How To Slay Your Christmas Shopping

Ah, Christmas shopping. Possibly two of the most dreaded words in the English language. Sure, it’s nice to buy the ones you love something to show them you care… and let’s be honest, it’s even nicer to receive presents in return. But, Christmas shopping can be stressful. You need the patience of a saint to browse the internet for hours on end looking for the right gifts. Facing the shops this time of year requires a strong glass of wine at the end of it (or start, no one’s judging!). But, you can sleigh slay your Christmas shopping by following a few simple steps.

Make lists

If Santa makes a list and checks it twice, you should too. In fact, make several. Jot down the names of everyone you want to buy for and start brainstorming ideas of what to get them. This will give you some direction when you’re shopping, rather than going in blind. You can also update your lists at the end detailing everything you’ve bought them, in case something goes missing when it comes time for wrapping.

Set a budget

It’s easy to get carried away when shopping if you keep finding things you know someone will love. But, it’s so important to set yourself a budget to ensure your bank balance has more than a lump of coal left in it – January is a long month, guys. You can set aside a sum of money purely for Christmas shopping, then go even further by assigning each person on your list a budget. But remember, it’s not how much you buy someone that matters, it’s what you buy them.

Start early

Everyone has a different perception of what starting your shopping early means. To me, it’s starting up to a month in advance; to others, this is already too late. Try to have everything you need at least a week or so before Christmas Day. Then if you’ve forgotten anything, it should be easy enough to get it in time. If you’re shopping online, be sure to check when the last day for delivery is and don’t pay over the odds for something you could get in store. Whatever you do, don’t leave it until Christmas Eve.

Avoid weekends

Going shopping at the weekend is exhausting at the best of times, but during the festive season, it’s a battleground out there. Try to do your shopping on weeknights, if you can. Shopping centres tend to be open later for this very reason. Also, the earlier in the week you go, the more likely it is to be quieter. You can even try sneaking in a couple of trips to the shops at lunchtime, especially if you work in the city centre.

Don’t panic buy

If you’ve followed all the steps so far, then you shouldn’t have to worry about this one. But, the temptation to buy something for the sake of it can rear its ugly head at any time. If you’re running out of ideas of what to get someone, don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board. Ask around and see if anyone knows what they’d like or do a bit more research online. If all else fails, a bottle of something is always appreciated this time of year. Whatever you do, don’t buy a gift card – when was the last time you used one?

Get wrapping

Now, for the best part! Whether you prefer wrapping your presents as you go along or doing them all in one sitting, make sure you’ve bought enough in the first place. Supermarkets tend to have great multi-buy deals on wrapping paper, as well as tags and ribbons to match. If you’re looking for something a little more special, get yourself to Paperchase or order something from Not On The High Street. Oh, and don’t forget Sellotape!

Reward yourself

Okay, maybe this is the best part… Christmas shopping can be overwhelming, so when you’ve managed to tick everything off your list without bankrupting yourself, treat yourself to your favourite tipple while admiring your mountain of wrapped presents. Then, you can smugly tell everyone that you’ve finished your shopping for this year, while they fall over themselves in John Lewis. Cheers!

Until next time,

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