Everyone’s heard of “Christmas in July,” but with temperatures around the country at record-breaking highs, few people can even attempt to leave lazy pool rafts and coastal beach vacations to begin thinking as far ahead as December. While you’re relaxing at home or on a tropical vacation trying to beat the heat, why not head indoors for a bit, get an early start on your holiday shopping, and celebrate “Christmas in July!”

1) Budget, budget, budget! If you plan out a budget before you ever even step foot into a store or log online, you can be absolutely sure that your Christmas shopping will go according to plan. This is especially necessary for those who have large families or lots of friends—or both. (Although let’s not forget that not all gifts need be material. Baking Christmas cookies is much more heartfelt than buying someone a gift card.) Make an initial list of all the people you plan to buy for and tack on an appropriate spending amount. Then, overshoot your total amount a little bit, in case a few extra people get added to the list. You can begin saving now while soaking up the rays, so that you don’t damage your credit come holiday season!

2) Shop in your underwear. Ok, maybe not exactly in your underwear. But the internet is pretty convenient, and you can utilize its resources anytime, anywhere, and it’s usually where all the biggest sales are. If you search it well enough, you can find new, still in original packaging items being sold for way, way less on sites that typically sell used, such as eBay or Amazon. Love buying designer but don’t love the price tag? Search for discount designer websites. Looking for cheap electronics and other gadgets? Google it! If you get a head start now, you can find all the great gifts that guarantee a heart-felt “Oooh!” on Christmas morning, without the panic.

3) Avoid manic mall-goers. Sure, the mall and department stores may have great deals, but that doesn’t mean that you need to head there at prime feeding time. Avoid the week before school starts, when crazy moms and angsty teenagers are sure to be back-to-school shopping. Avoid “Black Friday,” especially if you follow the aforementioned tip. Instead, hit local shopping plazas on these days. Go to the mall on days when it’s sure to be less noisy, and when the clearance items are guaranteed to be reduced even further. End-of-season sales are a great time to hit it up!

Wild stories of people getting run over in freak shopping cart accidents due to last minute sales are told every holiday season, but if you plan your shopping accordingly, you may actually have time to relax. Wouldn’t you much rather spend Christmas Eve night all nestled in bed, while visions of sugar-plums dance in your head, instead of ripping your hair out, wrapping last minute gifts and putting together complicated toys? Yeah, I thought so.

If you start planning in July, you can always check out Christmas Music where you can browse the best selection in holiday music.

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