Christmas is just weeks away, and I'm nowhere near ready. My mom has been wrapping gifts for the past month, and I've barely started my shopping. The inevitable panic is beginning to set in.
Coming up with the perfect gift idea gets harder each year. When my boys were young, it was easy. As preschoolers, whatever train or dinosaur toy caught their eye was all that was needed. As they grew, so did their interests. Gaming, Jurassic Park, Pokemon, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings...all sure-fire ways to their hearts. One year, we went on a surprise trip to Disney World on December 26th! What can compare to Disney under the tree, I ask you?
Now that my sons are legally grown adults, it's become harder.
Gift cards? Money? Clothing?
Boys, I need ideas!
Holiday gift shopping can be the most stressful time of the year. (Yes, yes, it's also the most wonderful time of the year, but come on. You know what I mean.)
So here are a few tips to help your shopping go smoothly.
Eight Tips for Christmas Shopping Success
1. Make A List.
Check it not twice, but a thousand times. If you know exactly what you're looking for, it will make your life a whole lot easier. Get in, get out. That's my motto.
Whenever you can...
2. Shop Online!
Lots of places offer free shipping, so take advantage of it. Just make sure to order with plenty of time for it to arrive before the end of the month.
But, if you have to go out into the shopping world...
3. DON'T SHOP ON WEEKENDS IN DECEMBER
Especially at malls. I know this from personal experience. Go on a weekday evening after work or if possible, on a weekday morning. Hordes are not quite as big at those times, and you'll save yourself time spent standing in line, both inside the store and out. (It can feel like you've jumped right into an episode of 'The Walking Dead'!)
I once got caught in traffic trying to leave the mall parking lot for two hours!
4. Keep A Bottle Of Advil In Your Possession At All Times.
It's not a matter of if you'll need it, it's when you'll need it. Best to be prepared.
5. Stay Caffeinated.
Very important. You'll need all your wits about you when you enter the retail environment.
6. Be Prepared For EVERYTHING!
If you're braced for the worst-case scenario, things won't seem as bad in comparison. Unless the worst happens, in which case you should...
7. Take Deep Breaths
Deep breathing can help your heart rate and blood pressure return to normal in super-stressful situations.
But if you're beyond the point where intentional breathing can help...
8. Go Home!
There's always tomorrow. You don't have to get all your Christmas shopping done at once. Unless, of course, you waited until December 24th to go shopping. If that's the case...
I don't have any words of wisdom to get you through. You'll just have to suck it up, and SHOP!
Of course, I'm in trouble, because I'm stuck back at #1.
Hey family, I really need suggestions!
To the rest of you, get out there and shop. I wish you luck in your journey to prepare for the biggest holiday of the year. Only two more shopping weeks until the big day.
Get ready, get set...shop! And good luck!
Keep on Reading...and remember, books make great holiday gifts!
Kristen L Jackson
Author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH
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