Seven Tips for a Stress Free Christmas Shopping Experience
We all know that Christmas shopping is way down on our list of the most enjoyable things we could be doing. It’s not that it isn’t fun finding those special gifts for our friends and loved ones, it’s the hassle and chaos that goes along with it that makes us stressed out.
In this article we’re going to have a look at seven things you can do to make sure you have a far less stressful Christmas shopping trip this year.
Stress Free Christmas Shopping 1: Take a leaf out of Santa’s book.
Seems like a rather odd thing to have at the start of this list, but there’s a clue to what all this is right there. What does Santa do each year to make sure he doesn’t mix up the naughty with the nice? Correct, he makes a list.
If you have a list of the things that you want to get before you start on your Christmas shopping expedition, you’re far more likely to be able to get in, get it bought, and get back out again before the masses have even had time to fight it out for the latest must-have item.
Having a list also makes sure you miss out on those (occasional) instances when you’ve accidentally left someone out, and have to make a mad dash to the shops on Christmas Eve.
Stress Free Christmas Shopping 2: Start shopping early.
There seems to be a strange ritual of leaving the majority of the gift buying until the last minute, but why should that be?
Sure, most people will say it’s because there’s a chance that the other person will buy it in the meantime – and that may be true for some – but the truth is that most people can start buying things as early as the discount sales just after Christmas Day ends.
If you’re just after stocking fillers, and want to save some money, start buying them as soon as the sales begin; it will save you so much time in the run up to Christmas.
Stress Free Christmas Shopping 3: Try to be polite.
Ok, you’re stressed out, it’s five minutes before the shops shut on Christmas Eve, and someone barges in front of you at the till, what do you do? Most people will get mad and start an argument. Meanwhile this holds everyone else up, and chaos ensues.
Before you say or do anything, just take a few moments to calm down. The old idea of counting to ten actually does work, and by the time you’ve finished the chances are you’ll be at the till and paying.
Shop employees can be annoying at times, but just remember, they have had a whole day of people doing just what you’re doing, and a lot of the employees may only be there over the holiday period, so again, relax if talking to them is getting you nowhere. If they don’t know what they’re talking about, ask to see someone who’s in charge.
Stress Free Christmas Shopping 4: Put things on layaway.
This may not always be possible, but it’s a good idea if you want to make sure you get a certain item, and don’t quite have the money at that time.
What you will generally have to do is to pay some money upfront and then agree on how much you’re going to pay until the balance has been paid off. You might be thinking ‘why not just use a credit card?’ the simple answer is you’ll be paying interest and Christmas is expensive enough. That little thing that you thought was a bargain at the time could work out to be up to three times the original cost by the time the credit card is paid off.
Stress Free Christmas Shopping 5: Start to do your Christmas shopping online.
Many people have caught on to this over the last few years. Ok, you don’t have the fun of picking up and looking at the things you’re going to buy, but that’s because you don’t have to spend the time going to a shop to do that.
A lot of people are still worried about paying for things online, but, if you’re buying from the same shop that you would have been going to buy the gift anyway, the chances are they’re a company you trust.
Make sure the website uses a secure server when they take your payment, and that you get a printout of the transactions you make. Also remember that in most countries there’s a law about distance selling; it means that if you buy and pay for something you still have the right to return it because you weren’t actually there to buy it in person. But don’t take that as legal advice, always check first.
Stress Free Christmas Shopping 6: Always make sure to place catalog orders early.
Many millions of people all around the world still shop from catalogues, and so they should, however, most of those people will be shopping from them with a view to having the item delivered before Christmas, and no matter how good the postal service may be in your area, it’s likely that some people may get their gifts after Christmas.
Now, down to the sheer quirky nature of both the internet and the catalogue companies it’s not unusual to find the catalogue on the company’s website before you receive it in the mail. This is great because it gives you a chance to pick things out before you get the catalogue, and then send off for it as soon as the catalogue arrives.
While other people are just starting to look at things to buy from their catalogues you’ve already sent off and got to the top of the list for receiving your items.
Stress Free Christmas Shopping 7: Giving homemade gifts.
Yes, I know, this sounds a bit ‘new age’, or even ‘old age hippy’, but people often appreciate more the things that you’ve taken the time to make yourself – and it doesn’t have to be difficult.
People are making soap, chutney’s, mini Christmas cakes, and all sorts of things that they’re giving to other people as gifts. One of the big advantages of doing that is the fact that you’ll normally be making more than one at a time anyway, so you’ll be able to cater for a number of people at the one time.
There we have it; seven tips that will take the time and stress out of the draining chore of Christmas shopping.