This post is written by contributing writer, Jenni from Live Called.
Sitting in her cozy home, Molly finishes writing out her shopping list to buy gifts for her loved ones. Outside the winter wind blows and she can almost hear the howls of discontentment from the slaves of commercialism. She shivers as she remembers the anxiety caused by Christmas shopping last year. “If only there was a way to avoid the road rage, disgruntled shoppers and seasonal stress,” she wishes.
Have you ever felt like this? I know I have. Honestly, I despise having to go to just about any store–and especially the mall–during the Christmas shopping season! Thankfully, there is a way to avoid Christmas stress with a little planning.
6 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Shopping
1. Support small businesses. Although you still have to get out, you can avoid the big crowds by going to locally-owned stores. Personally, I would much rather spend a little more and support a family-owned shop than brave the mega-stores and add to their billion dollar profit.
2. Shop throughout the year. Dedicate a large container to be a “gift box” and store items for people as you find them. Not only will this save you a headache at the end of the year, it can also save you money when you are able to find things at a discount. In addition, you can shop out of this box for birthdays or random celebrations that pop up during the year.
3. Finish early. Set a date to finish your shopping before the season begins. My mom often has her gifts bought and wrapped before Thanksgiving. I haven’t managed to follow in her footsteps in this area yet, but is something I hope to aspire to one day.
4. Buy online. The wonderful world of the internet opens many avenues for shopping. Sites like Amazon and Etsy are great places to find that perfect gift. I have even found presents for my daughter on Craigslist.
5. Get crafty. As an alternative to buying handcrafted gifts, you can make your own. I suggest browsing Pinterest for an abundance of ideas, tutorials and DIY projects.
6. Go gift-free. This is the completely stress-free option. You can always decide to give up buying Christmas gifts all together. Some people believe this is the best option for themselves and their family. Maybe you are one of those people.
I hope these tips have given you a few ideas to help ease the sometime burdensome chore of shopping for Christmas gifts. However, no matter what your situation is, I believe the greatest stress-reliever is giving your anxiety to God and choosing joy. It is only then that you can truly be stress free.