17 November 2015

Lifestyle | Take the Stress Out of Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping, two words to strike fear into the heart of even the most seasoned shopper: suddenly there are more choices that ever before; should you buy the gift set or would they prefer just the individual fragrance? Does anyone even use the scented body lotions? Wait - what do you mean I get a free clutch bag with the set - SOLD! Bugger, what am I going to do with another clutch bag?! 

If you've never had the above conversation with yourself standing sweaty palmed in the beauty hall of any department store then you, my friend, have never truly been Christmas shopping.

I have a pretty haphazard approach to Christmas shopping, it's eternally hit and miss, but this year I decided that I wanted to take all of the stress out of shopping so that I could full enjoy the build up to Christmas and that's exactly what I've been able to do.

image source: Google

Lists are your friend
When you go food shopping, you make a list (well, you should, even if it's just on your phone) and Christmas shopping should be no different. Make a list of all of the people you want to buy presents for and then make a list of what you're buying for them, this will help you with the next point.

Budget - this applies to time as well as money
For me, the key to the success of my Christmas shopping this year (which I'd finished before November *insert sassy emoji*) was that I budgeted not only my money but also my time. Just in the same way that it's easy to over-spend, it is just as easy to over-shop.

Once you know who you're buying for you and what you're buying, you can allocate a budget for each person and make sure you stick to it! There's no point in setting a budget if you're just going to rip it up and ignore it.

When it comes to budgeting your time, set time aside that is solely for Christmas shopping. For example, if you're going to put a Saturday aside to do the bulk of your shopping then that is what you need to do. When you have a clear idea in mind of what you're looking for, and as you've made a list you should, then you'll know which shops you need to visit and plan them around your local high street/shopping destination.

Buy online 
If you start early enough then you can do the bulk, if not all, of your Christmas shopping online. This was the first year I purchased most of presents online and it really was a weight off my shoulders: no queuing in stuffy shops whilst laden down with shopping bags, shifting them agitatedly from one arm to the other because they're too heavy, no viciously swiping people's kneecaps or ankles on the tube with the obnoxiously large Dove gift set that my mum wants every year and no rush to grab the last item on the shelf.

Another bonus of Christmas shopping online is that there's often discount codes floating around or online exclusives and it's always nice to be able to gift someone something they've never seen in store before.

Take advantage of in-store gift wrapping services
I hate wrapping presents with an unrelenting passion. It is my least favourite thing to do. I'm terrible at it and I find it the most stressful part of the Christmas shopping process so where possible, if a store offers a gift wrapping service then take advantage of it! At Christmas a lot of stores will offer this as a complementary service but sometimes I just have to splash out and pay them to wrap it for me, I mean £3 is a small price to pay to maintain my sanity. 

Most online retailers will also offer complimentary gift wrapping but I rarely do this, just in case something just broken in transit. I like to look at what I've bought before I gift it. If you're not quite as peculiar as I am, then gift wrapping is a great way to relieve unnecessary stress.

If you're hitting the shops, be prepared
With the plastic bag tax now in force, make sure you take plenty of bags with you; if you have loyalty cards then make sure they're in your purse, not only will you notch up points for next year but you might have enough on there for money off your shopping and don't forget your list(s)! 

All in all following the above steps really took the stress out of my shopping this year, I've loathed Christmas shopping for the last few years and found it a complete and utter chore but this year it was a breeze and now I feel like I can really enjoy the build up to Christmas and all it has to offer because I've got the most challenging part out of the way.

What are your top tips for stress-free Christmas shopping?

Vicky x


  1. Thanks you sharing these tips, they will definitely help me this Christmas. xx



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