The busiest and craziest time of the year has arrived! Are you ready? Tackling the Holiday season doesn’t need to be stressful. With the proper planning and execution, you can minimize the stress level and enjoy the process.
One of the biggest stressors of the Christmas season is buying gifts. Up until the last few years, Christmas shopping was a drag because of the pressure to find the perfect gift and making sure it gets delivered on time. The one thing I realized was there is no such thing as the perfect gift, at the end of the day it’s the thought that matters. If they don’t like it, they can always return it.
Searching for a gift can be a daunting task especially if the person you are shopping for seems to have everything. Keyword in that last sentence “seems”, you can find something through for them through brainstorming and planning. Shopping for gifts without a plan is like driving around your car with no clear destination in mind, you’re wasting time and money just wondering aimlessly.
Here is your step-by-step guide to buying gifts this Holiday Season:
- Gift Count– Write down a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for. This should include everyone from your family, friends, teachers, bosses, co-workers, dog, neighbors, etc. Even if it’s a small gift include them.
- Gift Choices– Once you have your list complied. Go through each person and write down the gift you’d like to get for that person. Skip the people you are having a hard time coming up with ideas, you’ll come back to them. Once you’ve gone through the list, go back to the people you were stumped on. Grab a piece of paper and write their name on it (or use this gift stumping guide here). Then start thinking of what that person likes and write it down, here are some ideas:
- Favorite food
- Favorite sports
- Favorite sports teams
- Favorite authors
- Favorite pastime (knitting, scrapbooking, organizing)
- Favorite products or brands
- Gift Elimination- This step is for the list that you were stuck on. Once you’ve complied a list of all of their favorite things, go through what they like and decide what makes more sense for that person. For example, let’s say you put down a Favorite Sports Team and a Favorite Author. Think about the past year and what their sports team did versus the author, did they win a major sporting event? If so, it would make more sense to look for something related to their sports team. If not, the author might be a better choice because they have a book that was released earlier in the year or might have one coming out soon.
- Gift Search- Once you have your final gift list, start mapping out where is the best place to get this gift and in most cases it will depend on price. Search online first to see what the price and to see if there are any special deals they have such as Free Shipping or Additional 20% off online only sales. Don’t forget to check Amazon and if you are a Prime member, start there first.
- Gift Buying– Now that you’re plan has been made, it’s now time to execute. Buying all the gifts you need in one day isn’t likely going to happen unless you buy them all online. Map out your gift buying by store and your calendar. If you are going to the mall or outlet shopping center, look at the map and plan it out by store. Include where you’ll park, it might sound silly but you’ll save time by doing so. Park your car at the last store you plan to shop and start at the store furthest away from your car. Know the store hours of each store because during the Holidays they typically have extended hours. Mornings are usually the easiest to shop because not everyone it out yet, with exception to Black Friday.
Planning out the gift buying process will save you time, keep your stress level low, and allow you to enjoy the Holiday season and not dread going out shopping. The Holiday season is about giving and giving should be fun!
Are there any shopping tips you’d like to share?