Seven Ways To Make Sure You Complete Your Christmas Shopping Plans Are Successful Under Budget and On Time
For all the magic that comes with the festive season, and the way in which the holiday period encourages family and friends to join together in a collective celebration that is rewarding on so many levels, it’s also a period that can bring with it a massive amount of stress.
That stress and anxiety can be down to a number of things. These might include any financial predicaments that impact upon the way you and your family usher in Christmas or may relate to family issues that are exacerbated by the extended time you spend together.
Many of us struggle at this time of the year, but a lot of what we go through can be avoided, and there are ways to make sure that you enjoy Christmas rather than dread its imminent arrival.
Here are a few ways to better deal with the travails of Christmas shopping.
We all know Christmas is coming because, helpfully, it arrives on the same day every year, and therefore there’s no reason to allow the date to creep up on us and then leave us in a panic.
Whatever Christmas shopping you need to do, from getting presents for everyone to the general costs associated with the event itself (from getting Christmas dinner ready to all manner of decorations around and outside the house), why not get started way in advance?
Set yourself a reminder, we’d suggest a month before, and then attack the problem as if it’s a military campaign. Open a spreadsheet if you need to, or just make notes and lay out all the tasks that need to be completed and place them in order of priority.
If you plan effectively, you’ll be amazed at how your anxieties will instantly reduce.
Know your limits. Set a budget for all Christmas-related expenses. From buying the tree all the way down to detailing, like stockings for the kids.
Work out how much you can reasonably spend, and then allocate the funds accordingly, and then approach each task on your list as if it’s one that you might deal with at work. You should find that by approaching the whole process in a more hands-off manner and taking the emotion and stress away from it, you’ll be more dispassionate about the choices you make.
Look to Take Advantage of Sales
By planning ahead and knowing your budget, you can then make the most of sales offered by stores or generally sales days that are now well marked in our calendars.
Big brands now put a lot of their sales focus online and will always be running Christmas sales, so shop around and see who is offering what, and then perhaps adjust your shopping plans accordingly.
In other words, your visit to one particular online store might mean you re-think a gift you are looking to get for a loved one. Let the market be a guiding factor.
Check Delivery Times
This may seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how many Christmas shoppers fail to plan the delivery of their gifts effectively. Check out reviews of online stores and offline ones to see if the place you are considering buying from has a reputation for getting delivery done well or poorly.
This is, of course, another reason you need to get your Christmas shopping planned way in advance.
Do Your Research
In order to keep your festive shopping within any budget you have set, you should look to undertake research to help you find the location where your gifts come at the best price.
Much of your Xmas shopping will no doubt be performed online, and on the whole, this is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Also, you’ll find that some niches are even more competitively priced on the web.
For instance, any gifts you look to buy that are in the form of jewelry will be infinitely better value online. So, for instance, if you are looking to buy a stylish gold chain for men in your life, brothers, husbands, parents, and so on, then online shopping will bring with it a larger range and a better price.
This is because online shopping has leveled the playing field. Some areas of our lives, and shopping, have for too long been manipulated by the industry they fall within. Jewelry is certainly one such niche that has benefited from the advent and growth of the online market.
Some people are a nightmare to buy presents for, whatever the occasion. We all know individuals who are either very hard to judge in terms of their likes and dislikes or are just very high maintenance, and as such, no gift will be good enough.
One way to make sure your Christmas shopping plans are successful and that the Santa’s bag of gifts you are assembling contains no duds or misfires is just to be direct. There is absolutely no shame in asking people directly what they want for Christmas.
Interestingly, this is an approach we happily adopt with our children but are, for some reason, reticent to do so with adults.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
This tip is chiefly for those with young ones. It can be hard to say no to your children, especially around Christmas, but if the situation arises and their requests and demands are unrealistic, you may be forced to do so.
Obviously, this would require letting them down gently or perhaps forming some sort of compromise. Maybe one of their gift requests can be pushed until their next birthday, or an alternative option can be considered.
Being honest about the situation, especially with older children, is also an important lesson that may hold them in good stead. You can also underline the fact that expensive presents aren’t necessarily the best presents.
You could also look to be creative in the way you approach Christmas present shopping for your children. Sometimes several smaller toys will be even better received than one hugely expensive gift. This is because it’s often the act of giving that really hits home.