Holiday shopping can be stressful, especially when you have a long list of people to buy for and not enough time to do it. Hopefully these tips will help make the pre-Christmas shopping a bit easier, and keep your spirits up for Christmas.
1. Free shipping is your friend!
It isn't always convenient to go out and buy gifts, but if you have to order online, make sure you do it with free shipping.
2. But always check delivery dates
Before you order all of your gifts online, make sure you look at the delivery dates. If it won't show up until December 26, it won't do you any good!
3. Sign up for email lists
While getting all of those emails tends to be more of an annoyance during the year, most companies will offer some good deals to anyone on their email list. And besides, you can always cancel your subscription after the festivities are done.
4. Use couponing websites
Once again, a little bit of a hassle to search for all of the stores you plan to shop in before you go, but the savings will be worth it. Try websites like Retail Me Not and Groupon, or Unidays if you're a student. Even store websites will sometimes have coupons! Bonus tip: you can always get the app on your phone for any last minute stops.
5. When in doubt, buy something you would enjoy receiving
What gift would you want someone to get you? Chances are the person you're buying for will like it too. Just make sure they have a similar taste as you (so your baby cousin or elderly grandfather might not work for this one).
6. Consider wrapping
Wrapping shouldn't prevent you from buying something for someone if you really think they'll like it, but if you have a choice between an oddly shaped toy box or a nicely boxed board game, go with the board game.
7. Maintain a price limit, and try to keep everyone the same
Especially when it comes to kids, it is important to be "fair" with your gifts. If you spend $50 on a nice sweater for your sister, you can't give your brother a $10 pair of headphones.
8. Think of things they need
Has your dad been complaining that his charger hasn't been working? Did your sister crack her good eyeshadow palate the other day? Take note of these things so that you can get people things they need without them even asking!
9. Always go personal
Maybe not for your White Elephant gift, but for people who love and care about you, personal is the way to go. Sure, your mom might like another sweater, but what she'll love is a frame of a picture of you two that she can show off to all of her friends at work. A little bit more effort goes a long way.
10. Don't forget to treat yourself!
Holiday shopping is stressful, so don't forget to use those coupons and get yourself a treat! After all of that time on your feet, you deserve a day at the spa or a nice lunch somewhere.