Does your holiday shopping go down to the last minute? Many people cite last minute gift buying as one reason for holiday stress.
If running around from store to store looking for the perfect item made you feel the pressure this year, you can avoid that problem next holiday season by starting now with these tips.
Shop Throughout the Year
Keep a mental list of the people you usually buy for, and watch for things throughout the year. If you change your mind set to look for things this way, it actually helps with those people who are really hard to buy for. When you see something a friend or family member would like, buy it and hide it away until the holidays.
Keep a drawer or spot in your house especially for gifts. That way you’ll have them all in one place so can stay ahead of your shopping list, and you’ll always know what you already have. This not only eases the last minute need to run out and get a gift, but you’ll also buy more thoughtful gifts for people.
Keep General Gifts on Hand
Instead of running out at the last minute to get a gift for that friend who just popped into town or your kid’s teachers, keep a few more general gifts in the house. These are gifts that can be given to most anyone. Things like gift baskets, picture frames, or holiday-themed presents. While these types of gifts aren’t the most personal, you will save yourself from running around “to get something.” Let’s face it, a gift you buy at the last minute usually isn’t personal either.
Buy a Couple Small Gift Cards Early in the Season
Gift cards can be used as a quick last minute present, or to supplement another gift. (And hint: I have them here on my site for the art lover on your list.) If you have someone that just popped over to your holiday party, you’ll still have a gift wrapped for them that they will appreciate. If it turns out that you don’t need to use the gift, see if it has an expiration date and if not, then save it for next year. If it does, use it yourself. Many places also offer a bonus gift card (such as buy one for $100, get $20 additional free), so even if you end up using it, you’ll be giving yourself the gift of extra money. Purchase these early on so you won’t need to run out at the last minute.