We are a very competitive family when it comes to finding shopping deals all year round but especially for Christmas. My mom planned very early in the year because she often made some of the gifts. Then, as the season progressed she would look for the best deals so she could get the most for her money. She never really got to participate in Black Friday sales but she would have loved them.
Over the last 15 years or so it has been a combined team shopping effort to fill every one's list, it is planned with ads and spreadsheets and strategic team member location in various stores. Some year even merit the coveted "Queen of Shopping" award of valor.
I have many fun shopping memories but one of my favorites was long ago when my girls were young. We lived in a small home on Smith Street in Fort Collins Colorado. As young parents, most of our Christmas mornings were very sparse. This particular year, we were both working and were given bonuses. After taking care of all our obligations, we had had enough to so get several gifts each for the girls. Their dad was not much for shopping but this year he had a change of heart. We hatched a plan. We decided to only put the regular amount of packages under the tree so it looked like our normal Christmas. Then, we went shopping, each of us took a cart and filled it up with goodies. When we got home, we hid all the gifts and did not wrap or put them under the tree. On Christmas eve, we both wrapped gifts and put them under the tree. By the time we were done, the whole front room was full of brightly wrapped boxes. We left the tree lit and went to bed. On Christmas morning, as the girls wondered out of bed, expecting to open the few prizes under the tree, they were beyond surprised to see the tree. Then came the infamous "little girl squeals" lots of hugs and many joyful memories. It was truly a once in a lifetime Christmas morning.