By Jim Lofton
Picking out the best Christmas hamper for the kids can be a lot of fun and at times a little bit stressful. There is really nothing more fun than when I know I have picked out just the perfect gift. There is also nothing more frustrating then when I get to the store just discover that I was not the first person to decide that this was just the right toy for their child.
That frustration is the exact reason why it is important to start shopping early and not try to wait for the Christmas sales to come out. You can save some money with the sales but you can also find that the gift you really wanted to give is already gone. That leaves you with buying something else or paying three times what the toy is actually worth on Ebay.
The best way to handle this is to pick out two or three things that you know you want to buy and that you just have to make sure that you get. For these items you go ahead and purchase them early and you don't have to worry about being disappointed later. For the rest of the items that are not as important then you can just wait for the sales to start. This way you make sure that you always have just the right gift to give but you still save money from the sales on the stuff that was not quite as important.
With young children it is not very hard to find out what they want for Christmas. All you have to do is ask and they will tell you exactly what they want. The problem with this technique is that it changes depending on what the last commercial they saw on television was about. What I like to do is start around September and just make a mental note of what the kids are playing the most.
For instance, right now their most favorite thing is the Last Airbender movie that just came out. They are pretending to be all kinds of different benders and jumping all over the house. This makes it pretty clear that they really like playing this so one of the things that I am going to get early will be some toys that are related to this movie. Probably the movie itself as well if it is out in time.
I like for our kids to use their imagination every now and then and the kids of course love to play video games. I try to stay away from getting too many video games but for their most favorite I will make an exception. I will also go ahead and get some costumes so that they can dress up and play their games without the video games rotting their little brains at the same time.
Basically my process for picking out the perfect Christmas gifts online for the kids is just to pay attention to what games the kids are actually playing the most. This rules out the commercials that influence little brains for short periods of time and lets you know what they are really interested in playing with. It is these toys that I will go ahead and buy early so that I can make sure they get to have them on Christmas morning. For the rest of the stuff I will usually just wait and see what goes on sale.
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