The holidays are supposed to be about family, and about appreciating all of life’s blessings. However, it seems that, more than happiness and enjoyment, the holidays equate to stress for a lot of people. Do you look at your loved ones during the holiday season and see nothing but crowded malls and bank drafts? Do you sometimes wish you could switch places with your kids and forget all about the holiday shopping madness? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Luckily, there are ways to counter the hectic pace and frenetic planning associated with checking all those items off your Christmas list. Here are five tips for reducing holiday shopping stress.
Create a list. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people who brave the stores during holiday season without this must-have. Not only should you create a list, but you should also organize the list into categories by store, price and recipient. If you carry a smart phone, download a Christmas list app in order to automate the whole list building and checking-off process.
Team work. You really don’t have to do it all yourself. There are ways to have someone else do some of the dirty work, without causing any additional strain. Ask your friends when they are going shopping, and ask to review their shopping lists. If they happen to be purchasing anything that is also on your list (which is highly likely if you’re both shopping for popular children’s gifts), give them some cash and ask them to double up at checkout. Offer the same favor in return. Win-win.
Internet shopping. It’s not necessary to brave the cold weather and crowds to get your holiday shopping done. Shop from the comfort of your own home – and even in your pajamas, if you like – by browsing the web for your holiday must-haves.
Budget. Establish a budget, and stick to it. There is nothing worse than overspending, then finding that your pocketbook is too tight to enjoy the rest of the holiday season.
Start early. The earlier, the better. It’s not even a bad idea to shop throughout the year, whenever gift items go on sale. Remember that the best time of the year to buy holiday goods is right after the holiday season, so shopping in January for December is not nearly as crazy as it may sound, and can really save you from becoming a crazy person when the holidays arrive.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to holiday shopping stress – money, crowds, the pressure to find just the “right” gifts – but you don’t have to let the stress consume you. Take control of the situation, and keep the stress in check, by following these helpful tips.
About the Author: Thuy Bohrn knows how stressful the holiday shopping season can be, especially when on a budget or unemployed. He uses resourceful sites like Soliant healthcare and other recruitment agencies to help him find work in the healthcare field when his other temp jobs end.