Tips for Saving Your Sanity or How to Get Your Christmas Shopping Done
Christmas doesn’t really have to be made insane by all of the shopping. Here are some tips on helping you keep your cool.
Do we really need to do this one? Shop online when you can. Yes, it is sooooo much easier and if you’re lucky, your gift recipient has a wish list somewhere online. (Like Amazon!) No, it won’t take forever to ship it. If you look at some sites, you’ll discover you can order up to a couple of days before Christmas. (Although, your problem might involve the fact that you might need that service.)
There really isn’t much of anything that you can’t find online and you can get it with just a click or two!
We were over in Spring Place Pottery in Cartersville just last week and there was not a crush of shoppers in any of their wonderful downtown shops. I had the opportunity to meet a very nice potter (Hi, Jim, loved talking to you!) and get the scoop on some of his wonderful wares. I also got to talk with owner Gail Freeman, who is just the sweetest person. Best of all, we got to support a wonderful small, local shop!
How many ways can we say “buy local”? Of course, the best thing about smaller, local stores this time of year is that there just aren’t as many people there. That means that you have the added benefit of better, more personal customer service and no emptied shelves either. The second thing is that you can find some really interesting possibilities that you are going to miss in those big box stores. Go to your downtown and see what’s there. You may find something for your Christmas Shopping Headache that’s better than the biggest bottle of Tylenol!
Buy Gift Certificates
When we were kids, our grandparents gave us two very different kinds of Christmas presents. Our grandmother –Mammy we called her- always gave us something sweet like pajamas or clothes or books. Our grandfather –Papa Kirk- gave us money. He would put it in an envelope, put a Christmas sticker on it, write your name on yours, punch a hole in the envelope and actually tie it on the Christmas tree.
Mammy was always horrified. “Benny!” she would say to him as he was hanging them up. “That is NOT a Christmas present. There’s just no thought behind it at all!”
Of course, while she’s saying that, we’re all thinking ‘hooray, there’s an envelope on the Christmas tree with my name on it and money in it!’
Gift certificates are kind of the same thing. People really love them. You can get them in some really cool places, too. Wildcat on a Wing up in Ball Ground, for example –is a wonderful craft shop with leather purses and handmade candles, jewelry, hand crafted furniture, and a whole host of great items. (Julie and David Boone have the coolest stuff and Boone’s (that’s David) birdhouses would top the list.
Even restaurants do gift certificates nowadays, which is pretty cool if the person on your list has a favorite one. (And restaurants don’t open at 9 am and close at 5 pm, either.) The best part of buying a gift certificate, though, is that you can usually just order it. No trip to the mall, just call them…or visit them online. Our niece loves ones from Chico’s, her husband loves ones from Brooks Brothers. No worry about the price, either, you just choose the amount. If your gift recipient likes a certain store’s merchandise -order a gift certificate from them. They’ll just send it to you in the mail. No trip to the mall, see?
Of course, some people might say there’s no thought behind it at all, but the recipient is probably thinking: “Hooray, there’s a envelope under the tree with my name on it and maybe there’s a gift certificate in it!”
Shop Off Hours
OK, so the grandkid wants something and the only place to find it is WalMart. You have our sympathies, but you can make that trip less insane if you go shopping after midnight. Yes, there really are less people there than there are during the day, even at Christmas. If you can find what you need in a store that is open 24 hours, this time of year those off hours are the only way to fly.
Now this might sound nuts, but it can save your sanity for real. Buy something extra that will be useful as a generic sort of gift. Gloves, a scarf, a pretty one of those blank journals, a set of bath stuff. When you see something like that, buy it and keep it put away for when you realize that its December 23rd and you forgot to buy Aunt Agnes something.
Start Next Month….
Those are my best suggestions for right now, but I’ll let you in on my secret. All during the year I buy stuff for presents. I remember buying a Christmas present for one of our great-nieces on January 5th! I just do it all year long. Last month, I simply pulled down the three big plastic bins full of stuff and voila! I am nearly done.
Next time…buy early. Even better, buy all year long. Then you can have some eggnog while everybody else gets pepper-sprayed on Black Friday…….