Surviving the Christmas Shopping Rush with a Baby

There are no tips here, because to put it quite simply, you just have to wing it. No matter how organised I thought I was, back in October, I have failed miserably at retrieving organised mum status. Possibly because I have never managed to be organised before in my life, so with our little wild child thrown into the mix I didn’t have much hope. I admit this and can picture my mum sniggering quietly to herself because she’s known all of my life that I really would forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on. That old chestnut!

I decided to start my Christmas shopping in October, with a very excitable husband when he spotted a Hamley’s store in a busy shopping centre. His day was obviously a bit grey, the day before a half marathon, me dragging him in and out of shops, trying to find something to fit my new mum body shape – obviously moaning and stressing out when I wasn’t getting my way with the fresh threads that were tempting me. Then, in the distance, Hamley’s must have shone down like an angel sent from heaven and off he went. Now, my husband has similar personality traits to a Jack Russell Terrier and is still an 8 year old boy at heart. This is no exaggeration, when we have visitors, he marches the little ones into the garden for ball games, loses balls over fences in every direction and eventually comes back inside – ‘tail’ between his legs – sweat dripping from his head, 10 minutes later than the children he was originally entertaining because they have exhausted every game imaginable and asks ‘what shall we do now?’ That paints a pretty good picture of my dearest!

So yes, my husband ran to the greatest toy shop he’d ever seen in his life (his words) and I lost him for a good half an hour. I was slowly walking around, showing Milo the toys with flashing lights and getting excited at his reactions. I eventually decided to attempt to make my exit and round up my troops. I was faced with a pile of toys with legs. A voice between the boxes said ‘I’ve picked up a few bits for Milo and I think I’ve sorted all the kids Christmas presents’. Yes, he had! After checking over the goods, we proceed to the checkout and I feel accomplished and I had done nothing at all. What a great feeling.

My husband came to the rescue on two more occasions too. One was a phone call, he was in Sainsbury’s and they had an offer on toys, so we had now doubled up on the kids Christmas presents and it was only November! The next occasion was yet another trip to Hamley’s, and you’ve probably guessed, over spent on the little ones AGAIN. So we are now super organised for birthdays next year too!

If I’ve learnt anything from these experiences, it has been to find an adult who loves Christmas and fun and games and let them choose the presents!

Now, the little people of the family have more than been sorted and it has been time for me to sort my life out and shop for everyone else. Milo is not a fan of department stores, going from a cold high street to an over heated, busy building is just not fun for him – and quite rightly so. However, this is where I enjoy my Christmas shopping days, so I had to find an alternative. I did a shop sweep. One shop, every gift! Next was perfect for this. Fantastic Christmas goodies for all of the family and also personal to my favourite people. Winner!

My shopping habits have definitely changed over the past few months and I only have a few helpful hints to survive the Christmas shopping madness. Unfortunately, they involve my husband, or another fully energised, Duracell bunny that has the love for Christmas and kids toys. Oh and, internet shopping – preferably not accompanied by a bottle of red wine after a crazy day playing Mum/Auntie/GymGoer/Cleaner/Chef because who knows what you might end up with!