With Halloween now a distant memory and Thanksgiving soon to be over, before you know it, the holiday season will be looming on the horizon, meaning the shopping must begin. You'll rarely find a time of the year that's so divisive amongst people, and a lot of that usually has to do with the stress of finding that perfect gift for somebody on your list.
Fret not dear readers, because we're here to give you some helpful tips to make your holidays just a little more relaxed, while making sure you get that special someone exactly what they want!
1. Start Early
Seriously, I can't stress this part enough. You don't have to hunker down and do all of your shopping in say, September; just pick up the odd few things throughout the months leading up to Christmas. That way, by the time the massive rush hits, you've already stashed a few things away and will have that much less to worry about.
2. Ask For Lists
I've never understood why some people are so opposed to this idea. In my personal experience, people are always more than happy to give a list of things they'd like for Christmas; it means they get something they want but it's still a surprise, and it saves you plenty of time and effort trying to even figure out what they want.
3. Watch For Sales
Between Black Friday in November, and the multitude of other holiday sales that come along every year, there should be no need to have to pay full price for just about anything you're looking for. Just make sure to keep checking flyers or websites for hints about upcoming sales.
4. Ask Friends and Family For Suggestions
If you don't want to ask for a list, see if you can get it touch with a person's friends, parents, siblings, or kids to try to get an idea of what they might like. They might even think of things that you would have never imagined before!
These next few suggestions will definitely save you some stress.
5. Write Things Down
This is very important. The last thing you need when you're braving the holiday shopping crowds is being unsure of which color toy you're supposed to be buying, or having to figure out if little Johnny wanted a game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch. Keeping information written down will save you plenty of headaches.
6. Shop at Unusual Hours
Going to the store at noon on a Saturday? Get ready to get mobbed by the thousands of other people who had the same idea. If you can manage it, try going shopping either right when the stores open, or even about an hour or two before they close. They'll be less busy, and the employees will probably be better-equipped to help you than when they need to help hundreds of people.
7. Check Prices Online
The internet is your friend when it comes to shopping. This is especially true during the holidays. Instead of calling around, or driving to stores to find out when they're getting in what you're looking for, and what it's going to cost, you can keep track of all of these things via their websites. The best part is, some sites even put up their sales a few days before they do in stores!
8. Keep Your Receipts
Most stores are able to give you a gift receipt, meaning that if the person you're buying a gift for either already has it or doesn't like it, they'll take the item back, no questions asked. Not only that, but plenty of stores do price matching as well, meaning that if it's cheaper somewhere else but you have the receipt, you can get some money back!
9. Don't Be Afraid To Get Gift Cards
A lot of people are reluctant to get gift cards for people, but honestly they can sometimes be some of the best gifts possible (provided you know what you're doing). It's all about knowing the shopping habits of your gift recipient. If they like music, get them an iTunes gift card, or if they like movies, how about a card for your nearest movie theater? It's not hard, and they'll love getting to get something they want without spending money!
10. Be Nice To Retail Workers
This one benefits everybody. During the holidays, very few things are more stressful than working in retail, and the workers often get the brunt of everybody's frustration. Be nice to them; not only are they working hard, but if you treat them respectfully, they'll almost definitely go that extra mile to try to help you get what it is you're looking for. Everybody wins.
Hope these tips save you some stress over the holidays!