Procrastination. The scourge of the Christmas shopper. We all do it year after year. We wait until the last minute to do our Christmas shopping. I’m sure you’ve experienced the following scenario before. You keep telling yourself you have time to get your shopping done until you it's Christmas eve and you've got nada, niets, zilch, zip, squadoosh!
Then the frenzy ensues and you are among the psychotic mob of people who have come to complete their last minute Christmas shopping or risk spending the new year divorced and alone. But there is hope.
Break the cycle! Here are some tips to stay ahead of the crowds and stress and be ahead of your Christmas shopping.
It may not to the end all be all answer to your Christmas shopping, but it does help get rid of a large chunk of your shopping all at once. There are so many benefits to shopping online, especially during the holiday season. Many websites offer free expedited shipping, discounts, and even exclusive items you may not be able to find in store. Plus you can even get them gift-wrapped!
Start shopping the year before.
Usually the next day after Christmas, stores will have massive sales to get rid of their inventory. Why not start your Christmas shopping then? You’ll be likely to find some great steals and bargains that are too good to pass up. Like that ugly Christmas sweater that would be a great fit for your quirky uncle!
If financial woes plague you year to year, change up your pattern and figure out a budget. Set a certain amount of money for each person you need to shop for and don’t go over that limit. If you really want to get technical, you can even set aside a certain amount of money per paycheck for your Christmas shopping. Put the money away and don’t look at it until you need it to shop. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save by doing this.
Let’s say that even with your budget, you still are running out of gift ideas for people. Instead of giving something they really don’t need, want, or have a use for, get creative and make something for them. There are plenty of crafting ideas that can be found online. Usually crafting materials are inexpensive and can be found all year round. Not only will this get your creative juices flowing, it also expresses to the person how much they mean to you. If you aren’t good with crafts, baking is another option. Who turns down delicious treats?
Get people what they want.
If your family or friends want gift cards to their favourite stores or restaurants, get it for them. They will appreciate you listened to what they wanted and it’s definitely less of a headache for you. Plus, gift cards eliminate the need for gift receipts and return headaches. While they may not be the “ideal” Christmas present, it’s the thought that counts.
Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be a headache every year. With some planning, budgeting, and creativity you won’t need to deal with a massive shopping headache!