The greatest Christmas tradition is gift giving. Kids might disagree as they plot and plan their stash under the tree, shaking, squishing and contemplating what might be contained under the festive wrapping, and desperately counting down the long days until they get to dig in. In a kid’s opinion, gift receiving is the best Christmas tradition, but with maturity comes the appreciation of watching a sibling rejoice after opening a much-desired gift or a grandmother wipe a tear opening a thoughtful gift packed with meaning. \nSome people are the “shop all year long” type, finding great deals and thoughtful picks to squirrel away until Christmas. Others are less organized, but equally as thoughtful, making more last-minute choices a week or less before Christmas. We have both types of folks on staff at Old World Christmas, some that plan months ahead, others that scramble. At the end of the day, everyone still enjoys a great Christmas!\n\nBlack Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is an exciting way to start off the official Christmas-shopping season. If you’re willing to wake up early and plan it right, you might stumble across some great deals. Usually big chain stores reward their early-rising, Black Friday customers. \nThe best time to shop for hard-to-find Christmas gifts is yesterday. This year especially, with COVID-19, and the delays in production and shipping that has occurred nationwide, the consumer can expect slower delivery, and maybe a bit more nail biting when waiting for packages in the mail. If you’ve been contemplating a complicated, rare or unique gift for a loved one, begin the research, ordering, and waiting as soon as possible. Though you might think it’s perfect, if it needs to be adjusted, tweaked or added to, having a little extra time in the process might be necessary. \nThe drawback for planning and buying Christmas gifts too far in advance is the potential for different or better gifts being more relevant by the time Christmas rolls around eight months later. A perfectly selected fishing pole, might not be as deeply appreciated if fishing got traded for a new golfing hobby. \nAnother drawback for purchasing Christmas gifts too far in advance is losing them. Unless you have a dedicated gift closet (no peeking!) or large, hidden away, area to stash gifts, it’s too easy to think you’ll definitely remember where you hide them, until it’s time to compile them all for wrapping. All of a sudden, the multiple hiding places are forgotten, and scrambling for lost Christmas gifts will send you into a panic. \nHowever, for the Christmas shopper that prefers the last minute thrill, you might end up not finding exactly what you’re looking for, and you can almost always expect to pay full price when you leave Christmas shopping to the last minute. The hustle and bustle of the festive Christmas spirit can dampen a bit when the perfect gift has to be ordered online and won’t arrive until after Christmas. \nThere is definitely a Christmas-shopping sweet spot: not too early and not too late. We would say start the Christmas wheels turning, and keeping an eye out for perfect gifts. Select a hidden—but not too hidden—place for gifts, and let the shopping begin!