presentYou know how each year you promise yourself that you're not going to procrastinate shopping for Christmas gifts, then, without fail, you find yourself screaming at a little old lady in a parking lot on December 21 because you were waiting for that spot, too, goddamnit? Well, this year's going to be different. For real! This is going to be the year when you have all your shopping done by early December, leaving you free to drive by the mall and laugh at all those miserable assholes who waited 'til the last minute to buy their kids something awesome ... as if something awesome was still available. Here's how you're going to make it work. 

You're going to shop in these 5 unexpected places and you're going to feel calm, cool, and drunk with power (and bourbon) as you toast the completion of your to-do list on December 5.

Start looking at Pinterest now. That place is an ideas goldmine. Search for subjects that interest your kids, like, say, "soccer" or "playing dress up" or "mac 'n' cheese" and see what comes up. At the very least, it'll get the creative juices flowing, and best case scenario, you'll find a link to purchase a cool, unique present for your little ones.

Check out Etsy. If you have any tweens on your list, Etsy is a great place to shop for them. You can find all kinds of trendy clothing and jewelry on the site that looks great and isn't too expensive. There's also plenty of adorable and handmade baby and children's clothes on the site, as well. I mean, I'm fairly confident your kid needs a Christmas tree hat this year.

Don't forget Craigslist. Search for a specific item you're looking for or just browse categories that could yield some presents, like "toys" and "bikes," and if you're raising a little Einstein, then "puzzles."

Fall flea markets. Since fall and flea markets go together like horse and carriage, take a poke through one this season and see if you can resist buying all that nautical stuff for yourself and look, instead, for holiday gifts for those on your list. Maybe Jimmy Jr. would love a tin full of little Army guys and maybe Lil Sally would like that vintage kitchen set for her play area in the basement. What's great about flea market gifting is that you can get your kids the real thing, albeit old real things, instead of those crappy plastic replicas.

Your friend's house. Although I would love to suggest going over to your friend's place and robbing them blind, it's just not a good idea. Instead, talk to your friends and neighbors with kids about a toy swap or clothes swap. I'm sure they'd love to get rid of some stuff just as much as you would. You know what they say -- one man's bag of ignored toys is another man's treasure!

So hop online now and by early next month, you'll be alllllll done. How great would that be?

Do you shop early for holiday presents?


Photo via maaco/Flickr