Holiday Shopping

Holiday shopping is not an easy task.   Although the holidays are not about presents, there are often times when you want to find a gift for someone.  Retailers across the country are trying to get you in the door, and everyone else on the planet, to buy the newest gadget or toy.  Marketers salivate over seasons where spending is in the forefront, but remember, you don’t have to fall for their marketing.  There are ways to manage shopping and gift giving, without going into debt or losing you sanity at the local mall.

The holidays are for family and friends.  I bet if you inventory what gifts you got in the last few years, I would guess that you might not even remember (unless it was really bad, or really good like an engagement ring).  Gifts are exciting, and it’s the thought that counts, but be careful as you think about gift ideas.  When you start thinking about the people on your gift list, think about something that they will remember some July.  If they like to read, how about a gift card for books?  If they like cars, how about a subscription to a car magazine, either on paper or online?  The more you think about the person, the easier the gift idea might be.

When it comes to the cost, set a budget.  So many people end the holiday season in debt, with only brings stress in the new year.  Don’t spend the rent money to buy an expensive gift.  Spend what you can afford.  Set a limit, then decide how many gifts that you need to purchase.  Adjust the costs of the gifts, depending on your relationship with the person.  You might spend more on a family member, and less on a friend from work.  You might want to spoil your nephew, and just get your office partner some of their favorite candy.  When it comes to the office, you could make cookies, and wrap them with the recipe.  As much as today’s marketing companies want you to think that the more expensive the gift, the better, remember that it isn’t really the case.  The reason they have to market the more expensive things is so that they can convince you that you need it.  There are lots of things that are wonderful, create amazing memories, and won’t send you to the poor house.

Once you have your list, and your budget, decide where to shop.  If you don’t like crowds, go early in the morning to avoid the people.  You could go late at night, if the store you are focused on is open late.  On your way, be careful and stay safe.  Watch out for others who are not focused on the holiday spirit, and have fallen victim to the marketing analysts.  Be careful when you are out to stick to your budget.  It will help make your new year more stress free.

When you get home from your shopping trip, relax and enjoy the rest of your holiday.  If you can afford it, do something nice for yourself along the way.  Remember that as you celebrate, stay safe, healthy and happy, because that helps with the goal of being happy for life.