I really don't like the fact that nearly every store I have gone to in the last week is already decorating for Christmas. Can't we just enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving before we are inundated with Christmas stuff? But even though I don't like to be slammed with Christmas stuff in early October, I don't mind Christmas shopping now.
We were at Fremont yesterday and I saw some nice quality fold up Hello Kitty Las Vegas bags which were two for $14 so I picked up two for my friends in Japan. We really don't do many gifts for Christmas anymore as we always give the kids and grandkids money (it's easier to send and they can buy what they want) but for friends in Japan, gift giving is pretty much a requirement. Unfortunately there is no cheap way to mail gifts to Japan any more (I used to be able to send things via surface, like a slow boat that takes a month plus to get there and was really cheap) but now they only have air which is really expensive :( But at least I have time to pick up gifts as I see them on sale so I will save money that way.
Meanwhile we are also getting a box of things together to send to the Philippines for Christmas and in this case it is relatively cheap--about $70 to mail a HUGE box--so we are busy collecting things to send the family there. For our Philippines box we send a mix of stuff from the Goodwill, canned food and candy, and a few new things. There is a lot of American TV there so so they always ask for the latest gadgets--iPhone X, Mac books...yikes!--what they will actually get may be second hand electronics if I can find these things at a good price. At least with a couple months lead time I should be able to find some great deals on gifts!