Preparing For Christmas

If Christmas is all about giving gifts nowadays, then why is gift giving so hard? We've had plenty of practice, plenty of time to prepare (after all, it is only one day out of the year) and plenty of time to listen to requests. So what is all the stress about? This should be easy. Giving gifts should be easy. Does it make you a bad person if it isn't? No no, on the contrary. It makes you normal. So how do we solve this problem? How do we prepare for this massive obligation we have forced on ourselves?

Start as Early as The Day After

In the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, there is a classic line where the Narrator says, "He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming, it came. Somehow or other, it came just the same." You see, if the Grinch couldn't stop Christmas, neither can you. It is inevitable. So, you might as well start shopping as soon as something catches your eye.

Do not think "Christmas is so far from here, I'll get the gift later." If something catches your attention, it is usually because you know that the person you are thinking of will like it. Buy it. If you do this constantly through the year, not only will you avoid the stress of shopping around holiday season, but it won't feel like you are clearing out your bank account. Also: you know that certain people's gifts are done, so your concentration can be elsewhere.

Be Aware of Sales

Just because you see something that you know will be perfect, make sure you are getting the lowest price available. For example: UGG brand boots are great as gifts for Christmas. But not many places mark down UGGs because they are so popular. This doesn't mean that there aren't bargains to be had. There are a few websites online that will ship for free. GREAT! One less stress on your mind.

If you are shopping throughout the whole year, then you have time to look for those sales. Especially on popular items that won't sell out quite as fast because everyone has them in stock right before Christmas. Therefore, there is less chance of it being gone when you go to purchase them.

The exception to this rule is when you are eyeing a unique item. If the item is unique, then buy it as soon as you feel it would be perfect for one of your friends, because the likely-hood of it being there next time is pretty slim.

Keep Organized

Keep tabs on who you've already covered. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember that you already bought someone their Christmas present. Make a list of people you would like to buy for and cross them off once you don't want to spend more money on them. Some people are harder to shop for than others, so keep them in mind when shopping. They may take more effort if things don't simply pop out at you from the shelves and scream their name.

It is understandably difficult to buy gifts for 25 people and try to get the gifts to them all on the same day. So make it easier. Shop early, end early and have yourself a stress-free merry little Christmas.

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Article Written - August 20, 2008.