Here's my favorite Christmas shopping Tip of 2009. Know what you want to buy BEFORE you go to the store. When people go shopping without a clearly defined goal or a predefined budget they dramatically increase the chances that we'll spend too much money or make the dreaded Impulse Purchase.
Here's a bonus Christmas shopping tip. Remember to stay focused on giving to others. Don't spend a bunch of money on yourself at the same time! Gift giving is an art. Put some serious thought into what your friends or family really want and what would make them remember your gift for years to come. I still remember my great surprise and enthrallment from a gift I received years ago from my in-laws. It was a very nice telescope, something I had always wanted. It doesn't get as much use as I would like, but it's a gift I treasure and remember years later.
Make your Christmas memorable, but not in the way that you have to remember to make payments for all of next year!