1. Start now
In all honesty, one of the best ways to avoid the chaotic mess that is Christmas-time shopping is to get in early. Already December and you haven’t even bought one gift yet? Wake up early and hit the shops the moment they open, which is usually 8am in most big cities in December.
2. Make a budget, stick to it
Before you head out on your shopping adventure, decide exactly how much you can spend on gifts per person, and write it down. Even better, withdraw the cash before you head to the shops - once the cash is gone, it’s time to stop shopping.
3. Make a list, check it twice
The key to a stress-free shopping trip is a list. List down the gifts you plan to buy for each person (or at least a list of names of people you need to buy gifts for) and head to the place most likely to have everything you need first. If you know what you’re buying, list the store next to the person and item so you don’t get lost along the way, and stick to your budget.
4. Dress appropriately
Christmas shopping is an extreme sport, so make sure your dress appropriately. Wear comfy clothing (now is the time to break out your athleisure wear!), and sneakers or sandals that will keep your feet pain-free even after a whole day of pounding the pavement.
5. Fuel up
Always eat a good, solid meal at home before you head out on your shopping quest. Shopping hungry can make the task twice as hard, and trying to grab a quick bite at a food court is even harder. Bring a bottle of water and a small snack with you in case of emergencies.
6. Make good use of the services offered
If the local mall or department store is offering a free gift-wrapping service, or for a gold coin donation, take them up on their offer. Not only do you walk away with your Christmas shopping done, but it’s all wrapped up and ready to go, too!
7. Don’t tackle too much in one day
If you have a huge family or your Christmas list is simply miles long, don’t try to tick the whole thing off in one day. Schedule two or three shopping sessions over the next two to three weeks. Otherwise you’ll just end up tired, hungry, angry and broke after a huge day of shopping – that was supposed to be stress free!
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