Christmas shopping. Do those words make you want to run for the hills or do they instill joy in you and you just can’t wait to get to the shops?
Well, for some of us, doing the Christmas shop can be a real nightmare. It evokes anxiety as you make your gift list and your to-do-list, especially when you see just how many gifts you’ve got to get and how much there is to be done, it’s enough to put one off Christmas shopping!
Shopping isn’t easy and Christmas shopping can be particularly more complex. In fact, it’s an art. We’re dazzled by the huge array of catalogues, advertisements on forms of media and gift guides. We’re also swamped with advertising and media images of perfect families with designer Christmas trees, gifts spilling out from under the perfect branches, beautiful decorations and what have you. It’s easy to be lured into buying things you don’t need or worse, can’t afford. And come January, you’ll be dreading receiving your bills as you may get a minor heart attack!
But it doesn’t have to be like this. Christmas shopping can be fun and another thing – there’s no one size fits all solution to Christmas. As long as it’s from the heart, that’s what counts.
Here are 8 tips on how to survive Christmas shopping:
1. Make your gift list – if you’ve to buy presents for people, then buy presents for people who matter to you. Forget every Polly, Mary & Sally in your contact book. You’re not Santa Rina.
2. Budget reality – gifts don’t have to be extravagant to be meaningful. Think about ways you can be creative instead – homemade treats make wonderful gifts that are always well received. And if you have to buy presents then be smart about your gift list. Your bank account will thank you for being prudent.
3. Recycle gifts – consider giving the same gift to more than one person. Sometimes, you’ll get decent hampers and certain items could be repetitive e.g. tea, jams, cakes, etc. Open the hampers up and recycle the items inside to give away. It helps reduce the stress of having you buy gifts and it helps save you money.
4. Shop specifically – instead of matching gifts to people, match people to gifts. With so many online shops now, people can complete their shopping in just a few hours, within budget, and still be able to give nice gifts.
5. Shop online – be careful when you shop online but if you use reputable retailers and keep your personal information safe, online shopping is a lifesaver. You don’t have to lug around heavy shopping bags or fight the crowds.
6. Plan one day out shopping – it pays to be organised and thus, try to do your Christmas shopping as early as possible. If you can, make your shopping day on a weekday as it makes a huge difference. You don’t have to brave the throngs of people & arrange childcare if possible so that you can completely focus on the task at hand. Arrive at the mall just as the shops open to help avoid crowds and long queues at the cashier counters.
7. Take advantage of free in store gift wrapping – many cosmetic and perfume counters as well as departmental stores offer free gift wrapping. If you’re unsure if they do offer this service, ask! You don’t ask, you don’t get. Just be sure to write your gift tags on the spot and label your gifts immediately to avoid gift confusion later on!
8. Shop for Christmas all year round – make it a habit that if you see something that would make a great gift for someone – be it a Christmas or birthday gift , buy it on the spot. This can really help when you’re short on time and believe us, that happens more often than not!
Whatever it is this festive season, don’t let the conundrum of things get to you. It doesn’t have to be a bore or a chore. With these tips, you won’t be flustered and more importantly, it’ll be stress free as much as possible. Happy shopping!