For years I was one of those people that did last-minute, Christmas Eve shopping. It was stressful trying to find gifts for everyone with only a few hours left. Procrastination is not a desirable quality. So, I’ve created a guide on how to get your Christmas shopping done early. And when I say early, I mean weeks before Christmas.
Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It can be a real pain shopping on Black Friday. I mean, just take a look at the man that was trampled to death at Wal-Mart but there are some amazing deals on both of these days that just can’t be passed up. A lot of retailers are beginning to offer these great deals online as well as in the store so you might not have to deal with the chaotic mess on Black Friday.
Save up your money throughout the year. Christmas shopping can put a big dent in your wallet and may leave you wishing that you hadn’t bought that stereo for your brother in Rhode Island. If you plan on spending a lot you should save a lot. The credit union that I bank at has something called a Christmas Share. I deposit a certain amount of money every month and earn dividends on what I deposit. In November all the money that I’ve saved is automatically deposited into my checking account. This takes the hassle out of saving and makes it more convenient. This way I don’t break the bank when I do my Christmas shopping.
Don’t shop for yourself. Most people have a tendency to shop for themselves when they go Christmas shopping. Often, I will see a deal that is just too good to pass up and I’ll pick it up for myself. Any even better idea is to snap a picture with your camera phone and send it to a relative, letting them know that is what you want and it is on sale. I’ve done this numerous times and gotten wonderful gifts for Christmas. Once you have finished your Christmas shopping then you can treat yourself to a little something.
Listen to what people want. If you are not sure what someone wants for Christmas or what to get to them then ask. If they don’t respond or don’t know just keep listening. Make suggestions or talk about the things you want. Listen for the key words, “Oh, I’ve always wanted that” or “I wish I had one of those”. You should do this throughout the year so you have a good idea what to get. I like to go shopping with friends and family and take quick notes of what they are looking at. I’ve even been known to go back and get it while they are checking something else out.
Get as much as you can at one store or mall. Shopping and a lot of different stores and malls will take a lot more time than just shopping at one. If you plan on keeping it to just one store or mall you can save a lot of time and gas.
Make a list and check it twice. Know what you are going to get before you begin shopping. I make a list with everyone I need to shop for and cross them off as I go. I’ll usually make notes of my gift ideas beside each name. Don’t forget anyone and make sure you double check that you’ve got something for everyone.
Set a deadline. As with any other goal, you should always have a set end date. I like to make mine one week after Thanksgiving. That gives me plenty of time to do shopping but also gives me a strict deadline to follow.
Christmas shopping can be fun but is usually very stressful. If you get your shopping done early by following this tips then you can save yourself a lot of hassle and time. Now the question is, what will you do with all that extra time?