It’s that time of year once again; where have the last twelve months gone? No matter, gone they are and here you are in the middle of the holiday shopping season, and things are looking mighty hectic. How are you going to get all of these purchases made?
While this time of year can indeed spell C-H-A-O-S for most of us there are things you can do to make the deed much less dreadful. Below are seven ways you can take control of your yearly holiday gift shopping, making it easier and lightening your load incredibly!Making the Christmas List
Ready? Set? Go!
1. Eliminate all thoughts of shopping on a whim
Regardless of the time of year or the sales you encounter it will only complicate and confuse matters if you buy something compulsively in July as a Christmas gift. Make a list and have a plan of action. You do not want this task to get scattered throughout the year or you will end up with a closet full of gifts and no idea who you even bought them for.
2. Make sure you have a set budget for gifting in mind, and put it in writing
If you head out the door flying blind financially you are going to more than likely have a mess to clean up later. Eliminate this possibility altogether by making it clear to yourself what is going to be spent on gifts and stick to it.
3. Do it all at once
Choose a day and stick to it; whatever day or time you choose to venture out be prepared to do all of your gift shopping at that time. This means complete preparation: Have your budget set and list of names and gifts ready to go. If you are really wise you will have priced the intended gifts ahead of time and have the appropriate stores they are located at marked down on the list along with the price of the item. Make sure if this is your first organized shopping year that you pay attention to ads and find a time when the prices are low; this is likely not going to be October through December.
4. Live by the lists
Taking off for your holiday shopping spree without any kind of list whatsoever is simply goofy. Not only should you have a list of the people you are buying for, you should include what you want to buy them, and as stated above, the store with the best listed price for the item. Include your budgeted amount on the list to leave no room for “mistakes”; the clearer your list the easier your venture.
5. If at all possible do your gift shopping online
If you really browse around online you will be amazed at the deals you can get on the other days surrounding the holiday. Even if you are someone who does all of their holiday shopping in June you can find some incredible deals. Just make sure you shop on secure, reputable sites only.
6. Be creative and give from the heart
Gifts made by your own hands will be valued far more, and for far longer, than anything you could spend money on, particularly when it comes to loved ones. Even if you find yourself shopping for a Secret Santa party at work this is the perfect solution. You will save money, kill down time productively, and give a piece of yourself to everyone you are crafting for.
7. Never, never wait until the last minute to shop for your holiday gifts
This is a fact: Procrastination creates chaos. Even getting started right after the Thanksgiving celebration is pretty much senseless. The point here is that you can not only get everything you want and need as far as gifts go, but you can typically get the items on your list for a much more affordable price than if you wait.
Face it: Retailers know it is the holidays; are you really getting the very best deal? As the days of the year progress and ideas and thoughts come to you begin your list and get your holiday shopping done ahead of time. Make gifts with your heart and your hands; prepare lists and stick to a set budget. By practicing the suggestions above you will find yourself with free time on your hands in the next few weeks; bring on the festivities!