When was the last time you didn’t dread your Christmas shopping? Probably a long time ago, though we wouldn’t dare admit it, would we? How sad is it that something meant to be a gesture of kindness and care has become such a burden for us all. Well, we are here to help! There are ways to streamline the process and make it all a little less stressful, it simply takes a little organization. Bring back the joy of giving to others with this bullet proof cheat sheet, tried and tested by yours truly!
1. Make a list.
Seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many people still just wing it. Life gets busy, so finding the time to sit down and make a Christmas list gets pushed down on the priority scale. People tend to save their shopping until the last minute, or grab things as they see them and figure out who they’re going to later. While this strategy may work for some, it often minimizes the level of thoughtfulness; that personal touch that goes into a well thought out gift. Take 20 minutes, sit down and write a list of everyone you feel you want to give a gift to this year. Once you’re done, jot down a couple of ideas of gifts that each individual might like. Try to think about shared experiences, inside jokes, or things you remember them mentioning in passing. This will add another level of intimacy to the gift, assured to make it more special and memorable. There’s nothing like a hand-written list tucked in your coat pocket, but if you prefer to type it make sure send it to yourself and store it on your phone for reference whenever you need it! Note: make sure you have your kids submit their lists early, too, so you don’t get any last minute surprises!
2. Pick three stores.
If you really think about it, there are always a handful of stores that carry almost everything you are looking for between them. Think carefully about what’s on your list, and think up the three best contenders for places that you might come across these items. Take it a step further even by grouping each name on your list under a corresponding store. You may have a few left over at the end, but this will definitely shave off some hours by killing a few birds with one stone so you’re not running around all over town. Plus, with the exchange rate being what it is today, shopping locally is a great excuse to not only make it convenient for yourself, but also support local businesses and pop into that new store down the street you’ve been meaning to check out.
3. Start Early.
Leaving your shopping until the week before Christmas is a recipe for stress, headache, and disaster. You won’t be thanking yourself, and neither will the people on your list! Get started on your list nice and early to allow the needed time for special order items, and the time to search for personalized and meaningful gifts.
4. Customize where you can.
Customized gifts really take that “personal touch” to the next level. Sometimes it’s the little gifts, like stocking stuffers, employee or teacher’s presents that prove to be the most difficult. Make your friends and family feel extra special by customizing a gift just for them! For instance, Printed Matter makes custom stationery in a variety of different designs to suit any taste, just sayin’! If you are planning to customize a gift, be sure to submit the order nice and early. Lots of companies even have deadlines for holiday orders because they get so backed up! (Ours is TODAY, Monday November 9, FYI.)