By Sarita Rajiv
It starts off with anticipation, grows to excitement, peters off into weariness and inevitably ends with panic. That’s how the gift giving season is for a lot of people. The lead up to Christmas sure is interesting. But as Christmas inches closer, the days can be fraught with gifting stress. Perhaps you’re all too familiar with these scenarios and, the madness that is Christmas gifting is driving you crazy.
Scenario 1: You’re confused about what kind of gifts to get.
Scenario 2: You know what gifts to get but you hate the actual Christmas shopping.
Scenario 3: You’re patting yourself on the back for being super organized this year. You’ve finishing all your Christmas shopping well in time when you realise you’ve forgotten to buy gifts for a couple of people!
Scenario 4: Too many gifts to wrap and too little time.
Scenario 5: All of the above.
But wait, what if there was a method to the madness? There are a few simple things that have always worked for me when it comes to gifting. Here are my:
1. Make lists. Banish ambiguity and indecisiveness
There’s nothing like a handwritten or typed list to keep you focused. Start making your Christmas gifting list early on in November. Keep adding family members and friends and what you’d like to give them as when you remember someone or some thoughtful gift ideas. This way, the chances of forgetting to get gifts for someone in your family or among your friends is low.
2. Start early and spread it out
Don’t leave your Christmas shopping for the week before Christmas. Start your gift shopping early. And to avoid shopping fatigue, spread out all the buying over a period of time. And if you’re making some gifts yourself, give yourself enough time to do all the prep. Splitting your list into mini lists like kids gifts, gifts for siblings, parents and grandparents is a one way to do it. You can also try splitting it by gender. That way the whole gift process is not overwhelming and tiring.
3. Go online
So you have a fair idea of what gift to get whom. But you’re procrastinating because you hate the actual shopping and are not looking forwards to the crowds at stores and malls. That’s where online shopping comes to the rescue. Most physical stores also have an online shop and a decent returns policy. Save time and effort by ordering your gifts online.
4. Gift card it
If you’re feeling uninspired about what gift to get friends and family members, get them a gift card. Gift cards don’t necessarily have to be boring. Instead of getting a gift card from a large department store that has bit of everything, get something that’s more in tune with the recipient’s likes. For instance, a friend of yours loves to read but you’re not confident about what kind of book you should. Get her a gift card to a book store. It’s likely to be more appreciated than a gift card to a clothes store. Going niche is the key here.
5. Simplify your gift wrapping
If like me, you don’t like using the standard gift wrapping from stores, create one of your own without much effort. Pick a simple colour theme and style, get all the material you need and set it up on a large table.
Now create something similar to a production line (somewhat like how things are made in a factory following a specific process) by enlisting the help of your family. For instance one person can wrap the gift, the next adds the toppers and ribbons while a third writes the recipient’s name. You’ll be amazed by how efficient and quick this method is.
Hope you find these tips for stress-free Christmas gifting useful. Do you have any special tricks you use? I’d love to hear how you make Christmas gift giving more fun and less stressful.
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