Here’s a Quick Way to Get Organized for Holiday Shopping
It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, so why am I talking about holiday shopping? Because I want you to enjoy the holiday season, not be stressed out by it. And the best way to have stress-free, enjoyable holidays is to plan now, start your shopping early, spread your shopping over several weeks, then relax and wait for the special day! While I can’t do your shopping for you, I can share my five best tips with you and give you a free tool you can download to get you started.
Gift Needs Longer Processing Time
We all have those relatives and friends that love personalized and monogrammed items. Taking the time to purchase such items and get them in time for Christmas is one way we can demonstrate our love for them. The only problem is that unless that special someone has a very common name and you’re looking for an item that is personalized ahead of time (like a key chain or bookmark) you can’t wait until the last minute. My suggestion is to decide now what gifts you need that require extra time to prepare. Then order them as soon as possible, keeping an eye out for holiday sales. Our family starts on Black Friday, which we find not too early but not too late!
Gift Needs to be Shipped
The next thing I like to do is to purchase things that need to be shipped to another location. Some online companies allow you to ship items directly to the location you desire and even provide gift-wrapping. Other times, you may need to pack and ship gifts yourself. Both are fine options, it just depends on your circumstances. Obviously, handmade items will need to be mailed and so will handwritten letters and notes. But, hey, why not use the online click and ship method when possible.
You Need Help Making A Decision
Even the best-laid shopping plans fail if you can’t decide what to buy. Don’t let this barrier get you down. Instead, figure out who can help you and get them on board. I currently have three nieces and two nephews and four out of five live in different state than I do. So, unfortunately, I don’t know them well enough to know what they like, collect, or care about.
Nevertheless, I still hope they love Aunt Terri & Uncle Russ’ Christmas gifts! So, my hubby and I started asking their parents for ideas at the beginning of our shopping season. Sometimes, their parents come back with ideas quickly. And sometimes they struggle with ideas too. So, we’re learned to roll with it. If you have an idea, great: if you don’t, we’ll do our best. The important thing is to set a date to make a decision and then actually decide.
Ordering Online vs. Local Shopping
I have some bad memories of standing in horrendous shopping lines and being frustrated. I tend to pick slow moving lines and have my patience tested regularly. So, holiday shopping lines have never been my thing. That being said, I absolutely love holiday decorations. Oh, how I enjoy seeing the malls adorned with red, green, and gold. One of my first jobs was in a mall, and Christmastime was always special there.
These days, I tend to do a combination of online and local shopping. The convenience of going online any time of the day or night is definitely a draw. So, I do as much online shopping as I can, keeping prices in mind. And I choose low traffic times to head to local shops. Weekdays are better than weekends. And shopping during dinnertime or late in the evening helps. The added bonus of shopping in the evenings is that you can also catch outdoor light displays when it’s time to drive home!
Hire Handy Helpers
Some of you may view this suggestion as somewhat sacrilegious. But, before jumping to conclusions, hear me out. In an ideal world, we would each have enough time to hand wrap each and every gift with loving care. We would have holiday music playing in the background and the smell of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in the air. But, seriously folks, how often does that actually happen?
As we all experience time crunches, let’s develop a plan B. I still suggest hanging on to a few gifts to wrap. Perhaps it’s your spouse or partner’s gift that you’re really looking forward to giving. Or some special gifts for your children or grandchildren. Make sure you enjoy wrapping a few of those extra special items. But, also consider hiring a young helper or asking someone to help you. Teenagers are always looking for some extra cash and they often have the spare time to do a little extra work. And it can be good bonding time to get together with a family member or friend and wrap while Rockin’ around the Christmas tree!
Click on the Link & Download My Free Christmas Shopping List Template
To help you get started with your shopping plans, I’ve included a copy of the Excel spreadsheet template that I use. You can edit it and enter the names of those on your gift list. If you have trouble doing this, just let me know. I would be glad to help you. You can use the contact form on my webpage to drop me a note or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Do you get stressed out about holiday shopping each year?
- Are you ready to use some of the tips above and start early with a solid plan?
- Have you downloaded the template above to help you get started? It not, check it out now! I think you’re going to like it!
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below. We would all love to hear your thoughts on holiday shopping! Make a decision to enjoy your holiday shopping this year!
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