Money & Career

Christmas shopping made easy

Author: Canadian Living

Money & Career

Christmas shopping made easy

Let's face it, the holiday season is stressful. With the amount of family and social events you’re expected to attend, it’s hard to find the time to get your holiday shopping done. And, as you discover every year, searching for the perfect tree on Christmas Eve never works, and neither does shopping for your gifts only a few days before the big day.

This year, holiday shopping will be organized, easy and stress free with this downloadable template. Simply record what decor items, gifts and groceries you plan to buy, where and when you have to buy it and the estimated cost of your items. This will prepare you well in advance for all the shopping that needs to get done before Christmas.

Need more guidance to get your holiday shopping done without any fuss? Here are gift-shopping tips to help you get organized.

Shop smart
When it comes to shopping for gifts, nix the mall madness and shop online from the comfort of your own home. If you give yourself enough time, you can order gifts and have them delivered well in advance of Christmas day, giving you ample time to gift wrap.

Donna Paris, life editor at Canadian Living magazine, loves the ease of shopping online. "It's so easy, and I can customize gifts. For out-of-towners, I can get gifts wrapped by some companies and sent to them directly, so I don’t have to worry about getting to the post office on time … I can find things I may not have access to unless I spend hours driving around to boutique stores," she says.

Take advantage of midnight madness sales. You'll get great deals on great gifts for those you love.

Leave the kids at home. Have a friend watch your kids so you can shop more efficiently. Offer to do the same for her the following evening.

Don't underestimate the power of shopping year round. If you see a fabulous cardigan in September you know your sister would love, buy it on the spot. It’s one less gift you’ll have to worry about closer to Christmas.

Make a list. "The thing that causes me most stress is last-minute shopping – I spend way too much money and I never feel like I really get something personal. You just run out of time, and you buy anything you can so you have something to wrap and hand over," says Paris. Making a list will help you avoid last-minute stress.

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