Who doesn’t want a stress-free holiday season?
We all know gift shopping for the holidays can be a nightmare. The stress of figuring out what to get, who to buy for, and how to stay on a budget can be overwhelming.
As much as we try to focus on the true spirit of the holidays – for some it may be tradition or religious, for others, it may be time spent with loved ones – the truth is, gift-giving has become synonymous with the holiday season.
Expressing our love for those we care about by giving them a gift can be a magical thing. What we need to work on is making shopping for these gifts as pleasant of an experience as it can be.
Read more: 14 Ways To Give Back During The Holidays
Here are 7 tips for stress-free holiday gift shopping:
# 1 – Start early
Avoid any stressful last-minute shopping by starting to plan and purchase your gifts early. Doing this as soon as possible reduces your overwhelm, and also spreads out your holiday spending. The last thing you want to do is cry over that massive credit card bill you get once the holidays end.
# 2 – Make a list of who to buy for
Starting with a list of everyone you need to buy for is a great way to reduce your stress. It helps you plan, prevents you from forgetting anyone, and makes stressful last-minute gift shopping unlikely.
# 3 – Fight the urge to people-please
In a perfect world, each person on our gift list should be someone we love and care for. The reality is sometimes people get added to our list out of obligation. Although this can be unavoidable, try your best to avoid gift-giving based on the urge to people-please. Keep your list as meaningful as possible. When you’re giving from a place of authenticity, the whole experience becomes a more pleasant, and less stressful one.
# 4 – Set a budget
Setting a budget makes the shopping process more manageable. It cuts down the options, boosts your gift idea creativity, and helps you focus. A budget prevents you from spending what you cannot afford, and when you’re not worried about the financial aspect of shopping, you’re much less stressed about it all.
# 5 – Brainstorm ideas
So, you’ve got your list, and now it’s time to brainstorm. Next to each name jot down a few gift ideas. If you’re having trouble coming up with any, search through different shops online for some inspiration. If you’re feeling confident, narrow your ideas down to one. You may end up going with a different gift in the end, but having ideas upfront keeps the process less hectic.
# 6 – Opt for experience over material
When in doubt, choose to gift someone an experience over something material. Nothing beats the feeling of being treated to a dinner at a nice restaurant, or an evening of skating and ice cream, or a simple coffee date. Spending quality time with those you care about makes for the perfect gift. And if the receiver is unhappy without a physical gift in hand, then I urge you to question why they’ve made it on your list to begin with!
# 7 – Plan a get-together at your place
Let’s face it, sometimes there are too many people we need to shop for, and we’re unable to afford a gift for each. Next best thing? Plan an unforgettable holiday get-together at your place and treat them all. A perfectly planned out feast, with delicious food and a fantastic atmosphere, makes for a thoughtful gift for those you care about this holiday season.
I hope these tips will make your holiday shopping less stressful. And remember, the holidays are about so much more than just gift-giving. I hope that your holiday season is full of love, joy and peace.
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