Preparing for the Holiday Season

From Giftypedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Each year the holiday season seems to sneak up on us. Or is it that the holiday season comes earlier and earlier each year? In any case, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or psudo-holidays like Chrismukkah or Festivus the holiday season is one of the most stressful seasons of the year. Visions of manuvering through crowded stores and throngs of bargain hunters is enough to cause anyone to retreat – only the shopper with a mission can survive such madness. With homes to decorate, parties to host and attend, relatives to entertain, time is not something you can spare. It is, however, possible to turn this annual holiday ritual into something more enjoyable provided you prepare for the holiday season.

Below you will find tips to help you in preparing for the holiday season. These tips can also be used all through the year to make any gift giving occasion easier. Reducing holiday stress can be as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Tip #1 - Keep a notebook or pad with you at all times.
You never know when creativity will strike. Writing down gift ideas when you have them or see them will be invaluable when it comes time to choosing a gift (or on the techy side, many phones now let you record voice memos, or type in and save notes). Jot down gift ideas as friends & relatives subtly drop hints or mention things they would like to have. Now, when it comes time for holiday shopping, you will be prepared. Benefit: Not having to remember what gift ideas you saw and where you saw them.
Tip #2 - Make a list and stick to it!
Include everyone on your list that you need to purchase gifts for. This keeps you organized, helps you focus on your shopping mission, keeps you from forgetting anyone (like clergy and babysitters), and helps you to stay within your budget. Be sure to include the person's likes, hobbies, or things about them that would help in the gift decision making process. Also, include a couple emergency gifts for those inevitable times when you unexpectedly receive a gift. Add the gift ideas you wrote down in your notebook and you have everything you need in one place. An online service can be helpful for this and you can be used for all occasions and holidays throughout the year.Benefit: Not having to rely on your memory of who you need to buy gifts for.
Tip #3 - Procrastination. Don't do it!
This is probably the hardest thing to avoid. Start planning, get organized and get moving. Wrap your gifts as you purchase them instead of waiting until you have finished shopping. Just do it! Finishing your holiday shopping will be tremendous and rewarding, and you will have more time to spend with family and friends. Benefit: Provides more time to relax and enjoy the holiday season, especially Christmas Eve when you would otherwise be in a shopping frenzy.

Shopping Strategies to Reduce Holiday Stress


Shop with a Buddy

Shopping with friends allows you to cover more territory in a shorter time period. Create a strategic shopping plan. Combine shopping lists into a master list. Split up the list any way you wish, sending co-shopping buddies in different directions with everyone's lists in hand.

Shop Online

Shopping online will save you time and gas eliminating standing in lines and searching for parking spaces. And, it will help you stick to your budget because you won't be distracted by the retail hysteria. Experts say that on "Cyber Monday," the Monday after Black Friday, shoppers may find better deals shopping on the Web than in the stores. Remember to figure shipping charges in your budget. Another way to save on shipping is to make online purchases when merchants are offering free shipping, many online merchants offer these types of deals throughout the holiday shopping season, but one day in particular is on Free Shipping Day, for more information on this event visit

Call Ahead

When looking for something specific, save time by calling ahead to see which merchant has the item in stock and how many are available.

Coupons and Discount Codes

Don't forget your coupons! You can go online to look for coupons and discount codes. Don't throw expired coupons away - some merchants will honor them in an attempt to boost sales. Always ask.

Shop Extended Hours

Remember that retailers often extend their hours during the holiday season. Shopping early or shopping late can be less crowded. And, if there is a big sale coming up, shop the evening before to get first pick and avoid the rush. Typically, retailers have entered the markdowns into their computers by 6 p.m. the evening before.

Don't Forget Yourself

Be good to yourself! There is no rule of etiquette that says you can't buy something for yourself during the holidays.

Holiday shopping and gift-giving is meant to be fun. Whether shopping for individuals, a Yankee Swap, White Elephant, or any gift exchange party, with a little preparation, you will easily be caught up in the spirit of the holidays. And, for those who procrastinate, “Bah Humbug!”

Related Articles