The holiday season is a wonderful time of the year. It is the perfect time to get together with friends for hot chocolate and pumpkin pie, our families come from all over to be with those they love, and shopping becomes a weekly occurrence. It truly is a time to be cherished.
Amidst all the great things that come with the holiday season, it can also be a very bitter-sweet time. While we all love our families, it is true that they can get on our nerves sometimes! In addition, all the shopping and list-making can become stressful, which takes away from the fun that you should be having.
No one wants to spend their holiday season stressing when they should be having a great time. While we can’t help with potential family problems, we can give you some great shopping advice! Here are a few pointers for your shopping this season:
Plan, Plan, Plan – The single best thing you’ll be able to do this holiday season to avoid stressful shopping is to PLAN! As the days go on, the stores will get busier and busier, and the items you want will start to get sold out. When you shop early, you run into fewer problems, which means less stress. Also, make sure you take a list with you. This will ensure that you don’t overspend, as well as you won’t forget any of the important items someone is counting on!
Make it a Group Activity – People are better together. This one is simple, but when you go shopping, take a friend, or even a group of friends. Making shopping a team activity will do wonders for your stress level; you will feel like you’re on a team, not facing the shopping challenge alone.
Consider Shopping Alternatives – It’s 2013! Do you really think you need to change out of your PJ’s, drive through the snow, fight for a parking spot, then stand in line for 2 hours just to buy the newest doll? Absolutely not. We have the internet (or at least you should, if you’re reading this) and you should use it. Take advantage of online shopping this year. Every major store has the same items online that they have in store, and sites like Amazon help you find the lowest price. Also, the Monday after Black Friday *shudder* is commonly referred to as “Cyber Monday.” On Cyber Monday, you can find all of the same deals showcased on Black Friday from the comfort of your iPad.
Also, we should note, as great as giving and receiving gifts are, absolutely nothing beats spending quality time with those you love. Despite what the media tells us, the holidays are NOT all about the newest items; they’re about being with family. To quote a cliché adage, the best present is your presence. Give gifts because you love, but don’t sacrifice precious time spent with those you care for the most.
Reward Yourself – No one ever said there was anything wrong with treating yourself. While you’re out getting wonderful gifts for everyone, enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. Or by yourself those boots you’ve been looking at. Book a massage. Give yourself the gift of holiday cheer!
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed! Don’t stress yourself out when you should be having a great time. Follow these steps, and we guarantee the best holiday season ever.