Each year the holidays seem to sneak up on us as does the shopping.
Planning for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years can be stressful enough without the worry of last-minute decisions.
This year why not try something new to ease the holiday stress so you can add more enjoyment and cheer while still accomplishing everything; shopping wise, that is?
Here are my tips for Holiday Shopping:
#1 Keep a Notebook of What Friends and Family Need/Like
One of my dearest friends is an Angel when it comes to listening. Because of this each year, she gives gifts that mean a great deal to each person. It could’ve been the smallest comment about what a person likes, but she stores it away in her memory, or writes it down in a Christmas Journal, and is therefore never stressed when it comes to ideas.
#2 Start Early
It’s no surprise that getting a head start on your shopping would be one of the first tips I give. Don’t wait until the last minute because it usually costs more and waste time when you could be cooking some favorite holiday treats.
#3 Choose one Family or Person at a Time to Shop For
When you’re ready to start gift buying, pick one family or person at a time. For instance, in our exchange, we draw families and not just individuals, so when I go shopping, I choose gifts for that entire family at one time, and then I can safely place a checkmark by their name as being complete. This is far more effective than buying one gift on several different days, or weeks even, and then not remembering who you got what.
#4 Save Coupons, Hit Sales, or Save Items in Your Cart Online
You can add items to your cart online and then get notified when they go on sale. This is a great way to keep your costs down and still get that perfect gift. The same goes for saving coupons, waiting for sales, or finding discounts in magazines, newspapers, or through apps like RetailMeNot.
#5 Shop Local to Find Unique Buys
You can find some fantastic and unique items when you shop local. Box stores are fine, but they carry a lot of the same things.
There is nothing wrong with regifting an item, as long as you remember who gave it to you. You don’t want to make the mistake of giving it back:(. I would rather a present get used by someone who I know would love it than to let it sit in the box, untouched because I don’t know what else to do with it.
#7 Buy Second Hand
There is no shame in buying a gift from a second-hand store. I do this every year. Sometimes I buy something and repaint or vamp it up, or sometimes things still have a price tag or are practically new. Children especially don’t care where a gift is purchased; all they see are presents under the tree.
#8 Make Something Homemade
If you go on Pinterest, you can find a ton of ideas or DIY tutorials. You may not need ideas if you are a crafty person by nature. Why not use your talents and make unique gifts like Homemade Vanilla Extract, a piece of furniture, or pillows. The size doesn’t matter, only the intent and thoughtfulness behind each gift.
#9 Don’t Buy a Gift Just Because Someone Bought You One
This is probably the worst mistake people make. They think they need to buy the whole world a gift. When someone buys you a gift, accept it graciously, even if you did not get that person anything. You can always return the favor if you want to call it that, later with a card or invite for dinner or coffee.
You don’t need to run to the store, quick pick out the first thing you see just to give something in return. That person is going to know that’s what you did, especially if the holiday has passed. Remember, do things from the heart, not because you’re trying to fill a quota.
#10 Always Keep the Interest of Others in Mind When You Shop
This might sound strange, but a lot of people buy a gift because it’s something they like. Not everyone, even your best friends, share your same interest, so you need to keep that in mind when choosing a gift.
#11 Give a Gift Card When You are Unsure What Someone Likes/Needs
Gift cards are perfect for people who you don’t know well or can’t figure out what to get them. It’s not an easy way out, but a smart choice. A gift card will ensure that the person is getting what they want. Guys are perfect for this. Say your husband likes tools, then get him a gift card to his favorite tool place. I promise he’ll be ecstatic.
#12 Have Fun
Remember, when you give a gift to a person, it’s like getting ten in return. Their smile, enjoyment, and appreciation fill your heart, making all the shopping worth it. So have fun as you picture the happiness you are about to bring to a loved one.
Well, I hate to sound like a cartoon character, but that’s all folks.
These tips should help you enjoy your holidays a bit more as you leave stress at the door.
You don’t need to make your holidays stressful or break the budget. You need to make them enjoyable and sincere with those you share them with.
That’s my healthy advice for this week. We’ll talk more shopping next time but will turn the focus on your home and the different things you can do to make it welcoming during the holidays while keeping your sanity:). Remember friends; health is more than physical.