• 12/01/2022

How to Make Holiday Shopping as Painless as Possible

A picture of gift boxes, wrapped in reds and whites and printed paper with ribbons on them, the result of holiday shopping and wrapping.

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While the holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, shopping for them can put unnecessary stress on you and your wallet. The holiday season isn’t always about gifts, but sometimes, you need to get them for your loved ones. Despite how painful holiday shopping might be, you have plenty of techniques to keep your head above water.

Why Holiday Shopping Can Be Hard

Holiday shopping requires you to be tough, especially if you’re going to buy things in person. It can be a difficult season on your wallet, but you know that the look on your loved ones’ faces when they unwrap the gifts you got them will be worth it. Once you know the root of why you dread shopping during the holidays so much, you’ll be able to understand yourself better.

1. Budget

For many people, budget is a major factor in why they dread holiday shopping. Consumers typically spend upwards of $1,000 on gifts during the holiday season. Depending on who you have to buy for, the number might sound right for you. Because of too much spending, people might dread going shopping for holiday gifts.

2. Time

In a world that never rests, many people don’t have the time for much else beyond clicking “Add to Cart.” Most people who shop primarily online do so because they can avoid the crowds at brick-and-mortar stores. If you get your items delivered more often than you set foot in a store, you likely don’t have time to shop around and look for something everyone would like.

3. Life

Sometimes, life just gets in the way. You may have to put money elsewhere that you weren’t expecting to spend, or maybe another person pops up on your radar to whom you need to give a gift. Maybe something came up with your job, and now you have to rethink your plans. Life can be a major stressor in the holiday shopping routine.

How to Own Your Holiday Shopping List

Luckily, you don’t have to dread buying gifts for your relatives and found family. You can set goals for yourself and work up to making larger purchases. Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful, and you can successfully defeat the anxiety that sometimes comes with it.

1. Set Your Budget

You need a budget when planning your holiday shopping trips so you don’t go over. Sticking to a budget can help you determine which gifts you should get and which can wait until another year. The best way to help you set a budget is to look back at how much you spent last year while giving everyone their gifts. That way, you can remember how it affected you in the months following. If you’re financially insecure, you may want to cut back on your budget.

2. Buy in Increments

Don’t try to buy everyone’s presents all at once. If you plan the holiday out ahead of time, you can avoid much of the stress that comes with last-minute holiday shopping. Try to break gifts up by paycheck, and stay as debt-free as possible. You shouldn’t be going into debt to pay for someone’s holiday gift.

3. Search for Deals

Deals and sales will be your best friends when trying to find items off someone’s wishlist. The biggest sale day of the year is Black Friday, which offers major discounts to the people who participate. Around 125 million people in the United States alone plan to take part in Black Friday shopping the day after Thanksgiving. While the crowds might be hectic, you may consider the deals worth it.

4. Make DIY Gifts

Don’t count out DIY gifts. If you have the time to make them, a DIY gift might be a great option to combat the fear and stress in holiday shopping. You can find many materials secondhand, which means you won’t be breaking your wallet to find supplies for a decent gift. Remember to take your time and don’t rush things. Secondhand gifts can be just as charming and even more sentimental.

5. Find Other Solutions

If the pressure of holiday shopping still feels like too much for you, consider other solutions. Talk your family or friends into trying out Secret Santa, where everyone will only have to buy one gift for a family member. You might do a general present exchange, where everyone gets to open one present or can “steal” a present from someone else.

Alternatively, you can learn to manage your stress better. While there may not be a surefire way to eliminate your financial strain, you can at least calm your body down by practicing meditation. Meditation helps ground you, so it can reduce your stress and improve your immune system as you go about your shopping. If you practice it alongside these other techniques, you’ll have nothing to fear from holiday shopping.

Holiday Shopping Should Be Fun

Whether you like to shop in the crowds or from the comfort of your couch, holiday shopping should be a relatively straightforward process. Many people are bound to feel anxiety, as society pressures everyone to spend more around the holidays. Still, you can easily conquer these stressors by planning and following where the deals lead. Bring a friend along to make the experience more pleasant for you. Then, you can enjoy every moment of the holiday season.

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