The holiday season will soon be upon us, and it seems like once November hits that Christmas morning comes in the blink of an eye. You may have started planning holiday meals, and you might be looking into when you should pick up a tree, but now you need to get a jump on your gift buying. Well I’ve got you covered. Read all my tips and tricks for getting a head start on your holiday shopping, and make this season the most relaxed you’ve ever had.
Title image by Flickr
Create a Budget—and Stick to it!
There’s nothing worse than starting the New Year under a pile of debt from Christmas purchases, but with a little foresight and planning, you can do your best to avoid this post-holiday conundrum. Sit down and create a budget that you’ll be forced to stick to this year. Include all of your necessary holiday purchases; from food and gifts to party wear and travel expenses, know what you’re getting into before you spend more than you should. There are many holiday expense calculators out there so you can get a handle on how your finances should look in the upcoming months.
Make a List
Make a list, and check it twice (sorry I just couldn’t resist). It’s much easier to do holiday shopping when you’ve thoroughly gone through all those you’ll need to buy for. Write down some potential ideas for each person, and make sure all of them are under the budget you’ve previously set. If not, then take that item off the list. Always keep the list with you; you never know when you’ll come across the perfect item.
Check Your Inbox
If you’re like me, you delete those promo offer emails from companies the second they hit your inbox. Hold off on trashing these when the holidays come around. Many companies offer really great deals, and something may catch your eye for that person who is so hard to buy for. So before you press delete, read a little more into what they’re offering—you never know what might pop up right under your nose.
Online Shopping Bonanza
I can’t say this enough—online shopping will deplete so much stress from your life. Many companies also offer free or discounted shipping during the holiday season, and if you’re really in a pickle, they’ll do rush delivery for a small fee most of the time. It’s easy to get items for every person on your list, and using a website like the Touch of Modern online shop is a no-brainer for even the toughest people to shop for on your list.
Send Your Gifts Straight to the Recipient
It may be a better idea for you to have your holiday gifts delivered to the recipient’s home, especially if you’re going to be traveling. That way your presents can arrive for the family before you do! No one wants to deal with packing a bushel of presents within a carryon bag, so use companies that will send your packages completely wrapped straight to your preferred destination.
If you buy gifts from places that don’t offer gift wrapping, make sure you have a wrapping station set up. You don’t want to be scrambling to hide the presents from the kids or wrapping 50 presents the night before Christmas Eve. If you have a table set up with paper, tape, scissors, bows, and any other necessities, you can easily wrap up gifts as you collect them. Doing it as you go will save you time in the long run.
Consider Alternative Gifting Ideas
Instead of doing presents for everyone and struggling to come with ideas for extended family members, talk to your crew about doing a Secret Santa or individual exchange. You can pick names out of a hat and only be in charge of finding one special gift for that person. It will save you time and energy, and each person will have a person dedicated to finding the right gift for them—everybody wins.
Don’t wait until the last minute to get started on your holiday shopping. Starting now means having a stress-free Christmas, and I think that’s something all of us can be glad about. Do what you can to plan early, start budgeting, and make this a Christmas you and your kids will remember for years to come.