It is hard to believe that Christmas is almost upon us already. It is Christmas Eve tomorrow, I can safely bet that a lot of people have some gifts still to buy. And heading into the shops on Christmas Eve is sometimes a bit like a death wish. I have done the bulk of my shopping on Christmas Eve for the last few years. And whilst every year I say I’ll get organised earlier, it never happens. But for those in need, I thought I’d share a few pointers to getting your Christmas shopping done on Christmas Eve.
1. Lists are your best friend- I rely on lists a lot to get things done, but feel it is essential to getting shopping done efficiently. I usually have 2 lists. One, is full of names of the people I need to shop for, this gives me an idea of the number of gifts I still need. Second list of shops I’d like to head to. Do this by looking at your lists, and even looking online to give you ideas on where to look.
2. Give yourself a time limit- There are times where a slow paced doddle round the shops is a great way to spend a day off, Christmas Eve is not one of those days. Your aim should be, to get in and out as soon as possible, as getting caught amongst the crowds can be very stressful.
3. Visit shops strategically- If you park your car at one end of the town, work your way from your car, buying as you go. Hit every shop in sequence, and go to the areas you need. For example, no point getting caught in the make-up aisle, if you are looking for perfume.
4. Look for deals- the good thing about leaving shopping late, is that there are always A LOT of deals going around. Usually deals are situated in specific areas, like Boots and their 3-for-2. Or, end of range items are marked on the shelf. Scan the aisles for any ‘sales’ labelling in areas of interest. Also, if you work for a big company, check with your HR department for any corporate deals you could benifit from. They may be for meals out, which could be a good cost-effective way to treat someone you are struggling to buy for. I did this last year, and treated my friend to a meal instead of a gift.
5. Skip that sit-in Starbucks- Think of what coffee shops are like during the weekend, and multiply it by at least 3. You might think that Latte will help you complete your shopping, but 15 minutes waiting in a queue, surrounded by tired screaming kids, grumpy parents and then find there are no seats. It won’t only de-rail your shopping mission, it could put you in a foul mood.
If you can keep to your plan, and keep focused, you can get shopping all done in a few hours. Last year, I was just over an hour getting all my presents. In fact, I had so much stuff could have done with Santa and his sleigh to give me lift home. I wish all the luck to anyone who is braving their local High Street or shopping centre tomorrow, and I hope you find the right thing for those special people in your life.