Christmas Shopping Survival Guide

Well look at that, September just went by with a swoosh. We have entered the last quarter of the year and if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, then I’m worried for you honey. Great shopping expedition such as the one we usually do every holidays requires intense planning and a big allowance of time. If Santa Claus needs the whole year, an army of elves, and a big dose of magic in order to give presents to every goody two-shoes in world, what makes you think you can do your Christmas shopping with a solitary trip to the mall? But all is not lost, I’m here to give you tips and pointers on how to make your holiday gift shopping as stress-free as possible.

Start early – As with most things, starting your shopping early will definitely make the task easier. Define early? How about right now? Yes, right now, when most of the masses are complaining about hearing Christmas jingles on the radio. Right now, when most Christmas TV ads are still in post-production. Right now, when no one still dare hang-up a single Christmas ornament. When you start shopping right now, you do not have to contend with manic crowds and you can choose items at your leisure allowing you to make sound judgement whether to get or not. Shopping early don’t just mean less crowds, it also  means you can get the items before prices jack up due to demand. Plus, you are not on panic mode so you can enjoy your shopping trip as you should.

Do #1 and 2 on this list –  Santa has one and it helps him a great deal. List every person that you want to smile this Christmas as well as the gift ideas you have for them. It helps to have multiple ideas per person so you won’t get stuck in case you cannot find the item you want or the item you want is out of your price range. If you have a horde of godchildren like me, grouping them according to age will help. Make your list as detailed as possible, you can also jot down the stores you may want to visit and the range of prices for the items. This last idea helps you make a realistic budget. What do you call a shopping strategy without a budget? A disaster. Yes, its Christmas and you are in a generous and loving mood, but keep in mind that it is bad luck to be broke on a new year, so you also have to keep your bank account happy by making sure that it still have a healthy balance when you are done shopping.

Widen your shopping network – Don’t just depend on your favorite mall. Christmas shopping bazaars are sprouting all over metro and of course, there is the ever-reliable Divisoria. When shopping at Divisoria, time is of the essence, so do it now. Plus, things are cheaper now than it will be on November. I got three pieces of toddler’s dress all for 75Php and two pairs of boy’s shirt and shorts for 75Php as well. Choices are not lacking in this shopping haven and if you do your thing right, you can fulfill everything on your list with just one shopping trip and with money to spare. Market! Market! at BGC is also a good place for Christmas shopping; it offers variety at slightly lower prices than department stores.

Have a shopping buddy – What is a great adventure if you do not have someone to share it with? Plus, a shopping buddy can keep you in check and help you make decisions when you are in a bind. A shopping buddy is also an extra pair of eyes and hands that can be immensely helpful. You can split the list with your shopping buddy so you can cover more area at a quicker pace. And when you are done shopping, enjoying a well-deserved snack is more enjoyable with a friend.

Go online – Shopping online has a lot of perks. No traffic, no crowds, no mall hours, and the items is delivered right at your doorstep. Sometimes, the prices are even lower. From online shopping websites to Instagram sellers, the world wide web offers shopping staples to ultra unique knick knacks. Online shopping is even more advantages if you are looking for something that are not easily available at the mall. But, it also comes with downside, you can’t inspect the item before your purchase – so its best to be really careful before you click that checkout button.

Christmas is a time of cheer and the stress of buying gifts should not get in the way of your celebration. Shopping should be fun and Christmas shopping is even more so because you are buying for the people you love. It should not be a total warfare that some people make out to be.

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