I’m not much of a gift lover, except for Christmas. I love spending time thinking out a nice gift for someone and then buying it and giving it to them. I generally enjoy the whole process, picking it up, taking it home to wrap and then spending time with those I love to give it to them. The only part of the process that I don’t love sometimes, is going out to shop for it.
I hate crowds so needless to say shopping for gifts in the peak of the holiday season can be stressful. The issue is that I hate crowds, but enjoy shopping at Christmas time, when the stores are decorated and Christmas music is playing, I will never be one of those people who has their shopping done in July. There are many ways to enjoy the best of both worlds, enjoying the process of shopping during the holiday season while containing your stress levels.
Start with a List
This is absolutely the first thing that needs to be done. We’ve all done it. Head to the stores with no direction, hoping to be inspired but it doesn’t work out that well. We waste time and end up frustrated. There is no need to leave the house before having a list. Check out local sales to get inspired. I also keep a running list year round when friends and family mention something they may want or need. This is the biggest help in making things run smoothly.
Get Out Early
I know not everyone necessarily wants to spend a day off shopping but if you want to avoid the crowds go as soon as the stores open. With your list in hand, you can come up with a plan to execute it in the timeliest manner. I have both an outdoor shopping area as well as a traditional mall where I live. If I can avoid the mall and go right for the outdoor shopping district I do. Not only do I enjoy the village-style outdoor shops and how it is decorated during the holidays, it saves me time. I like being able to park in front of a single store I need rather than walking through an entire mall to get to a store. It also eliminates distraction and saves time.
I’m a big advocate for shopping local when you can. It’s something I’m guilty of not doing enough but it’s so important so I’m trying to do it as much as possible now. For me, local shopping includes buying my daughter’s Christmas book (a tradition) at a local independent children’s book store instead an international big chain. Also, once my list is made, I will check to see what I can buy from local vendors at our markets and shops. Not only is the one of the most personal and fun Christmas shopping experiences, its fun. It feels good to support a local entrepreneur over a big chain any day.
Christmas can be stressful if you let it. Stressing over shopping is not worth your time or energy though. Spend a little time getting organized and you’ll thank yourself!
How do you enjoy hassle free shopping?