Whether you got caught up with so many things to do or you're like me who gets an adrenalin rush from last minute Christmas shopping, don't fret, here are some tips to help you get through your list, minus the panic.
Make a list. And check it twice. Not just to see who's naught and nice, but to make sure you have everyone listed down. This is the heart and soul of every Christmas shopper, without which, you will be shopping around like a headless chicken.
Categorize your list. Arrange it by age, by group (friends, cousins, officemates, etc), by gender or even by budget. Whatever works for you. So when you start going around you can easily look at your list vis-a-vis the store in front of you. For example, if your list is arranged by group and you are in front of a toy shop, just browse through the names that fall under “kids” and avoid wasting time going through an entire list.
Make a Timetable. You need not finish your entire list in a day. Check how much more you need to shop and how much time you have. Target finishing a certain number each day and so forth until you're done. But if you can finish in a day, why not?
Target your (shopping) destination. Note down bazaar and sale schedules. You need not go to each on the list. Consider the size, variety and location and choose what best suits you and your list, and your schedule.
Strategize. Budget your time --- make sure your tummy is full so you don't need to take pit stops to snack (also helps you avoid unnecessary calories). Plot your route --- to make sure you don't miss any aisle if you're in a bazaar or need to go back and forth for certain sections if you’re in a mall.
Be Decisive. Look around. Check the item. Decide – will you buy it or not. Now it not the time to think about it and go back for it, because, you don't have the luxury of time.
Choose wisely. Aside from picking appropriate gifts, choose those that already come in nice packaging and tags to save time from gift wrapping.
Go online. So many budding entrepreneurs sell really nice stuff online and they ship these items for you for a minimal fee. Just a few clicks and you might just finish your shopping without leaving the house!
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White Elephant bin. Some may frown upon it, but there's nothing wrong with going through the presents you have received in the past but didn't get to use for one reason or another, and give it to someone who would appreciate it. Just make sure it's in mint condition and that you don't give it to the one who gave it to you! You'll be surprised how much you can save and strike-off your list!
There you go. That should help warm you up and start rushing out. Remember, as the cliché says, it's always the thought that counts. Really!
Tip: Keep a copy of your list. Come next year, you need not create a new one. You just have to add (or delete) some names, if you wish. And take note of what you gave out to each person – this will serve a a guide on what to get (or not get!) them next year.