If you’re one of those who actually enjoy Christmas shopping, feel free to skip this post. Otherwise, here are some shopping strategies that will help keep you sane. By the way, I’m writing this for myself as much as for you!
Organise your shopping strategies
1. Learn from Santa, and make a written list of people you need to buy gifts for.
2. Group the people into categories eg children, or colleagues, or distant relatives.
3. Use an Excel spreadsheet to sort by categories if your list is very long.
4. Determine your budget for each category.
5. Work out roughly how much to spend on each person in that category based on your budget.
6. List some possible items that are suitable for both the budget and the person.
7. Write down how many of each type of gift you’ll need.
8. Add a few extra gifts for people you forgot to put on the list.
9. Add a few more for those who unexpectedly give you something.
10. Browse online for gift ideas.
Simplify your shopping strategies
11. Ask family and friends to tell you what they want so you don’t have to second guess.
12. Even better, suggest they buy their gifts and you reimburse them.
13. Give gifts only to people you love. You’ll spare the rest the bother of having to give back.
14. For acquaintances, get variations of the same item eg different colours, different words.
15. Make space in a corner to put all the gifts so you’ll always know where everything is.
16. Use post-its to label gifts with names so you won’t have to sort them again later.
17. Buy wrappers in different colours – one for each category.
18. Use unique wrappers for unique gifts so they stand out easily when you need to find them.
19. Show family members their wrapped gifts so they can find it later even if you forget which is whose.
20. Get everything from one store if possible.
Enjoy the experience
21. Shop on a weekday when most people are at work.
22. Ask the store to wrap gifts for you using your chosen wrappers.
23. Take coffee breaks to rest between bouts of shopping.
24. Wear comfortable shoes.
25. Buy enough to get VIP memberships or discounts at your favourite store.
26. Shop with a friend and help each other with your lists.
27. Go alone if you want it done faster.
28. Learn to meditate or take deep breaths while waiting in line.
29. Forget the shopping now and then and just be in the present, listening to the music and sounds of Christmas in the air.
30. Smile at everyone else. After all, ’tis the season to be jolly!