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How To Shop Like A Pro Online This Christmas

Today I am sharing a few great tips for Christmas shopping online, with a focus on Etsy.

Before I get to the tips, be sure to get a head start on all your Christmas shopping by stopping by my Etsy shops below.





How To Shop Like A Pro Online This Christmas

If you have not been thinking about Christmas gifts yet, it is not too early! Get online now and start using an app or Pinterest to at least pick out and save items you intend to purchase. The first tip is to begin planning your purchases. I like to use Pinterest and every year I set up a new “Christmas Gifts” board and pin items that I intend to purchase over the coming weeks.

Now is the time to start online Christmas shopping, especially if you are on a tight budget. Don’t worry though because shopping on a budget can be done! Don’t wait until December to start your Christmas shopping. Think about it . . . if you need to buy several gifts for family and friends- if you start now, in October, you have roughly 12 weeks (or if you break it down to pay periods, you have about 6 or 7 paychecks) before Christmas. By starting now and purchasing one or two gifts each week or every other week per pay period – you won’t break your pocketbook or go into credit card debt. Plus, it’s less stressful since you will not have to deal with the insane retail store Christmas crowds or worse, attempt the Black Friday boxing match, whether it’s for your christmas gift or one the best cordless vacuums on the market.

I love to shop on Etsy to find unique and handmade gifts of all kinds from jewelry, soap, candles, home decor and more for women and so many amazing original gifts like designer and funny tee shirts, shaving cream, tools, and beer accessories for men in my family. The best reason to shop on Etsy, you don’t have to leave home and every amazing gift arrives right on your doorstep.

Additionally, most shops on Etsy will offer gift wrap service with a small fee (some shops even offer it free)– and your gifts will arrive ready to put directly under the tree! Now that entirely takes the stress out of Christmas shopping, so you can sit back and enjoy your egg nog or wine!

Now for the tips on how to shop like a pro on Etsy

First, know the online platform and know how to use it to your advantage. Etsy is not at all like Ebay or Amazon, so there are a few differences you should know to help you search and find amazing gifts.

My second tip is DON’T RELY ON PHOTOS only when purchasing anything online. Why? Photos can not show you an accurate size or other important details. It is highly recommended that you go ahead and take a minute to READ the item details section of each listing.

Where are Item Details in Etsy?

It depends, if browsing on the phone or tablet app, you need to scroll all the way down under photos, past the line “Item Overview” further down and actually CLICK ON the words to get the Item Details box to pop out or open.

However, if shopping on a desktop or laptop, it is much easier to find just by scrolling down under the photos. I actually prefer to shop on my laptop, since I can send emails and messages to Etsy sellers much easier.

My tip #3 is to ask questions before buying. If you did not find all the information in the item details to answer your questions about an item on Etsy, absolutely email or message the shop owner or seller by clicking on the button – Ask a question

Most sellers want and love to connect with buyers. Etsy shop sellers want to hear from you BEFORE you purchase, especially if you have questions and they definitely want to ensure you know exactly what you are ordering, when it will arrive, and any other information you need to know. Sellers want to complete all sales with 100% happy buyers.

A smart buyer shops like a pro and fully reads all the details or asks questions about the potential purchase so there is no misunderstanding about exactly what is being ordered.

Data research has shown that buyers that purchase on impulse without taking the time to fully read the details about items online generally exhibit regret or buyers remorse later, and that emotion is no fault of an online seller, on any platform. After all, that Etsy seller did pour their blood, sweat, and maybe some tears into that amazing handmade gift you are about to purchase- so they want you to love it and to know exactly what you are going to receive before adding it to your cart and completing the sale.

Understanding Order Processing & Shipping Timelines

My tip #4 is recommending that you shop online early and understand order processing time needed plus consider the delivery time for either USPS, FedEx, or UPS, once a seller has shipped your order. When buying handmade, it is crucial to allow Etsy sellers production time and order processing time to get your handmade item to you. While many sellers have plenty of inventory ready to go, some still make your item after it is ordered.

Personalized and custom orders do not magically appear. Each seller must add that personalized request or design to your handmade item, so don’t assume you are going to receive your Etsy order two days after purchase, unless of course your paid for them to rush it and for Priority Express to have it overnighted to you. Remember, Amazon Prime costs subscribers around $120.00 a year. Most online shoppers can’t afford that fee just for the convenience of two day delivery, so consider that when buying elsewhere online. Sellers online need time to get your order ready and in the mail to you. As much as sellers would love to have hundreds of employees working all night, its not happening, so be realistic about delivery times.

An online seller needs a day or two to get your item ready to ship and in the mail. This is called order processing. Etsy has been making this information more accessible to buyers on all the apps and desktop platforms- it now shows you approximately when an item will arrive at your location and it is located just next to the lower part of the photos. Be sure to note this important information before buying, especially if you have waiting until the last minute to order. Definitely message the seller first to find out if they can meet your rush deadline.

How To Search To Find What You Want On Etsy

Finally, tip #5 is to use the search features in the left hand side of the screen when searching for specific items on Etsy. You can narrow down your searched selection of items shown to you by clicking in any of the boxes-

Once you have selected a shop you like, you can also narrow down specific items while browsing in that shop too by clicking on their sections in the left hand side of the screen.

I hope these online Christmas shopping tips are helpful. Be sure to stop by any of my Etsy shops below for your holiday gift giving, seasonal decorating, or holiday celebrations and to use these tips to optimize your online browsing and gift giving this holiday season!





Last Day For Online Christmas Gift Shopping

Deadline For Online Christmas Shopping

Hopefully by now you have finished most of your Christmas shopping.  If not, you still have some time for local shopping.

As for me, I have a low tolerance for large crowded stores and shopping among last minute stressed out Christmas shoppers.  So if I can, I absolutely avoid going any where near a brick and mortar retail store the last few weeks leading up to Christmas.  If you share my same sentiment, there is still time for you to shop online.  If you are looking for something unusual for someone special, I highly recommend shopping on Etsy.

While my Etsy shops offer more Christmas decorating, holiday crafting and home decor, rather than gifts, you can still browse any of them by clicking on the links below-




I have plenty of Christmas ornaments that are ready to ship, so why not add one last handmade ornament to the Christmas tree this year!  Or maybe a little something new next year, like a tree banner or letter garland. . . yes, my Christmas letter banners look amazing hanging in the tree!

I highly recommend selecting PRIORITY shipping at checkout if if is available in any Etsy shop at checkout or to first reach out to an Etsy seller to confirm they can get something to you before Christmas.  Many do offer ready to ship gifts just for you last minute online shoppers but some sellers may have a much longer custom made to order production time- so it’s best to ask first before buying online.

If you are looking for Christmas shopping tips, holiday decorating inspiration and gift wrapping ideas, I’ve put together a quick roundup of some of my previous holiday posts here on the blog.  Sit down with a cup of coffee and enjoy some of my previous holiday tips by clicking on any of the links below-

Free Printable Christmas Tags

More Free Christmas Gift Tags

All my other Christmas inspiration and ideas can be found easily on my blog by clicking here- CHRISTMAS

Thanks for stopping by the blog today.

Christmas Home Decor

Christmas Santa & Snowman Collection

I finally got all my Christmas decorations up and this year instead of a full home tour, I thought I would share only a few areas or vignettes in our home, including my Santa and snowman collection.

Every year I add one new snowman and one new Santa to my collection – it has been slowly growing now for a few years.  Some were gifts from friends and co-workers over the years as well.

I kept our big fireplace mantel decorated simple with some added greenery and two large feather trees.

This is our front entry table – it is still a little bit of a work in progress.  I’m always adjusting and moving my Christmas decor around on it throughout the holiday.   I made the JOY sign last year for the table.

This is a new Christmas collection that I named the ‘Woodland Creatures Table’!

Last is our dining room buffet all decorated for Christmas.  I usually hang a seasonal wreath between the hanging lanterns above it, but this year I found this stunning vintage brass horn at a local antique shop and added a plaid bow to it.  Most everything lights up on the table, including all the greenery around the XMAS sign that I made last year for the buffet.

Those signs were so fun to make and I still have letters available for sale in my craft supply Etsy shop – Ready Set Craft Kits

If you are working on building up your Christmas home decor, feel free to visit my other Etsy shop for beautiful Christmas Decor- Once Upon A Home Designs

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!


Christmas Decorating Ideas

10 Easy & Quick Christmas Decorating Ideas

All of us want to have the most beautifully decorated house on the block, but most of us are not interior designers or even capable decorators, for that matter.  That is why I put together these quick and easy Christmas decorations that anyone can pull off- yes, I promise, YOU can do it too!

1. Winter Wonderland Scene

Use an apothecary jar (this is a fancy name for a jar with a lid) to create your own winter scene in miniature.  Simply use salt or fake snow as your base and place a small house, or mini snowman and a few bottle brush / thistle mini trees inside, and voila! You have an instant Christmas decoration for an entryway or coffee table.

2. Traditional Candles

If you don’t want to stray too far from traditional decorations, try using pillar candles or even electric flameless candles but place them on a cake stand instead of plain candle holders for a little extra height.  Display with artificial holly berries or greenery to tie in the Christmas theme.

3. Snowman Decorated Door

This is a quick and easy Christmas decoration and definitely let the kids help out with this project! It looks adorable on the inside and is incredibly easy to do. All you need is construction paper, wide wired Christmas ribbon, a pair of scissors and a bit of cutting skills.  Tip- to cut perfect circles, flip a round tupperware container over on your construction paper and trace with a pencil around it!

4. Lighted Lantern

Rather than adding the usual pillar candle inside of these hugely popular lanterns, instead, fill with glitter and metallic ornaments and light it up with battery-operated mini lights for a more updated style.  Add two near your front entrance, inside or out to great your guests with some unique holiday cheer!

5. Ribbon Wrapped Garage Doors

I completely understand those who do not want to get on a ladder and hang Christmas lights on the exterior of their home- or pay someone else to do it.  So this one is for the minimalists and on top of being easy, it looks stunning. Use cut red fabric (or even the cheap red vinyl tablecloths will work as a substitute and probably stand up better to wet, cold weather) and cut strips to form a “T” shape.  Add a bow in the center and your entire home is now one big present!

6. Farmhouse Table Centerpiece

Farmhouse style is trending right now and with this easy centerpiece, its easy to add in some farmhouse decor to your Christmas decorations.  Start with a three tier stand or lazy susan – don’t worry if you can’t find an inexpensive vintage one this [easyazon_link identifier=”B073XD3648″ locale=”US” tag=”ymazonffiliac-20″]three tier stand[/easyazon_link] from Amazon will work absolutely fine.  Next add some rustic painted mason jars with Christmas florals inside and overstuff your three tiers with a mix of pine greenery, vintage and new glitter and glass bulb ornaments, miniature deer, bottle brush trees, and finish with a small chalkboard sign or any farmhouse style sign. This finished centerpiece would look stunning anywhere in the home but if you have a kitchen island- that would be the ideal place for it!

7. Perfect Poinsettias

Poinsettias are a Christmas classic and will never go out of style- even Martha Stewart would agree! An updated way to display them would be in a rustic wood box.

8. Garland Entryway

This Christmas decoration is easy to find in garlands at any retail home or craft store or [easyazon_link identifier=”B00EJ2DFZ2″ locale=”US” tag=”ymazonffiliac-20″]fully decorated garlands[/easyazon_link]are available on Amazon. Drape them over your front door and finish with a coordinating wreath.  Add in some vintage ice skates (or new) and you are ready to welcome your friends and family for the holidays.

9. Christmas in a Bowl

If you have left over ornaments after decorating the Christmas tree – use them to create another table centerpiece.  Any decorative bowl will work but a glass bowl will really show off your display, next throw in a mix of ornaments and pinecones. This will make for a great statement piece on any dining table.

10. Woodsy Candle Sticks

You probably have these boring white, red or cream candlesticks around the house but this year, why not add them to empty and cleaned glass [easyazon_link identifier=”B06WRR6B99″ locale=”US” tag=”ymazonffiliac-20″]soda bottles[/easyazon_link]. Plus, you can enjoy your frosty soda, before you start decorating!  Once all your soda is in your tummy, soak them in soapy hot water to remove the labels and scrub any remaining labels off then run them through the dishwasher.  Once perfectly clear and sparkly clean, add small branches from pine trees outside and tie up with jute twine.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to start decorating your home for Christmas. Stop by my Etsy shops for even more holiday home decor and to get ready for your holiday soiree with plenty of options for Christmas party decorations –




Christmas Table Settings


When the spread is this stylish, no one will notice if you overcook the ham on Christmas Day!

Before getting to the top ten trendy styles for setting up your Christmas dining table this year, be sure to stop by my Etsy shops this week for all your Christmas decorations. Don’t forget, as it’s Christmas you might want to treat yourself to a new dining table as well. Why not take a look at this glass dining table and chairs clearance?

Visit any of my shops below for this year’s trends –




Let’s start with Farmhouse– its the big home decor trend right now and of course it is also popular for Christmas decorating.

So, if you don’t have this expensive vintage model red truck with a Christmas tree in the back . . .

. . . don’t worry, there is no need to rush out and pay for this! In fact, I highly recommend passing on it. Why? It is not worth the price tag and will most likely not be in style a few years from now! Some home design trends can be skipped, especially if it is not in your budget.

You should set up your home and your dining table for Christmas in YOUR style not with exactly the same popular cookie cutter item that so many will have in their home. Honestly, this red truck image is a bit redundant – on every pillow, gift bag, not too mention so many popular home decor blogs.

So, let’s get to the trends, that you can put together on a budget and in your own style.


Farmhouse is a mix of vintage items with rustic and woodsy decor, at least for the past few years and is still trending this Christmas and its very easy to create a farmhouse table setting- without that red truck! Visit an antique store for some old ceramic putz houses, smaller Christmas trees, wood candle holders, other vintage decor, and any rustic style painted signs you can find locally. Gather some oldie decorations for your centerpiece, add in some natural wood elements, and give it some height. Place settings for the farmhouse style consist of vintage plates and glasses. Goodwill or your local thrift shop is a great and affordable place to find really nice vintage gold and silver plated tableware.


Next up is traditional Plaid – it is an easy go-to and never goes out of style for Christmas.


The updated version of plaid is Buffalo Check– big black and red squares.


I like to call this next style Wintry – its icy blue and silver with strong elements of white.


Woodsy has been popular the past few years and is still very much in for this year. Pull together sliced tree slabs, natural pine cones, fresh or fake evergreen sprigs, and add in some miniature deer, elk, birds, bears or other forest creatures to get the look.


You can never go wrong with a style of Sophisticated Elegance and the best way to achieve this style at your Christmas table is to keep it simple and in a monotone (one) color scheme. This predominately silver set-up is a good example. All gold works just as well too!


Shabby Chic has been around for a while and is wonderful way to create an atmosphere of comfort and nostalgia. The American version is lots of pinks, light blue, and mint green layered on creme. For a more French style of shabby chic, stick with elements of grey and black layered on stark white. The key decorative elements include – vintage lacy or crochet linens, chandeliers, crystal, and lots of roses.


Scandinavian has its style roots from mid-century (1950’s) and is a reduction of everything. It is simple and clean. Think IKEA- but not as contemporary. This table setting is a good example- pick only one or two decorative pieces (snowflake candles and embroidered hearts shown below) and repeat it without over-doing it. Red is definite must for creating this style, as it is a dominate color in the culture and pairs perfectly for Christmas.


There is not a darn thing wrong with Whimsical. If you pull it off, it can be fun and still classy. It also makes a perfect set up if you plan to sit all the children at your Christmas dinner at a separate table. What defines this style? Any theme that is a bit more childlike- peppermint, Christmas movie themes, more non-traditional colors like neon brights or pastel pinks and blues. Consider your table as Wooville in How the Grinch Stole Christmas and go from there for a whimsical style.


Last is Traditional – basically dominate colors of red and green. No need to spend a lot of money on this one. Use your tableware and add in a solid red and solid green or even white with these two dominate colors layered on top. Go with fabric for your linens in these two solid colors for your tablecloth, place mats, and napkins. Lots of candles are great for the table center. An easy and inexpensive table centerpiece can be created using red and green glass bulb ornaments fill inside a large clear glass bowl or vase.

So, there you have it – 10 Christmas table styles to get you ready of your holiday gathering.

Come back and visit the blog for more holiday inspiration and decorating ideas!