The Key to Smart Holiday Shopping

So much to do with so little time? On a limited budget with an endless gift list? Regardless of income, purchasing holiday gifts can be doable and less stressful if you exercise effective time-management.  Things change from year to year, but the one thing that should remain as a standard imperative is organizing your holiday goals.

Whether it be party planningor gift shopping, making lists and committing to them is still one of the best ways to focus during a harried holiday season.   Don’t leave home without it!

Shopping any retail store at this time of year can be overwhelming. The sensory overload sucks you in; the twinkling lights, ringing bells, and piped in Xmas songs resounding everywhere are intoxicating.  This is designed to overwhelm you and divert you away from any real focus.  Intentional for the unprepared consumer.

At first, the holiday music does exude a certain welcomed measure of glee. I admit that it puts me in a good mood, but after continuous weeks of shopping, the incessant melodies can become unnerving. (It’s not just me, I hear this from the salespeople that have to endure it all day!) But it works like magic. It lures the crowds and feeds the frenzy.

Warning: If you have don’t have a specific person in mind on a list, you will find yourself roaming aimlessly for hours and most probably exit, confused, distraught, and empty-handed.

Go home, make a list. Jot down the friends, family, etc. for whom you need to buy gifts for, estimate how much you’re going to spend for each, and carry it with you so you can refer to it while shopping.  Have an agenda and destination in mind (on paper, or on a smart phone) before you go shopping.

This may sound unnecessarily elementary, but without a list, you can get easily distracted and side-tracked and perhaps be in danger of buying something you don’t need. If you stay on task, you won’t be shocked when the credit card bills arrive because YOU managed it.

Being prepared and organized will guide you and prevent you from getting in over your head. This ought to be a joyful time, so do your best to make it so. Make it a joy, not a job. Be merry, not stressed.

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