The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, making family memories and reminding ourselves about what is really important in life. But sometimes, the pressure to have just the right gift for everyone and the sheer madness in stores and on the roads can make it hard to focus on the goal and in some cases, causes high stress levels. Before you buy another gift or make another trip to a store, read these tips to avoid the frustration and get back to spreading holiday cheer!
- Find inspiration online - If you're trying to keep local stores in mind when shopping this Christmas, you can still get a lot of help from browsing the Internet. Having solid ideas for each gift recipient can come from many places, but if you get stuck, check out gift buying guides on sites like UncommonGoods.com or just Google "gift guides" for over 12 million results in less than half a second.
- Make a list and do some research - It seems obvious but how many times have you had a great idea for someone, only to forget it later? We love the AnyList app because the list is at hand any time during the year so whenever inspiration strikes, its immediately noted in the "Christmas Gift Ideas" list that's sorted by giftee.
- Consider a gift of an experience - Everyone has that person who stumps you when it comes to giving gifts. Maybe they say they don't want anything or they already have everything. One thing everyone needs is time. Whether it's time spent with family using a Groupon for a movie night or a spa gift card for that person that doesn't normally take time for themselves, giving the gift of time is giving that person an experience that they'll remember. What better gift than that?!
- Shop on off hours - With just under two weeks to go, just accept that stores will be a little busier than normal and get down to business. If you have an extra vacation day laying around, now is a great time to use it to shop during the day when crowds are generally lighter. Caveat: every place is crazy busy all day December 23rd and 24th. If you've waited that long, you might actually enjoy the crowds and the pressure of last-minute shopping!
- Pace yourself - Even though time is getting tight right about now, you can still make it easier on yourself by spreading out the gift buying, especially if you're not one to have a lot of stamina for shopping. Start with gifts you know you need to purchase online (and get a move on unless you want to pay for expedited shipping!) and move on to those you'll buy locally. This is where that list and the research you did really come in handy!
- Let the stores do the wrapping - A major perk of shopping at brick and mortar stores is the perk of free gift wrapping. Trust me when I say it's worth it!