Christmas is supposed to be a fun, relaxing time of year. However, as you’re probably already thinking, it’s rarely that at all. More often than not, the lead-up to Christmas is hectic and stressful. One of the main culprits for this is the Christmas shopping process. You have to fight the crowds, battle for parking, and generally blow out your already busy schedule. All while struggling to find something your hard-to-buy-for family members will actually like.
Do it All at Once
If you don’t like how Christmas shopping seems to drag out, then do it all at once. Choose a product, like gourmet Christmas gift hampers, that everyone can enjoy. You can then purchase one for everyone and have them delivered to your door.
Not only do you not need to leave your house, but at the click of a mouse, you can cross everyone off your Christmas list. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Spread it Out Over the Year
Funnily enough, the opposite strategy – spreading your Christmas shopping out over several months – is also highly effective. Given that the average shopper will spend nearly $1,000 on Christmas goods, it can be far more cost-effective to spread it out.
Write out a list of people you need to buy gifts for, then keep them in the back of your mind as you carry out your regular shopping. By the time December rolls around, you’ll likely have everything ready to go. You can then enjoy the festive season without the worry of joining the masses for last-minute shopping.
Set Shopping Rules
If Christmas presents have gotten out of control in your family, then look at ways you can reign it in. Get together with your family and set a dollar limit for each member of the family. You can even encourage people to hand-make gifts and shop at thrift stores.
Another great idea is to draw names out of a hat for a Secret Santa-style Christmas experience. That way, everyone only has one person to buy a gift for, which means you can have your Christmas shopping finished in just a few hours.
A Gift-Free Christmas
Besides making sure Santa visits the younger members of your family, you may like to make your Christmas a ‘gift-free’ one. This means that adults get to focus on the food and family atmosphere rather than the stress of buying for distant cousins they only see once a year.
The beauty of such a Christmas is that the kids get to enjoy a traditional gift-filled day, and adults get the joy of watching them unwrap their presents without the distraction of dealing with their own.
Baking for All
If you’ve been doing your best to get out of debt this year, you’ll want to keep that fiscally responsible thinking alive throughout the holiday season. One way to do this, while simplifying your shopping process, is by baking.
You can produce a lot of sugar cookies on a very small budget. Spend time decorating them, wrapping them, then delivering them to the lucky recipients. They don’t cost much but they do send the message that you truly care.
Christmas doesn’t need to be as complicated as many of us have made it. Rather than spending all your time stressing about what to buy, simplify the festive season with the tips above. You’ll have the shopping process over in a flash, leaving you more time to spend with family and friends.