One aspect of holidays that is often stressful is gift giving. Who to buy for, how much to spend, what is the “perfect” gift for each person, shopping, and wrapping.
Your challenge this week is going to be to simplify this process as much as possible for yourself. Look at what areas stress you out and make changes accordingly this year.
Here are my tips for simplifying gift giving during the holidays
- Come up with some ideas for the people you plan to shop for or make gifts for – brainstorming, browsing online, looking at catalogues will all help you spark some ideas as a jumping off point at the very least
- Use a list rather than aimlessly searching for the right gift to appear – obviously if you are totally stuck for someone this won’t matter, but when you set out to shop it will be easier if you have a list in hand
- Think about what stores to visit so that when you do venture into the wilds of the overpopulated shopping centres you have a plan of where to check out the goods.
- Set a budget if needed and / or know your prices so you can grab items when you see the at a “good” price
- Buy multiples of some great finds – rather than reinvent the wheel, sometimes you can find a gift that works for several people on your list who are not in the same circle / celebrations. You can choose variations on the same gift as well.
- Give experience or charity gifts – less clutter, great options out there for everything from movie tickets to sponsoring the purchase of a goat or well in a village overseas.
- Use online shopping options – everything from eBay to your favorite stores to online outlet shopping to overseas options. You save driving, parking and shopping time and can do to without having to take kids along or deal with traffic. Do it early to allow for delivery well before you need the gifts. Bonus if gift wrapping is a free or cheap option.
- If you are wrapping gifts keep it simple- all one type of paper, or 1 type per family member to colour code them, or have gifts wrapped where you buy the. If possible. It takes the staff a few minutes to make a fabulous effort and you know your gift is 100% ready.
Your challenge this week: If you are like most people and are about to embark on the greatest shopping period of the year, start making your lists (and start shopping if you are ready – the early you do it the less crowded the shops will be and the more plentiful their supplies will be). Decide on your essentials – the who, the what, the how much etc
Do you have any tips to simplify holiday gift giving?
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Image credit: flickr user kisocci