There was some method to this madness. We figured, rather than tucking it in everywhere and struggling through traffic multiple times, we would just set aside a day, make it an Event, and drive downtown and park ONCE.
It was a whole family affair, which is how I ended up walking up to the counter in our local toy store with two toys stuffed up my sweater. No, I'm not a shoplifter, folks - I'm just trying to keep both of my kids from seeing what the other one wants to buy them for Christmas!
There were a couple other hiccups to the day, like when my husband took the kids off to the herbal/beauty/massage/yoga-type shop to buy my gifts, and then when they met up with me again a few shops later, Hypatia was crying and upset because daddy "Wouldn't Let me Buy You Two Presents! It's not FAIR."
But the plus side was that we supported the local businesses like crazy, and it was good to see them really packed and busy with other folks also shopping there. We shopped at small toy stores, novelty stores, boutiques, jewelry stores, and more. We stopped for a break at the local coffee shop before continuing on.
Without giving too much away, I can tell you that our family is going to be opening a lot of games, art supplies, jewelry, art, and hand-knit goods for Christmas.
I only really have two, maybe three things left to do for Christmas shopping. One is a trip to the big box toy store, because I just have to get some Legos for Christmas. Carbon's letter to Santa this year only asked for ONE thing, and that was Legos. And although our local independent toy store has started carrying Legos, the selection is still really limited. If I don't get the Legos, the current Stocking Selection (for each child: an Audiobook CD, a DS game (used), an art supply, and a couple pieces of candy) will be tragically lacking.