As the holiday season is quickly approaching, there is no denying it – holiday shopping is one of the most stressful times of the year. I have been guilty of shopping last minute on more than one occasion, one time even pushing it as far as December 24th! Not fun at all – I’ll tell you that much. So, in order to avoid these situations, I have come up with a few tricks. I will admit, sometimes I do not exercise them all, but I have tried them all and all in all I find them to be very useful. So here goes!
- Make A List
I find that getting organized is one of the most important and valuable things that you can do in order to stay on track as you are doing your holiday shopping. Make a list of names, and also brainstorm what you think would be a good gift for each person. This way, when you get to the mall, department store, or shop online, you will have a focus and you won’t be distracted by all of the “noise.”
Personally, I make two lists. One for close friends and family, and one for “others” that I can shop for in bulk. Colleagues and relatives usually get something simple, like a bottle of wine, a gift basket, holiday ornaments, wine corks, or something else small, but universal. Basically, something that can be bought in large quantities.
- Start Your Shopping Early
And I don’t mean “Black Friday” early, although that is a good time to start as well. Sometimes if I come across something that I think would be a great gift and let’s say it is June, I will get it anyway. Why not? Store it away (as long as it is not perishable), and cross it off your list. One less present to shop for! If there is a great sale and you have a ways to go before the holidays, stock up anyway! Especially, if it is one of those “buying in bulk” gifts. Get them out of the way early! It only means that you will spend less time on holiday shopping come Christmas time.
- Do Your Shopping At a Mall
What I like about those is that you have a huge selection of stores, specialized and general. You can knock out your shopping in one day! I highly doubt that you won’t be able to find a gift for everyone, unless of course you are looking for something completely custom made and unique. Otherwise, you can knock it out in one trip and cross your holiday shopping off the “To Do” list.
- Shop Online
One of my favorite ways to shop for the holidays. Especially, through Amazon Prime! There is really no chance that you won’t find what you are looking for, and not only that, but you can browse, compare and read reviews while in the comfort of your own home. Best part, it all arrives at your doorstep and all you have to do is wrap! Definitely one of my faves.
- Give Cash
And if all fails – give cash or gift cards. No one ever complained about getting some “bills” for the holidays. This is probably one of the easiest ways to get your presents in and still know that your gift will be put to good use. I mean c’mon, let’s be real! Would you rather get another sweater, scarf, hat or else, or would you rather have a nice little $25 gift card that can be used anywhere? Don’t believe anyone who says : “Oh that is so boring to give cash!” – sure maybe boring to give, but not to receive! Trust me.
I hope that you will find these useful in your shopping journey this holiday season and do share your own tricks to this fun yet very consuming activity.