Braving the holiday shopping season is not for the faint of heart. Between the packed malls and department stores, the stress of getting just the right gift, and trying to stay on budget, it can really put a damper on the holidays while stretching your last nerve beyond what you thought possible.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to take the edge off your holiday shopping and, who knows, start enjoying it for a change?! Well, first things first:
- Get Organized. Make a shopping list with the name of everyone you need to buy for. Include a budget and the items you plan on purchasing and where.
- Don’t Procrastinate. Putting your shopping off until the last minute adds even more stress and, during the holiday season, that’s the last thing you need. So the earlier you can get a jump on the task at hand, the better. If you want to be really efficient, you can even pick up a few gifts for next year.
- Go to the Web. Some of the best deals can be found online. And with many retailers offering additional discount codes and free shipping, you can wrap up most – if not all – your shopping from the comfort of your own home.
- Get Creative. If you have a knack for art, music, crafting, or baking, consider making some of the gifts yourself
- Make a Budget and Stick to It. While we all would love to gift generously, not everyone has an unlimited budget. But making a budget and sticking to it can help reduce even more holiday stress. For next year, consider opening a savings account for your holiday shopping. Putting away a little each week can take a lot of the pressure off come 12 months from now.
- Avoid Traffic. Try to do your shopping when traffic and crowds are lightest, like mid-morning or after the dinner hour.
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