Friday, December 8, 2017

Gift Shopping 11 top tips! (updated)

I first published a list of tips for gift shopping in 2011 and I reposted it in 2015.  Now, I'm updating the list.  I have fixed the typos, and a bit of the grammar.  Some of my references are a bit more relevant and I have added some links to other articles that might help you along the way.  Thanks for visiting AGT to meet your need for Christmas Survival Tips. Remember to leave a comment if you have any questions about gift shopping! 

Gift shopping is one of those exhausting, sometimes terrifying, activities that could be classed as an extreme sport! 
Here are some tips to survive the Gift Shopping Gauntlet! 
  1. BE PREPARED  Make a list of people you want to buy gifts for and what you are planning to buy them.  Have alternative gift ideas just in case your plan goes awry.  Consider all possibilities.  There are several apps available to help with this tip, click here to check out a list of them.  If you prefer paper and pencil, check out these printable lists from Amanda ( and Organised Christmas.  
  2. HAVE A PLAN This may sound the same as the first tip, but it isn’t.  Before you go anywhere, answer the following questions and decide on the best plan for your circumstances.
    • Is there a shopping centre or mall that will have all the shops you need?
    • Or will you need to go to various locations?
    • How much time do you have to shop, the whole day, a few hours, no time at all?
    • How big are the gifts? Will they all fit in the car? Do you need to catch the bus?
    • Can you purchase everything online and get it delivered? 
    • How long will it take for online purchases to be delivered? Do you have time for that? 
  3. BE SPECIFIC While bulk gift giving sounds quicker and easier, you definitely run the risk of missing someone (or a bunch of someones).  A personal gift that considers each person will be more appreciated. The apps and printables linked above will help you with this too. 
  4. TAKE TIME Don’t wait until Christmas Eve!  Purchase some items as you see them (another reason it's good to have a list going).  Allow extra time, so if you can’t find something you are not stuck in a gift giving disaster! This is also important if you need to purchase some gifts online. 
  5. EAT FIRST When we are shopping we spend far too much time in the food court.  We are also likely to spend money purchasing unnecessary snack foods or drinks while shopping for gifts.  So eat a proper meal and take some crackers in the handbag.  This applies to the online shoppers as well.  Don't get distracted by hunger when you're browsing amazon for perfect gifts. Nobody want to spill Diet Coke on their keyboard and accidentally purchase 15 identical sets of gold earrings! 
  6. STAY HYDRATED If there is a time you are likely to get a headache, Christmas Shopping is one of them.  Crowds, Christmas Music, Children, Sales, long queues!  AAAHHHH! Take some bottled water along with your list.  Dehydration is one of the most common causes of headache and prevention is better than cure!
  7. DITCH THE KIDS If this is one time a babysitter is worth it, it is now.  If you can't get a babysitter, then online shopping might be the way to go. :) 
  8. STAY FOCUSED You are shopping for gifts, not for clothes or shoes or hats or jewellery or craft supplies!  You are not shopping for yourself!  The quicker you get in and tick each item off the list, the quicker you can get home and relax.
  9. SMILE and RELAX Don’t let yourself be sucked into the stress of Christmas Shopping.  Yes, you have set goals and you want to get in and out as quickly as possible, but you can do all this without turning into a Grinch! You have done the hard work by making a list of people and gifts, planning which shops, where and when.  You can afford to relax and enjoy the experience.  Smile at shop assistants and thank them for their help. Be polite to fellow shoppers, no matter how greedy and cranky they may seem.  Remember that Christmas is a time of goodwill and peace on earth. 
  10. WRAP IT UP Know when to call it a day.  If you are starting to get Grinchy, it might be time for a break.  You might even need to go home and save the rest of the list for another day.  It isn't much fun shopping for gifts if all you can think about it your sore feet and aching arms.  
  11. LET IT GO Most importantly... take the stress out of the season by letting go of obligation!  When you make that all important list, cut it in half.  Don't buy gifts for anyone because you feel you have to.  Think carefully about the people in your life who are worth your hard earned money, time, effort and attention.  Many of us have more than enough of what we need.  We even have plenty of what we want.  If you want to show your love and appreciation to someone, some well chosen words are much more appreciated than a silly gift we don't need. Buy gifts for people because you think they will love what you have found for them, don't do it because you think you should. 
More next week.