Around September my mother would hand my kids catalogs and tell them to circle what they wanted for Christmas. I try not to do that with my grandchildren. I remember that most everything in the catalogs got circled. While I don't often start out to shop that early, if I do happen to see something that catches my fancy for a gift, I purchase it.
I've also been known to buy something while traveling. Books are a great find when you go to unusual places. Often there are books there by local authors you don't normally see in bookstore chain stores. This year, I found a book on whales in Hawaii that has Japanese as well as English text for our bilingual granddaughter. (Shhh. Don't tell.)
The problem I have had in the past though is remembering that I bought the gift and/or remembering where I stashed it. I've solved that with my little pocket-sized notebook. Each year I start a section of a notebook and list all the names, one family to a page. I then carry that with me or keep it handy at my desk for writing down what I've purchased. I have designated a special place at home where I stash the gifts (I'd tell you where but then I'd have to. . .well, you know). I now have a record of what is purchased and when it's time to wrap, all of the gifts are in one place.
Am I the only one who's had this problem? By the way, the adult Sunday school class I used to teach thought this was so funny that they purchased a lifetime supply of little pocket-sized notebooks for me!