We’re 85 days away from Christmas. For some that seems like for-ev-er, while others panic at the thought of being in the double-digits. Whatever your holiday mood, we’re here to help. We have a few tips to help you S.L.E.I.G.H. your holiday shopping this year.
According to NRF.com (National Retail Federation) only 6.7% of shoppers begin their holiday shopping in September, 21.3% by October 1, and 42% by November 1. The earlier you start, the more crowds you’ll avoid. And even if you prefer online shopping, there are plenty of plugins and apps to help you find the best deals. Think of them as your own personal elf assistants, watching for price drops while visions of sugarplums dance in your head.
Lists and limits.
Make your list and check it twice every time you add something to your cart online or head to a store. Sit down and write a list (or create a spreadsheet) of all the people and groups you intend to give gifts this year—each family member, friend, coworker, teacher, and neighbor. Then, set a budget with realistic limits—and stick to it like red on Rudolph’s nose!
Establish a deadline.
It’s helpful to set a date to wrap up your shopping so you can wrap up the presents. Just imagine yourself on December 1, kicking back by your freshly decorated tree to enjoy your favorite holiday movie and a cup of hot cocoa. Sounds dreamy, right? Set some goals to get the shopping done early enough to indulge and enjoy the season. December fills up fast with work parties, class parties, family parties—all the parties! Don’t miss out because you’re super stressed about finding last-minute gifts.
Include everything and avoid impulse buys.
It seems like extra holiday expenses pop up faster than you can say, “Cotton headed ninny muggins.” Carefully consider what you spent last year for those trips to grandma’s house, decorations, shipping gifts across the country, formal holiday attire, Christmas morning pajamas, food and treats for parties, gift wrap, etc. Establish your needs and wants to avoid impulses buys and overindulging. Before you rush out to buy the latest laser light display for your “exterior illumination,” ask yourself if you really need it.
One of the best feelings of the holidays comes from giving back. Dedicate some of your holiday funds to donate to a charitable organization or worthy cause. At the end of the day, having a heart full of love is more important than a stocking full of stuff.
Hustle hard and be happy.
Keep that deadline in mind as you check things off your list. Set a series of mini goals or focus on one person/group at a time as you glide from store to store with all the grace of an Olympic ice skater. But, a word of caution here: Don’t fly through the season faster than Clark Griswold on his “non-chloric, silicone-based kitchen lubricant”-coated sled! You should enjoy it too and be happy along the way.
There you have it—a few simple tips to help you S.L.E.I.G.H. all the way through the holidays!