We’ve barely entered the summer season, but as most of us know, that means we’ll be gearing up for the holidays before we know it. The fall tends to arrive quickly, and the holidays are always a busy time, so for some people, now is the time to get a jump on some holiday shopping. Granted, this is a goal that a lot of us set without ever actually meeting. But just imagine the relief of reaching the winter and being finished with this aggravating chore. At that point, you can just kick back and enjoy the pleasures of the holidays!

Getting a jump on the process can actually be pretty casual. You can simply start to keep your eyes peeled when you happen to be out at the local mall, or browsing online. If you pick up a few gifts here and there, you’ll not only lessen the shopping burden come holiday time, but you’ll also spread out the costs of gift giving. That said, however a gradual approach can also leave you with little progress, and you may well end up realizing that you still have a lot to do when winter arrives. For that reason, we put together a few creative ideas for how to chip away early.

Find Affordable Electronics

Electronic gadgets and programs are among the most popular holiday gifts these days. In fact, they’re so popular they can quickly become picked over during the actual holidays. You might be left with a combination of expensive products and empty shelves if you wait until December to start looking for these types of gifts. But starting early, you can actually find good deals on most anything you might want. You might start by browsing through liquidation auctions, which occur when stores overstock on certain electronics and need to sell surplus items. And you might be pleasantly surprised finding a selection of everything from new video games to laptops. Then again, if you don’t find what you want at such an auction, even standard online shopping can leave you with better options than you might have in a few months’ time.

Grab Souvenirs

If you happen to be taking a summer vacation or two, your early holiday shopping should be a no-brainer! Whether you’re just taking a trip to the nearest beach or you’re heading overseas for a more exotic adventure, chances are there will be shops with local items and interesting souvenirs. That doesn’t mean you should just buy everybody T-shirts from the beach you happen to visit, but with a little bit of effort you can probably find some interesting trinkets and memorabilia. These make for unique gifts, and give you a great means of getting the process over with before we even reach the fall.

For Kids, Keep An Eye On Costumes

A lot of kids’ favorite holiday is Halloween. They get to dress up, stay up late, and collect (and devour) candy. For this reason, it would always be wise to keep an eye on the year’s trendiest costumes in the weeks and months leading up to Halloween. Character costumes tend to be among kids’ favorite possessions, and if you keep your eyes open you can probably find a few great options for the children in your life, whether they’re your own, your nephews and nieces, etc. Of course you don’t want to pick up a duplicate of a child’s Halloween costume. But gifting an alternative costume, or even a set of dolls, action figures, or toys related to what the child chose to wear at Halloween, can be a smooth move.

Start Getting Creative

If you’re the type to make your own gifts, or you have a talent for DIY crafting in general, you can benefit even more from starting your holiday gift planning early. There are countless DIY holiday gifts that you can consider, from decorations to blankets and pillows, to personalized artwork and picture frames. Doing a good job on these kinds of gifts does take some time, however, so if you’re working on something like this you almost have to get started this early!