The holiday shopping begins!

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Like thousands of people out there, I am not a fan of the holiday shopping crowd that suddenly materializes as soon as the holiday ads start to pop up.  It doesn’t help that the santa displays take up quite abit of floor space and bring in loads of kids waiting to have their picture taken.

It is at this moment that I can picture a breakdown coming on; even my sanctuary, Starbucks, is twice as packed by those needing that extra jolt of caffeine to prolong their shopping.  The last few Christmas however, I have learned a few lessons here and there from Christmas shopping’s past to share my tips when it comes to shopping with minimal breakdowns lol.  It may or may not work, but if it does then all the better!

Making a List…checking it twice.

I never used to do this; my mental list (making up a list in my head) always seemed to be sufficed until I reach the mall and through the madness of the crowd, I forget who to buy for and what to get.  It isn’t until you’re faced with blanking out at the mall and not wanting to make a second trip that you realize how important a list is.  My family extended and immediate combined can make a pretty daunting shopping trip–even more so if you’re going by memory so it’s best to sit down before heading out and writing out a list of those that you are planning to look for a present for.  They don’t all have to be check-marked on the same day, but seeing progress even if you only found two out of 10 people’s presents will give you a sense of accomplishment instead of feeling like your shopping trip was a fail.  With today’s technology, it’s become easier to have your list handy.  I usually like to hand-write mine (I like it old school lol) but there’s even apps that can help with creating a list and letting you check beside each name.  I have the ‘To Do’ app which is free and allows you to write notes if needed.

Scouting

Whether you like to surf for hours or like to hit the malls for an hour or two in your spare time, there is no better time to scout for gifts! I don’t go online for hours searching, or spend hours at the mall from store to store.  I do it sporadically early on–it doesn’t have to be in the middle of the Christmas rush to find a gift for someone!  Electronics, appliances and even knick-knacks such as candles and jewelry cases aren’t seasonally exclusive.  The only thing is noting the price differences and  promotions.

You’ve got mail!

I am an avid shopper, window or actual shopping lol.  I like to stay connected to deals and promotions coming up in my favorite stores so I sign up for email subscriptions.  I realize to some it may be a hassle to get a zillion of these almost daily ( I know sometimes it gets to me) but there are perks too! Email subbies can be privy to the early sales and promos, giving you notice before it becomes public knowledge. While this may not interest you on a regular basis, during Christmas it proves to be valuable–it can save you from coming back week after week to check on an item if it has gone on sale.  If you don’t want to flood your email with email promos however, you can always set up a separate email address for just receiving these promos.

Pick your time wisely!

Not everyone has the time to shop in the middle of the week around 10am when I bet it gets most quiet (I used to work at the mall, and even during Christmas there are lulls) It helps to schedule some time to take care of Christmas shopping or even running errands.  I like to either shop early in the morning before everyone gets to the mall or later at night when everyone else has gone home.  Another good idea is to take a day off and use it to take care of holiday shopping and errands!  During the last weeks before Christmas the malls tend to open later to accommodate those that work, so while I don’t recommend leaving your shopping to the last minute it does have its perks shopping late night and avoiding the crowds.

Dress for the occasion.

I realize you’re probably thinking ‘it’s shopping, why do I need to dress for it?’ Well that’s a good question; it’s important to be comfortable when you’re already going to have a stressful (hopefully not very) time shopping at the mall.  Nothing cuts mall time short like an improperly dressed person!  For instance, if you’re shopping indoors at a mall, a heavy jacket isn’t required.  It may be required to run to and from the car, but I suggest wearing a jacket and keeping it in the trunk after.  Walking a lot? proper footwear is best! I’ve seen women at the mall wearing heels walking with a pirate limp that isn’t pretty, but wearin heels makes it inevitable.

I hope that these tips will help you out somewhat in your quest to find friends and family the perfect gifts!

Share your tips with me on the comments below on how you get your shopping done for the holidays!

 

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