How To Avoid Shopping Stress This Christmas

Shopping Star by photo_gratis (CC BY 2.0)

Shopping Star by photo_gratis (CC BY 2.0)

The holiday season brings with it many joys but also one huge downer: stress! While there can be many stressful factors over the holidays, none is quite as universal as shopping. Whether you’re trying to create memorable holiday decorations or finding the perfect gift for that special someone, shopping at the holidays can be a pain. The good news? It doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips to decrease holiday shopping stress.

Photo by: 401(K)2012
Photo by: 401(K)2012

1. Don’t Break the Bank.

Gifts are about showing people you love them, not out-shopping everyone else. Try to save money before you start shopping so you don’t break your personal bank showering others with presents. Remember the Cardinal Shopping Rule: avoid using a credit card  so you aren’t tempted to spend beyond your means.

2. Make a List. Check it Twice.

Before you head to the mall in your comfy shopping shoes, make a list of the people you’re shopping for, some items you think they might like and a general shopping budget. This will make it less likely that you will forget anyone special on your shopping list. You will also be less impulsive and avoid multiple trips to the same store. Do not deviate from the Shopping List!

Photo by: prayitno
Photo by: prayitno

3. Outline a Shopping Plan.

It’s a cliché, but a little preparation will save you tons of stress while you’re shopping. Waiting until the last minute to do your holiday shopping can be frustrating and expensive. You’re less likely to find the specifics on your shopping list after the crowds have emptied your favorite stores.

4. Repurpose, Reuse and Recycle for Holiday Décor

Shopping for decorations can be fun but wasteful! Instead of shopping for tacky garland and the newest trendy ornaments, go vintage and green! Construct a peace sign wreath made of repurposed twigs or almost anything you can imagine.

Photo by: thedaisychick
Photo by: thedaisychick

5. Go Online Shopping.

Shopping malls can be particularly crowded during the holidays. Many online retailers offer competitive prices, convenient delivery, and best of all, zero crowds for your stress-free shopping pleasure. Take advantage of great ebates to get cash back for purchases at many retailers. Online coupons can save you even more money – and stress! – while you’re shopping.

6. Giving is Receiving.

Shopping is fun, but sometimes we buy more than we need. Consider ditching the shopping bug entirely, and donate to some charities. Instead of shopping for a new puppy you aren’t sure your Aunt Becky really wants, consider making a donation to the ASPCA in her name. Send some old furniture to Habitat for Humanity or help Make a Wish come true for a child this holiday season.

How do you lessen shopping stress during the holidays? Tell me in the Comments section!