It is less than 7 weeks until Christmas!! Are you cheering or panicking? Do you know who is on your Christmas list and what you are getting for everyone?
What is meant to be a festive time of year can often become stressful and upsetting. For parents there is often nothing more demanding than trying to organize shopping trips with their little ones in tow or in between school & kindy times. I am not an avid shopper at the best of times, so if you add five times the number of people, long queues, impatient people trying to get prime parking, and Christmas carols over and over, well, a gift voucher for everyone from Bunnings is looking very appealing! Except I don’t think the kids will be happy…
So how do you take the stress out of shopping for presents at Christmas?
- Set your limits. What is your limit on prezzies and who; aunts, nieces & nephews, friends, teachers, sports coaches ….? If you have more than one child, this can become very expensive. Set your limits on who to give presents to, and how much will be spent on each of these.
- Plan the pressies. Can/will some be home-made? The personal touch and savings are enticing. If you know what you are buying, make a physical list and stick to it. Tick them off, do not keep it all in your head, the carols in the shops will be in your head enough to wear you down. If you do not know what you are buying, browse the catalogues and get ideas. Impulse buying is easy this time of year, your credit card will not like it.
- Plan the event. Set the date to shop, allowing plenty of time on the day. You really do not want to have to handle the chaos multiple times, so the more you can get done in one or two trips the less stress for everyone. When my children were young, I used the mid-year winter sales to layby toys etc. Any time from now is a good time to go shopping, the closer to Chrissy the crazier the shopping experience becomes.
- Go without the kids if you are buying for the kids. Ever tried to hide a pressie when the kids know you are buying prezzies, and then the brother tells the sister what she is getting? Book a babysitter at cherishedcherubs.com.auif you have to, the look of surprise and excitement on your child’s face on Christmas morning makes it all worth it.
- Psych yourself up. It is like going into a boxing ring, but if you know what is coming, it makes it a lot easier to handle. Don’t be in a rush, you may need to go to a multitude of shops, and most of all, smile, even if you are gritting your teeth underneath!!
- If you can, have the store do the Xmas wrapping on the spot. Provided free from some shops or may only cost a gold coin donation. You get to save time and hassle, plus the money often goes to a good cause.
Keep it in perspective, organise, shop, and be thankful that you are able to shop and share with those around you.