Alleviate holiday shopping stress for good, because when it comes to enjoying the Christmas season, it’s all about:
- hot apple cider
- fragrant trees
- holiday music
- time with family and friends
If shopping doesn’t make your list, a smart plan can ensure that you spend your time relaxing instead of poring over sales fliers and sales websites. You can never start Christmas shopping too early! The more you do ahead of time, the less you stress about during December.
Tips to alleviate holiday shopping stress
Consider some of these strategies to help you get your shopping done during the other 11 months of the year.
Many people swear by this strategy. It’s useful to consider if you do a lot of shopping during the year and are always on the lookout for great deals. Snatch up toys, electronics, books and other gift items throughout the year as you find the perfect items on sale. In some cases you may not even know who the gift is going to be for when you buy it, but if it’s something you know at least one of your friends or family members would enjoy, you can get it during the year and tuck it away until Christmas.
Many big retailers have dropped their layaway fees in recent years, which makes this strategy a great one for those on a tight budget. Decide on the big-ticket items you want to buy this year, such as an Xbox, television or camera, and put them on layaway now so you can start paying for them. Rather than waiting until the last minute and putting a purchase on your credit card, where you’ll pay interest for months or even years, use layaway to help out your budget.
Get out early
Mall parking becomes a mess as soon as Thanksgiving hits, so take care of your shopping a month or two early to avoid the crowds. Stores often sell out of the most popular items, so you’ll also have the benefit of the best selection if you take care of your shopping before the masses come out in full force. When you finish shopping before Thanksgiving rolls around, you spend your holiday season enjoying time with family and friends.
Be quick about it
Having a good plan makes any project easier. When it comes to shopping, a shopping list is key. When you plan out your list beforehand. you can be quick and focused while shopping, so you’ll be less likely to end up overspending on things you don’t need. Last-minute desperation rarely produces good gifts, so be deliberate about thinking through your gift list. Make a game plan, and stick to it.
For early shoppers, be sure to find a safe corner of the attic or an out-of-the-way closet so stash your goodies. Have one centralized hiding place: you won’t forget about gifts you already bought, so no double-buying. If you really want to avoid the holiday gift chaos, you can even wrap items as you buy them so they’re all ready to give. Just make sure to put a gift tag on each one so you don’t forget who it’s for. Find an old Christmas card envelope into which you can tuck receipts, so they will stay organized and at hand. A little pre-planning can save you headaches and help you enjoy your holiday season.
Author bio: Holly is a feisty and fashionable little chef. When she’s not cracking coconuts or cooking quinoa, Holly likes to blog for Sears and other brands she uses in the kitchen. While, Holly is fearless in the face of exotic food she does refuse to eat lamb, because she’s been counting sheep in bed all her life and it just seems disloyal. Veggies, however, need to watch their backs.
Note from November Sunflower: See, I’m not the only one that shops all year round for the holidays! It saves me time, money, and aggravation! Rock on all my year-round holiday shoppers.