I saved up ahead of time for most of it. I really didn't want to still be paying Christmas bills in April. I'm charging *only* because I do most of the shopping online and that's the only option, but I pay the balance each month.
We lucked out, really. Money's been more of a squeeze than I had hoped for over the last several months so I didn't save as much as planned. Fortunately, I got a royalty check for a bit more than I expected about five weeks earlier than I expected. I wouldn't have charged, but it would have hit my savings. Now, it doesn't have to.
Congratulations on the royalty check!! I know unexpected money is always a blessing! I wouldn't charge Christmas now for all the money in the world. It's just not worth it to me in the long run. We're pretty much a "giving" family all year long, so we don't have to wait until Christmas to do so.
I'm a member of MyPoints, and I do all my shopping through them and earn points all year long. Emails and surveys earn you points too. Around Nov 1st, I trade in all my points for gift cards and fund my holiday shopping that way. I've got about $200 worth of Target gift cards, $100 from Barnes & Noble and a couple smaller ones that I'm using for gifts themselves.
I never thought of giving someone some of my Mypoints gift cards as gifts. What a wonderful idea! I usually just use them myself, buying the item. I guess if I gave them the gift card, they could choose what they want. Thanks for the idea!
I prolly should have clarified. The vast majority of my Christmas shopping has been done via credit card reward points. I'm only using cash to pay for the kids, hubby, and two others - and, of course, the supplies for the handmade gifts. It just would have sucked to have had to turn to my savings account for hubby & kids.