Even the most organized among us are sometimes guilty of leaving holiday shopping too late. This is the “Christmas cycle.” You remember that the holidays are coming around about October, but decide that it’s too early to start shopping. But you also know that you always leave it too late, and so you deign to start early holiday shopping.
Early Holiday Shopping
Perhaps you plan to start in November? Then November comes and goes and you decide to put it off. Maybe this isn’t a good time of year financially to start shopping? So, you wait until December. But then you have no inspiration whatsoever.
Eventually, you have only days remaining and you’re rushing around, trying to buy everything in one go. The result? Lackluster gifts, a lot of stress, and no sense of organization! You promise yourself you’ll start earlier next year. And then next year? The exact same thing happens again.
Consumer Shopping Strategies
Okay, guys, it’s finally time to break the cycle! Retailers and shippers have more obstacles than ever this year, from new pandemic-related supply chain disruptions to the usual weather delays created by winter storms. This post will share tips to help you get your early holiday shopping done in an efficient manner that is kind to your wallet AND wins you major brownie points with your recipients.
Tip One: Keep a List or Buy As You Go
Here’s something we overlook time and time again: you can’t force a gift idea. No matter how badly you want to come up with a great idea for what to give your loved ones, chances are that inspiration isn’t going to strike.
Rather, inspiration tends to strike the rest of the year when you’re going about your business and you spot something you know someone will love. Or when they mention something they’re interested in and you think what a great gift that would make.
The best thing to do? Buy that Holiday gift then and there. Buy while you have the inspiration, no matter what time of year it is! This way, you’ll get them something that they are actually likely to like AND you’ll avoid that last-minute rush.
But okay, maybe you don’t fancy buying gifts in June. That’s fine: plan B is to make a list with links on it that you can simply click and shop online to buy in October or November.
Every year we realize we’ve left the Holiday shopping too late, but every year we go and do the exact same thing again. What’s that about?
For a lot of us, it comes down to the fact that we don’t have space to store a whole bunch of holiday gifts. A solution then is to set aside somewhere in your home specifically for gifts. This not only ensures that you don’t have a bunch of early holiday gifts cluttering your floors; it also means that you don’t risk forgetting about those gifts when Christmas does come around.
Remember the Accoutrements
Holiday gift-giving is not JUST about gifts – it’s also about cards, about crackers at the dinner table, and about wrapping paper. This is important to remember, so make sure that you don’t leave those last bits to the last minute and end up with half of a celebration! It can be just as much of a rush trying to find a card that you think someone will like otherwise, so make sure that you have a plan and that you have all the resources you need ready to go!
This is also a great way to manage cash flow, as you aren’t expecting yourself to cough up all that cash in one go. That said, a lot of us like to put off spending money (understandably), so it makes sense to set aside some kind of “holiday budget” to ensure this isn’t necessary.
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