It’s December so Christmas is on the way! The decorations have been up for some time now and there are cheery Christmas carols being played in each store. The only thing left to do is get off the couch and do some Christmas shopping. Now, if you are anything like me, the thought of going to a busy mall to spend money on other people is not your idea of fun. However, there are a few things you can do to enjoy this experience and make it stress-free.
Before we begin, you need to decide for yourself if you would like to do all your Christmas shopping in one go. That’s what I choose to do but there are a lot of people who prefer going to a couple of different malls, craft markets and boutiques over the course of a couple of weeks. Regardless of your choice, these five tips will help you to make the most of your shopping experience, and this involves a little bit of planning ahead:
1. Decide on your budget per person
Most people don’t have a whole lot of money to throw around so planning ahead is essential. If you have a really small budget, you either need to spend less on each person, or you need to take a few people off your list. Whatever you decide to do, stick to your budget!
If you had to save R100 each month, starting in January, you’d have R1200 stashed aside for Christmas presents. So, if you are very keen to plan ahead, start in January.
2. Make a shopping list before you get to the mall
There are few things more stressful and annoying than walking around in circles, not sure what to buy. Make a list of the presents you would like to buy for each person (and have a couple of back-up plans too) so that when you get to the mall, you have a game plan. Don’t waste time wandering around and avoid making quick decisions as you walk into a shop.
3. Have a game plan
Shopping malls are always busy in December. It is a fact. Before you even arrive at the mall, go to its website and download the floor plan. Get an idea of where each shop is and work your way through the mall systematically. Buy all your heavy presents at the end of the day so you don’t have to carry them around with you all day.
4. Have a shopping partner
Walking around the mall alone can be super boring and uninspiring. Having someone to motivate you and give you good ideas will help you to stay sane. I like shopping with my boyfriend Glen because he has the attention span of a goldfish, so we don’t waste time wandering around unnecessarily. When picking your shopping partner, avoid people who have to look in each aisle of each store if that isn’t your shopping style.
5. Take breaks
Shopping isn’t as simple as walking into a store and buying something. Even with your awesome game plan, you still have to stand in long queues and walk from store to store. So, this is going to be a little bit tiring. Having a couple of coffee and lunch breaks is a great way to get your energy back! Glen and I like to have a coffee break after an hour of shopping, then a lunch break a little later and a coffee break at the end as a reward for our hard work 🙂 You might want to carry a water bottle with you so you don’t have to stop every single time you get thirsty.
If you start to lose motivation while shopping just remember what you’re doing – you are buying cool things for people you love. Enjoy it 🙂