Justine Davies

Justine Davies

Well, the tree is up, the Christmas cards are gradually being written and the Advent Calendar is in full swing. We have had the dance concert, the gymnastics assessment and the swimming carnival. Plus the class break-ups. Only two more days of making school lunches, and then it's: hello holidays!!!

Which means, of course, that my Christmas shopping needs to be done and dusted by the end of this week. So my questions for you are: how are you doing your shopping this year? What did you buy? How much are you spending?

As to the how – are you shopping online or in-store?

I was interested in research released by eBay this week which included the very fascinating statistic that we've reached a tipping point: the majority of us are now shopping online for Christmas, with only 40% heading to department stores to find value this year. While online shopping has been recording steady year-by-year growth, this is the first time, at 55%, that it's been the majority-preferred method.

I've got to say, it's been my preferred method for a few years, basically ever since we had baby number 3. Two kids at a shopping centre I could deal with; three though – I'm outnumbered. I've bought a couple of things in-store, including a Barbie Styling Head that I need to buy from Target later this week when it goes on sale (apparently a Barbie Styling Head and a purple bikini are the only two things that our 5 year old wants this year). But predominantly I've bought online.

And the what – well, lets see. One daughter is getting motorcross gear. One is getting a sewing machine (a Janome d'lite – on special for $29 – I'm incredibly impressed!) plus a box of fabric and one is getting a toy vacuum cleaner. My hubby is getting a skateboard and the parents are getting … umm, well actually I haven't bought that one yet. If anyone has some great ideas for parental gifts, please share them!!!

And for a giggle, if you'd like to know what we spent some of our Christmas money on last year, click here!

With regards to how much, apparently we're buying the same number of gifts but spending slightly less this year. The eBay research found that our total spend on Christmas gifts will be around $577, and this week's Kmart Christmas Giving Index indicated that parents will spend around $235 per child (which makes that Janome sewing machine look better and better!!)

Personally I think I've probably spent less than $235 per child, but more than $577 overall.

So – how about you? How are you doing your Christmas shopping? What are you buying? And how much do you plan to spend?

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