Gifting at Christmas time turns into a chore if you have no plan, wait until the last second, and run out of Christmas spirit (or never had any to begin with).
After all, gift giving celebrates the birth of Christ and reminds us that we are giving to the people in our lives we love and appreciate. When you forget the celebratory nature of Christmas, shopping for Christmas gifts becomes tedious and frustrating.
Ten Tips for Xmas Shopping
Just by the way, shopping includes actual shopping in real stores, shopping online, and creating gifts. If your finds are limited, create gifts. More about that later.
Here’s a few tips for effortless Xmas shopping AND staying in the Christmas spirit. While you’re doing these things, have seasonal music playing in the background. It’ll get you into the Xmas mood, no matter what time of year.
1. Make a list of recipients on paper or in whatever you use to document things (PC, ipad, notepad, phone). This step is rather obvious, but not everyone does it. Some people just buy and match up the gifts later.
2. Describe the recipients – what they do for a living, their hobbies, likes, and dislikes. This is also obvious but few people actually write these out. The best gifts are well thought out and highly appreciated by the recipient.
3. Establish a budget. Only you know how much you can spend per person or in total. Don’t risk a huge credit card bill in January (along with the rest of the big January bills).
4. Ask what the person wants for Xmas. You risk tipping them off that he/she is on your list but it works for some people.
5. Google a category of gifts to get ideas; online stores typically have types of categories called “Gifts for… ” lists. For example, the first person on your list is a female friend who works in an office as a paralegal, dresses impeccably, and is a fitness fanatic. Online, you can find lists of gifts for women, gifts for those interested in fitness, and gifts for the office.
6. Gift cards are okay under certain circumstances like the person who has everything and the children who live in another state. Be sure the gift card is for a place/store they have access to.
7. If you are strapped for money, consider giving a coupon for services like babysitting, gardening, grocery shopping. Then follow through on the promise. You can also buy personalized gifts like coffee mugs with a picture on them or a t-shirt with a saying you both use (Bazinga!).
8. Regardless of what the security experts say, I shop online exclusively. I hate mall crowds and rushed shopping. I’ve shopped successfully online for the past 10 years without a security problem.
9. If you shop online, be certain to order in plenty of time to wrap. Also, keep track of where you bought what items.
10. Make it a priority to be finished with Xmas shopping a week before the holiday. It’ll save you headaches, stress, and gives you bragging rights!
Quality “GIFTS FOR… ” Lists
I use consumer oriented reviews (think Consumer Reports) to ensure my gifts are high quality. For example, the following is a researched review of a popular smartphone:
The author also compiled specialized “gifts for… ” lists after describing the people on my Xmas list, checking out product quality, and summarizing my online research.
Click here for these “gifts for… ” lists.
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