Last Minute Tips to Avoid Stressful Shopping this Holiday Season
Shopping for gifts for family and friends is one of the most fun–and overwhelming–parts of the holiday season. Between choosing a unique and personal present for each person on your list, wrapping them and making sure they arrive on time, holiday shopping can feel like a part-time job. We’ve rounded up our favorite tips to show you how to make Christmas shopping easier so you can reduce holiday stress and enjoy the season.
Make a plan and shopping list
Before you even think about whipping out your credit card, take a look at your finances and figure out what you can reasonably afford. After you’ve figured out your budget, make a list of people who you plan on purchasing gifts for and how much you can spend on each person. This will help make selecting gifts for each person easier.
Streamline your shopping trips
Once you have an idea of the gifts you plan to buy, decide where you plan on getting them. Buying multiple gifts at one store will make your shopping experience much easier. If you’re shopping online, order your gifts ASAP to avoid shipping delays. See if you can order ahead and pick up your purchases curbside to save time.
Avoid peak shopping times
If you’re planning on browsing around to find the perfect gifts, choose your shopping times wisely so you aren’t stuck waiting in lines. Weekends and weekday lunch hours are usually the busiest times. Try to move your lunch break so you can sneak out of the office mid-morning or afternoon if you can, or stop by your favorite shops after work.
Check out Holiday Markets
If you are thinking about buying art or handmade gifts, art or holiday shopping markets are great one-stop spots to find lots of cool finds–just make sure you arrive early to avoid crowds and get to the best stuff before the market gets picked over by other shoppers.
A gift card from a big box store can come off as impersonal, but a gift certificate to your favorite local boutique, brewery or other small shop is an easy gift that allows you to share unique places and experiences with your family and friends. Tuck the gift certificate in a card and include a personal note with suggestions of what to order or your favorite finds from the local shop so your recipient can get the most out of your gift.