The silly season is upon us, with festive season decorations already adorning the malls, and ‘Jingle Bells’ firmly entrenched as the most irritating earworm of the moment. If the thought of heading into the shops for gifts or holiday shopping is just too much to bear, take a deep breath…
The festive season should be a time of relaxation, fun and destressing after the challenges of the year that’s just been. Here are six great ideas to take the hassle out of shopping, so you can enjoy spending days on the beach, and evenings with friends and family.
1 Make lists
Make a list of the people you want to buy gifts for, along with how much you’re expecting to spend on each person. Draw cash for each present according to the budget you’ve set, and put it in an envelope. Use only that envelope to pay for the gift, to make sure you stick to your budget! Make sure that there’s an envelope for you too – because buying yourself a present is one of the best reasons to go shopping.
2 Get going early
We all moan about festive season décor in November, but this really is a good reminder that there’s no time like the present (pun intended) to start your festive season shopping. Put on your running shoes and kick your festive season shopping into gear, now. You’ll avoid the crowds, you’ll be able to make more thoughtful purchases, and most importantly, you’ll be able to enjoy your leave just before Christmas by spending it by the pool or on the beach, instead of in a mall.
3 Look online
If you’re not completely comfortable about shopping online yet (even though it really is a great time-saving idea), you could do all your gifting research online before you head out to the shops. That way, you’ll know which items you can find in which shops – and you’ll also know where to find the best deal.
4 Take advantage of early sales
Many local outlets have hopped on the US ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ sales that typically happen towards the end of November – so keep an eye out for great deals. You may even be able to score from stores abroad during this particular part of the silly season.
5 Mad about makery
If you’ve got some time on your hands, and want to nurture your own creative soul in the process of offering the perfect gift, you could make gifts instead of purchasing them. Artisanal goods are not just authentic if they’re purchased from a bearded hipster – anything that you make with love is right on the current artisanal trend. You could bake, sew, knit, crochet, or even learn how to make beaded jewellery. Your imagination is your only limit – and you’re sure to save money too.
6 Money for nothing
Make sure that you understand the various rewards and loyalty programmes that you belong to, and use your rewards to buy gifts – or to stretch your budget to enable you to buy the item that would have been a bit too much of a stretch otherwise.
Before you hit those sales, check out these tips on how not to go wild during sale season.