Doing your Christmas shopping is highly renowned as one of the most stressful times of the year. Pushing through busy crowds of people, carrying heavy shopping bags, and searching to find the perfect gifts in crowded shopping centres can soon lose its novelty and became a nightmare.
If you have the kids with you, this can be even more of a stressful experience. Juggling the stresses of Christmas shopping with constantly having to watch your children is not an experience that most parents enjoy. Thankfully, we’ve got some great tips to help you out.
Go as a Family
If you’re planning to take the kids along for your Christmas shopping trip, it’s a good idea to also take your partner or another adult too rather than go by yourself. This means that there’s an extra pair of eyes to watch out for anything that could happen, and an extra pair of hands to hold onto your children’s in busy, crowded shopping centres.
Christmas shopping can be far less stressful if everything is planned ahead. From having a shopping list ready to pre-booking parking through Your Parking Space or, if you’re not driving, planning your trip on Citymapper, all it takes is some preparation to ensure that your shopping trip runs smoothly. Before you go, write a list of all the gifts that you will need to buy, and who you plan to buy them for. You could browse gifts online beforehand to get ideas, if you’re stuck. Next, determine which shops you’ll be able to find the gifts you need at. This way, once you get to the shopping centre, you’ll know exactly where you’re going and what you’re looking for, making it a lot quicker and less stressful.
Of course, the other option is to do the bulk of your Christmas shopping online. The vast online marketplace means that you can purchase almost anything that you might want to buy as a Christmas gift over the internet, and if you really can’t face the shops you could even buy gift wrap online as well. The Black Friday deals on Amazon are worth looking out for. For those who don’t want to venture out into any packed retail areas during the Christmas period, there’s online grocery shopping as well for your Christmas day meal.
However, you should be aware of some of the downfalls of online shopping. You won’t be able to see and feel the items that you buy as you would in a shop, so it’s a good idea to make sure that you’ve got enough time to send items back if they weren’t what you expected.
If, like a lot of people, you vow to begin your Christmas shopping early each year but always seem to leave it to the last minute, you’ll understand the stress. This year, keep to your resolve to start early – you’ll probably save money as well, as many items increase in price over the busy period in the couple of weeks before Christmas day. Mid-November is a great time to start.