The festive season is a wonderful time of the year and buying fabulous things for the people we care about is an important part of our Christmas traditions. Sadly, for many of us the shopping becomes more of a reason to stress than to give thanks. Here are ways to make the shopping process easier while helping to ensure that you end up giving gifts they’ll love. You’ll also get the gifts they’ll want before they’re sold out. Beat the crowds to grab a Pusheen before they’re all gone or get the pick of limited-edition gifts while they last.
Father Christmas sets a fine example. He knows how important it is to make lists before you begin rounding up gifts. You might not need to sort people into naughty and nice but you do need to plan ahead of time. That way you won’t miss anyone. This can also be a big help in budgeting so that you don’t run out of money while you still have people left.
If you have quite a few people to shop for, your best option to is make more than one list. Sort out close family and friends who will receive a more substantial gift onto one list. Make a separate list for other shopping like co-workers, neighbours, or others who you plan to buy more of a “thank you” or friendship gift, rather than a significant purchase. Usually the strategies for shopping for these two different groups is different.
Rather than wandering aimlessly around stores looking for ideas, the secret is to look for inspiration ahead of time. Now, for some people, a walk through a shopping centre could be a way to get into the gift-buying spirit. For most people, fighting through crowds uses up too much time and energy to be an effective option. This another reason why you need to make lists.
Put your shopping lists somewhere you can see them easily. That could be tucked by your desk at work, on your phone, or on a bulletin board at home. When you make your lists, leave plenty of room around each name for adding notes. Then, look over the lists often and jot down any ideas that come to you. These don’t have to be great ideas or even actual gifts. Make note of hobbies each person has mentioned, things they really seem to like, and how much you hope to spend. When you think of possible presents for them, write it all down, even if they seem kind of wild or questionable. Even a wildly impractical present idea could inspire you to come up with a better present that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
If you haven’t come up with enough ideas from brainstorming, you probably need more information. Now’s the time to do some snooping to gather more clues. Look for signs of collections, hobbies, and other interests. Are particular types of coffee or tea a part of their morning ritual? What favourite movies or places to travel make them happy? Seeing what they have and use now can give you ideas for gifts they might need or that could add to a current hobby or collection.
Once you’ve started a shopping plan, start checking online. This is the easiest way to quickly look for the right gifts for each person on your list. It will be quicker to check prices, options, and other details than if you try to wander from store to store. Plus, online you can find exclusive gifts that aren’t available in your local stores. That will help to ensure that the presents you buy will be things they don’t already own.
Remember, even online supplies are limited. Ordering early ensures that you get the gifts you want for each person on your list. Take advantage of Black Friday sales or other specials to make your shopping budget go further. Keep in mind that by shopping earlier you can avoid having to pay extra for rush shipments. This will also give you more time to wrap the gifts once they arrive at your home.
The one disadvantage to shopping early is you can lose track of what you’ve purchased. Make sure you don’t end up realising at the end that you’ve missed someone or purchased too many gifts for one person. Make a note as you go along to avoid last minute stress. Checking presents off your shopping list as you go along can also give you the sense of accomplishment as you complete each item on your Christmas to-do list.