Tips for Stress-Free & Enjoyable Holiday Shopping

Halloween is over, thus signaling the start of the long holiday season.  Many run around crazy busy trying to get it all done.  Between parties, shopping, cooking and trying to relax and enjoy everything it is hard to stay calm.
The holiday shopping season is upon us.  As wonderful as this Holiday is, this season can be a real source of stress for many reasons: money woes, pressure about the right gift, tons of people everywhere.  I am sure there are few things I did not mention. It can end up being too stressful!
Here are a few simple holiday shopping tips:
Start Early– It is really never too early to start your Christmas shopping.   For one, It’s extremely satisfying and rewarding come check a task of your to do list.  You also eliminate the stress that rushing around brings. Starting early gives you an opportunity to spend your time doing something you want to like spending time with family members instead of standing in long lines, fighting over the last top. A concern of starting early is that you may possibly miss out on the sales. The truth is a really good sale will not be hard to find.
Carry a List– Getting and Staying prepared will help. Making a list will keep you  organized and on budget.   Make a list for every person you plan on buying a list for and how much you plan to spend. This will help you stay focused.
Plan your trip– If you most visit a store during the peak time. Get in and Get Out. At least have an idea of about what you items you are going to the store for.  The best time to visit a store is right when they open up. Unless of course there is a Door Buster sale, in that case avoid it at all cost unless you like the madness.
Schedule a babysitter for 6 hours. We make this an event! Neither my husband nor I enjoy (holiday) shopping so we try and make it as painless as possible. Without Ava we can move faster, and we can handle everything at one time. If you have/had a toddler, you know what I’m talking about! We are also incented to be productive because the faster we get done; the faster we get to our reward dinner!
Shop in Cyber Space– Shopping online is even more popular than it was years ago. It has become a great alternative. The sales are great, it is convenient, saves time and money. Several retailers offer free shipping during the Holiday season or the option to ship to the store for pick up and no fee.  Shopping online is also great for comparison shopping.
Stay Safe– Regardless of if you are shopping in store or online. It is important that you shop safe. When you’re shopping in a store remember to keep your credit cards safe and if you’re paying cash, don’t take it all out of your wallet at once. Shopping online is so much safer than you might think. However you still want to go with your instincts. Stick with major retailer and Major Payment Processing companies, such as paypal, amazon, etc,   these sites have made sure the correct safety measures have been put in place for your peace of mind and theirs. If you look at the top of your screen where the website address is displayed, you should see https://. The “s” that is displayed after “http” indicates that site is secure. Sometimes you won’t see the “s” until you go to the checkout or shopping cart sections, so stop there before you begin shopping to be sure.
This is one of my favorite times of the year.  Taking a little extra time to organize your shopping allows you to enjoy the season, and save money.
Your Turn – I would love to hear how you save time and money handling your holiday shopping?

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