Today I thought I’d do a bit of an advice post about one of the season’s most dreaded events: Christmas shopping. I’m the kind of person who loves buying gifts for people. I love finding the perfect present for a loved one, wrapping it up, writing the card, and placing it beneath the tree until I finally get to share it with them. But the whole process of actually buying the gifts can be extremely stressful especially if you suffer from anxiety, like me. So I thought I’d share a few of my favourite tips for making the most of the Christmas shopping experience.
1. Add a little bit of fun.
A lot of the time when we’re faced with stressful situations, it can be really easy to fall into the trap of telling ourselves it’s going to be an all around awful time. It can make a huge difference if you go into it thinking it won’t be so bad! If you’re going out to brave the pre-Christmas mall crowds, especially as it gets closer to the holidays, try to set up your trip with a few relaxing, fun things. Make a playlist of your favourite Christmas tunes and play it on the drive to the mall. Dress in layers (this is so important, malls get hot my friends). Bring a friend and grab a festive-flavoured coffee or tea that you can sip while you walk around the shops. Seriously, these might sound like such small things but they really do make a major impact on your overall stress level!!
2. Make a list.
There’s nothing worse than getting to the mall and falling into a panic because you have zero idea what you’re looking for or which shops to even go to. It makes you 100x more stressed out. Before you decide to head out, make a list of the things you’re considering for each person on your list. Even if you only have a vague idea of what you’re looking for, it will at least narrow down the shops you’ll have to go through and give you a better grasp on what you’re aiming to buy. There’s nothing worse than feeling completely overwhelmed by the chaos of the mall shoppers and the million shops with all of their displays. Make a list, put it on your phone, and look back at it whenever you’re feeling a little uneasy or lost.
3. Try online shopping.
This is my greatest Christmas shopping life-hack EVER. Online shopping has become my BFF over the last couple years, especially when my anxiety has been at it’s peak. You can basically buy anything online nowadays (thank god for that) and a lot of stores will offer online exclusive deals throughout the holiday season, like BOGO or free shipping - so definitely take advantage of that. There’s also a whole community out there of online independent shops! It’s always nice to buy from online shops (like from Etsy) because you know that the money is going to someone’s family, rather than just a corporation. Not to mention you’ll be gifting your friend or family something that is a lil more unique which is really special as well!
4. Shop on off-days.
Back to the in-store shopping… If you decide that online shopping isn’t for you or it’s not accessible, but you still hate those mall crowds, try to do your Christmas shopping on off-days, or even off-times. Shopping in the morning or afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday is going to bring you face-to-face with the roughest of shopping crowds. But if you go on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, or even on your lunch breaks throughout the week, you’ll definitely face far less intimidating crowds than on the weekend rush. You’ll have more time and space to get your creative gears going!
5. Check online for coupons or sales.
There’s no shame in getting a good deal on a gift!!! Lots of us are on tight budgets and what’s wrong in needing a little bit of help in buying our loved ones the perf gift? These days, coupons and sales are everywhere you look. If you sign-up for newsletters of stores you’re planning on shopping at, they’ll send out weekly or even daily emails full of information about how to save a few pennies. And if you’re shopping online, you can download a money-saver program like Honey or Wikibuy, which can go right on your Internet to directly save you money on purchases while you’re checking out your order.
What are your top tips for Christmas shopping?
To view a list of all my Blogmas posts, click here.