It is now time to get serious about the Christmas shopping. If you don't buy gifts or celebrate Christmas, repeat week 8 and take more time for yourself.
Here are my strategies to lessen the stress and effort of present shopping.
Make a list
Starting writing a list of possible gifts. Even this step makes
me feel as if I am making progress.
I have a habit of interrogating the family at the dinner table for
ideas of what each other would like. Some wild and unrealistic suggestions turn up but there are usually some great ones as well.
What's wrong with giving variations on the same gift to
multiple people. Let's be realistic, it probably isn't the only present they will receive.
How about- DVDs, socks (sigh,no), chocolates, wine, perfume.
Plan a shopping day
After you have written your list, pick a day that you will have
plenty of time so that you can do most of it in one trip.
Get to the shops early so you still have a chance of getting
a car park. Wear your active wear. This is not the day to look fancy.
Schedule in a coffee and snack break so you can rest your feet and check off your list.
Warn the family that someone else will have to be responsible for organising the evening meal.
Pick your shopping centre
There is no sense in planning to buy everyone books and then going to a shopping centre that does not have a bookstore.
Check the car parking. Is it easy to get in and out of?
Park your car rear end in so that you can drive straight out
past all those fighting for your carpark.
Negotiate to reduce the number of gifts
Rather than buying lots of cheap presents
why not agree to buy one present only. Draw the
name out of a hat and do secret Santa if you wish.
Make your gifts
If you are low on funds or if you find craft a relaxing pastime,
consider making some of your Christmas gifts.
There are many gifts to choose from- baked goods, artwork, potted plants, knitted and crochet apparel, pottery. The list is endless.
Christmas should be about spending time together, not struggling your way through the shops elbow to elbow to buy the 'perfect' gift. Be logical. If you had fun buying it, then the recipient is more likely to love it than if you have gone to the ends of the earth and back just for one gift.