Holiday shopping can be enjoyable, but it can also be extremely stressful. I remember one year my middle son had his heart set on a tabletop hockey set. Unfortunately, I waited too long to order it, and I ended up getting it at a store two hours away. After that, I knew I had to make an effort to make holiday shopping easier, more successful, and more fun. Here are the rules I try to live by...
1) Start early - If you start early, the stores will be less crowded, and you will have more time to locate the items you need.
2) Don't go overboard - Try not to let your gift buying get out of control. Draw names where appropriate, and set limits.
3) Shop online - Shopping from the comfort of your home after the kids have gone to bed can be relaxing and efficient. It is the best way to easily locate items and find the best prices.
4) Remember what's important - Instead of going in debt to amass a mountain of toys for your little ones, focus on getting one or two special presents instead. Put more energy into creating memories than into shopping.
5) Get organized - Get the kids to write letters to Santa, and make a copy and stick it to the fridge. A "locked down" list will prevent a last minute scramble. Also, make a list of all the people you need to buy for and any ideas you have. Then, check off the names each time you make a purchase. (Note: Mattel.ca has some great holiday toys and wish list capability to help plan your holiday shopping. You can check it out here.)
What are your best tips for making holiday less stressful?
Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)
Disclosure: I am part of the Mattel Holiday Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.