This post about stress free Christmas shopping contains affiliate links and links to some direct sales pages.
No matter ho hard I try Christmas always finds a way to sneak up on me. My husband and I both come from relatively large families, we are close with our cousins, extended family members, and friends. We LOVE giving thoughtful and meaningful gifts to everyone on our list. The most well laid plans often leave me scrambling when the holiday season rolls around. Stress free Christmas shopping didn’t seem like something that would be possible for me…until this year. I still have months until the big day rolls around and I’m already well on my way to being done with my Christmas shopping.
Not only is this system taking stress off the table it’s also helping me be more conscious of my spending and budget. We don’t have to worry about money because I’m doing our shopping a bit at a time and with a shorter or non existent list come black Friday and the weeks before Christmas, I won’t be tempted to make a bunch of impulse buys.
You can know what it’s like to have a stress free Christmas shopping experience. I’ll show you how!
Stress free Christmas shopping is kind of like eating healthy and working out. No one likes it in the moment but in the long run this system will have you singing it’s praises all over town. It’s so nice to be able to enjoy the holiday without worrying about who you might have forgot, if you remembered to pick up all the last minute gifts, and of course it’s nice to not be thinking about how much money you spent all at once!
Make a List, Check it Twice
I know it might seem silly or overdone but hear me out! Making a list and checking it twice is not just great for Santa. It’s also really good for your sanity. Santa was really onto something with this list business. If you know NOW who you need to buy for you can be thinking about it constantly. Make a note in your phone and put everyone on it that you want to buy a gift for. The key word is want. Don’t put people on this list that you don’t want to add. You’ll just end up feeling angry and crazy. I’ve learned the hard way that my gifting efforts are more well spent on the people for whom I want to do nice things.
We’re going old school, back to the days of the teacher reminding us how to be good listeners. One of my favorite ways to surprise people with the perfect gift comes from active listening. I actually pay attention to what people are saying to me. If we’re out somewhere and I hear someone say “Oh I love your bag ” to a stranger I engage this conversation. “Do you think it’d look better in black or brown” and suddenly I get to find out which bag my friend would prefer. BOOM perfect gift idea. I do the same thing to my husband.
If we are planning on giving each other gifts that is. This varies from year to year and greatly depends on how many home renovation projects I’d prefer to do in the coming months. I keep a list of things he mentions that he would like to have. He’s pretty tough to buy for otherwise because we’re both pretty lucky in that we can usually get what we want. THE JOYS OF BEING CHILDFREE ARE ENDLESS! 🙂
DIY / Crafting / Time
These are three things that I enjoy. DIY gifts and crafting gifts are only good in my opinion, if the other person values that kind of gift. Not all people want to receive a DIY or crafted gift. The gift should always be about the person who is receiving it so keep that in mind when going the DIY or Crafting route. Another great way to have a stress free Christmas shopping experience is to gift people with your time. I have done this with my family a few times. I really enjoy getting together for a fun activity or “memory” rather than exchanging gifts.
Not only do I have way less shopping to do, I also get to spend quality time with people I love. DIY and Crafting fall nicely into this same niche because they require time. Manage your time wisely when it comes to Christmas shopping. Once you have a list and you’ve used your listening skills to gather ideas, all you need to do is manage your time.
I’m going to tell you my greatest secret of all! You can get an Amazon Prime membership free for one month EVERY YEAR. I use mine at Christmas time. I can order presents on the downlow for all my friends and family members. There’s free two day shipping. The prices are great on things that I would have purchased anyway, and the stress levels are mínute because I don’t have to leave the house. Another great thing to do is shop all those super clearance events that you get emails about. Usually the shipping is free and you’ll be surprised how many great items you can get for cheap! Sometimes I browse these sales looking for ideas that I add to my list!
Generalized Gift Giving
If you have to give someone a gift that is not specifically suited for them make it something generalized. There is NOTHING worse than receiving a generalized gift that is then altered to be specific to my name, group, house, etc. I don’t want a really nice bag (that I could potentially resell, re-gift, or return) to have some sort of gross insignia added to it in order to make it “personal”. Please just leave it blank so that the person can return the item or resell it or even re-gift the item.
This is new for me. I’m trying out this new thing where I buy most of my gifts from people I know. I have recently noticed an explosion in the direct sales business. Between LuLaRoe, Legging Army, Avon, Thirty One, Premier Jewelry, and other direct sales companies, my news feed is filled with people who are hustling to make money for their families. I want to help them out and most of the time I can’t really justify spending a TON of money on myself. What could be a more stress free Christmas shopping plan than buying from friends and family? Most of this can be done online. I get to feel good about helping my friends and family, AND other people on my list get a bunch of nice stuff! Wins all around!