Holiday gift giving made easy in 6 steps

Holiday shopping can be challenging enough without having to buy gifts for those who you don't know well. That's why we spoke to Upper Canada Mall's Jennifer Kleinberg, who assures us that holiday shopping doesn't have to be stressful.

Holiday gift giving
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Christmas is right around the corner, and it's time to start making those shopping lists. When it comes to people who you might not necessarily know that well, you'd be surprised how easy it is to go overbudget simply because you're stuck for ideas.

Luckily, we spoke to shopping expert Jennifer Kleinberg, who offered her tips for keeping Christmas shopping affordable, easy and successful.

1. Begin with a list
Christmas shopping can be overwhelming, so make sure you're organized from the get-go.

"Make a list of everyone that you're going to be buying for," Kleinberg begins. "That way you're not feeling the pressure when you get closer to the holidays. Also include any information that you happen to know about them. So if you're buying for a niece or nephew, write down how old they are and what size they are, so that way you won't be stuck wandering the mall [debating] what to pick up."

2. Budget

As presents add up, your budget can go out the window. But that won't happen if you pre-emptively determine what you're going to spend, promises Kleinberg.

"It's important to decide what you're going to spend per person," she advises. "Set a budget and be realistic about it. Find out from your family and friends what budgets you're looking at."

"It's also a good idea to hold on to your receipts," she continues. "That way you can compare how much you spent to how much your budget was."

3. Don't rule out gift cards

Gift cards are a great gift idea -- especially if they're for somebody like a babysitter or another professional.

"Gift cards give [people like] teachers and babysitters a chance to buy something they really want," explains Kleinberg. "So if it's for a teacher, get a mug and put the gift card inside with some tea, and that way you're doing something other than just giving a gift card in a box."

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This article is featured on Our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide