, I love to watch her open stuff she's excited about.
I finished my niece and my 3 nephews yesterday as well! I got them all things that according to their mommies they are going to love! YEAH! And for those 4, I was a total of $31 under budget (my budget for all four was $100).
Let me tell you a secret, you might already know it... but check out Amazon.com. seriously. They have the best prices on books, if you spend $25 on most things (especially CDs, books, movies-NEW!) free shipping, it says 5-7 days once shipped, I typically get it in 3. This is what I do to save on shipping... I put it in my cart... and then when I find something else I need... I add it to my cart and when I hit the $25 mark, I purchase it. I've found new books for $6 when they are $25 in the store!! Paid $10 for a CD that was $18.99 in the store! If you don't like credit/debit cards, you can use your checking account. I just got my first debit card a month ago, so I used my checking, it's sweet. I think people think I'm nuts but I don't care, it's hassle free, they have great products, you can get a lot of things you can't find in stores because they are not the "latest & greatest", you can get a lot of things used, but sometimes I've found buying it new with free shipping is better than used with shipping (you must do the math!).
NOTE: I got Phyllis a 6-pack of undies for Christmas BRAND NEW from Wal-mart for $.50 because they over charged me and I got the scanning law! HA!!!