It’s true that some people love shopping, but even most of this breed get more than their shopping quota at this time of year. It can easily turn what should be a joyous, giving experience, into a really unpleasant chore.
If you’d rather stick pins in your eyes than go Christmas shopping, we’ve got some tips for you. Here are 5 simple ways to make Christmas shopping suck less…
- Be Smart
Make a list before you hit the shops. And think about the times you get to the shops and pick a quieter time. Don’t take the kids. And for goodness sake, use earplugs to drown out the sound of those monotonous Christmas carols. Don’t go when you’re hungry or tired – you need all your energy!
- Turn it into a Game
Set your timer and see how many gifts you can get sorted in 2 hours. Or alternatively, aim to purchase one gift a day – and see how many days you can keep your streak going (perhaps by incorporating some online shopping with dropping past a local shopping centre after work).
- Choose a Theme
Having no constraints on what you’re buying can actually make the job harder, so impose some constraints at your own choosing (and perhaps for your own amusement). You could decide to make all gifts environmentally friendly this year, or all gifts a certain colour, or all gifts food related, or only give experiences this year. I’ve decided that all the kids are getting music related gifts this year (sorry parents!) A more meaningful idea might be to give gifts that relate to how you know the recipient (eg give a native plant to someone you met bushwalking), or what you like to do most with the recipient (eg give a coffee plunger or new mugs to someone you enjoy drinking coffee with).
- Start a Tradition
Similar to the idea of giving based on a theme, think about whether you can start a gift tradition with any of your gift recipients. Did you give your mum slippers last year? How about a dressing gown this year. Maybe you can give a DVD set, good whiskey, perfume, book of movie vouchers, magazine subscription, or crazy T-shirt. Don’t think of it as boring, think of it as a new tradition that will strengthen the bonds with your recipients (and yes, save you time and energy too!).
- Remember Salespeople are Actual People
Make it your mission to put a smile on the faces of the people serving you. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be the other way around, but at Christmas, everyone is stressed and overworked. They’re dealing with grumpy customers – so be the difference that makes them feel appreciated and happy. Often just some acknowledgement of their situation or a compliment on their service can go a long way. Plus, as a by-product, you might just get extra-special service for your effort!