just a mom figuring it out one day at a time

A Less Stressful Approach to Christmas Shopping





It’s a gloomy day here and part of me just wants to go back to bed, pull the covers up and pretend that all of my Christmas shopping is complete.


Frankly it would be great if the elves came off of their shelves and actually took care of it for me rather than hanging out playing cards all day.


Anyhoo… since they don’t appear to be taking over my shopping duties, I need to get crackin! Here are a few things that I’ve done, and you can too, to manage last minute shopping and make it less stressful in the process:

1. Make a Plan

This may sound blatantly obvious, but it works.  Each year I map out every name I’m buying for and ideas for their presents- along with where to buy said presents.  One thing that has made this a little easier for me this year is utilizing Giftster for our lists.  There are two ways to put your kids into the system- one as a list under your profile and the other is as their own entity.  I like the idea of having them have their own profile, but didn’t like the idea of having to put in a different email for them.  The great thing about Giftster is that you can share this list with others in your family, mark items as “reserved” or “purchased,” and put in notes of where the items could be purchased. Knowing exactly what you want/need to buy reduces a lot of time browsing for just the “right” gift- only to find that you still can’t find anything.  The other cool thing is that my son’s birthday is coming up and I can direct relatives to his existing list for present ideas.

2. Schedule a Shopping Date

Several years ago, a friend and I established a girls shopping date.  We make a plan, outline which stores we want to hit first, get to the mall early and make a run for it. This year I even found an App for the mall we are going to, which will definitely cut down on the inevitable questioning as to where we are in relation to X store. Speaking of stores, navigating a store with a like minded shopper who knows what your needs are helps to expedite the trip.  As crazy as it sounds having those extra set of eyes, and helping hands, is fantastic.  I can’t tell you how many times my friend dashed ahead of me to grab the “last” of whatever item I had on my list.  I attribute it to her height–she’s much shorter than I am—she says she’s just sharper. Either way, it works.  Often we are done by early afternoon and then go have a celebratory lunch as the mall becomes increasingly crowded.

 3. Make use of Amazon Prime

I love Amazon Prime.  Last year when I was laid up after having my hamstring surgery I did A  LOT of shopping online. Amazon was my friend and I loved the two-day shipping that comes with the Prime membership.  That way you know what you have in terms of presents quickly and aren’t as worried that something may not arrive in a week.  The Prime membership can be a little pricey, but I’ve found that I tend to break-even on the membership with shipping costs around Christmas.  Then I enjoy the benefits of two-day shipping the rest of the year.  The only warning I would give about Amazon is that you do need to check their prices.  Sometimes the vendors on there sell things for substantially higher prices than if you purchase them directly from the web- even with having to shell out shipping costs.

At the end of the day, this holiday is meant to be joyful.  Make sure you include some me time because without the “me,” you certainly won’t be as merry.



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