It is not too early to shop for Christmas gifts. In fact, many of my relatives have started and quite a few have completed their shopping. Shopping early has its benefits. To wit:
- Shopping early for Christmas saves you the trouble of squeezing through crowds.
- You don’t have to cram activities in a limited amount of time
- Buying gifts for Christmas early helps eliminate overspending
- Avoiding unreasonable prices during the yuletide season – yup some merchants take advantage
- You get more time enjoying the Christmas season and not be worried about shopping lists
Surely we can come up with other reasons to do your Christmas shopping early. But this is not the point. Rather, we are here to explore to go about early Christmas shopping.
So here they are, Early Christmas shopping tips that will save you a lot of headaches and a lot of cash.
Make a list
Now that seems easy enough. Yup, but here’s what most people forget: Christmas shopping does not necessarily mean just buying gifts. There are other facets of Christmas shopping that you need to consider:
Gifts – let’s just get this item out of the way first. List all the name of the people you want to give a gift this season. Then assign a target budget for the person. My wife and I usually group them according to Family, friends, office mates and miscellaneous. It would be great to find a gift that suits the person. Of course if you are pressed for time, a generic gift would do. But since you are shopping earlier this Yuletide season, you might as well, go a little further and find one that he/she really likes
Decorations – some of us love to reuse Christmas decorations from last year. That is totally fine. However, there are those who’d like to add some new trinkets. My sister usually thinks of a theme for Christmas as early as August or September. Then she looks at photos of the last Christmas and plans her new Christmas look for the house. Buying decorations is fun. But what is even exciting is making themselves. One cousin turns chr4istmas decorations into a family affair. She buys materials and al of them pitches in. What’s great about this is that the kids love it. Plus, they are not in a hurry because they start way ahead of time.
Food purchases – If your family is like ours where food is one of the main joys of life, then you’d agree that stocking up on non-perishable items for your ingredients at an early time is p4ractical. Likewise, there are some Christmas goodies that are best eaten when they are given tome to age. Not everyone loves fruitcake but we do. Aging the fruitcake allows the flavors to mature and thus making it a delight to eat. There are times when we make lots of samples for our friends so that they may even consider ordering. Our Apple crumble gets lots of orders. Earning a few bucks a long they is not bad.
So list down all the things you need to purchase so that when you go to the grocery, you’d have an easier time buying. Do take not of expiration dates. Make sure it will last until the holiday season.
Compare and contrast
Early Christmas shopping allows you to take your time and compare prices. If you are really into reading food labels, then this is ideal for you. Comparing and contrasting items is more than just punching the numbers to see which one gets you lots of discounts. Here are some ideas:
- Check expiration dates
- Check nutritive value
- Check promos
- Consider using coupons to save on cost
Doing you Christmas shopping earlier allows you to make intelligent purchases and not get into the rush of things. Moreover, scrutinizing items allows you to check out numerous brands and find the one that provides the best value for your money.
One of the nicest advantages of the internet is that you can shop right at the comfort of yor own home. This truly makes shopping easy. However, when you are thinking about Christmas shopping, doing it the last minute can back fire even if you are doing it online. I had the unfortunate experience of having to purchase items from an online store early in December. Thinking that it will arrive on time, I clicked purchase. Sad to say, the item arrived 3rd week of January the next year!
- Confirm the delivery time so that it will arrive on a reasonable date.
- Check local post office rules and regulations so it will pass customs especially if you are purchasing from an international stores.
- Know the return policies just in case you don’t like what you receive
Shopping online for Christmas is a wonderful way to save on time and effort. By doing this earlier, you can have enough time to do more during this Christmas season.
Christmas is one of the most exciting times of the year. Many people all over the world make a huge fuss about this. Preparations are done way ahead of time. In the Philippines, some malls are already playing Christmas songs and even sell Christmas decorations as early as September. Yup, Christmas is huge here. Accomplishing your Christmas shopping early allows you to focus on more important stuff when Christmas arrives. You can focus on your family and loved ones.
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