Tis the season to be jolly…and to do a lot of shopping. While some people don’t get into the gift-giving that comes with the holiday season, many people do at least exchange small trinkets. However, there’s a certain amount of stress that goes with giving gifts, especially if you don’t know what to buy a person or are on a limited budget. However, there are a few ways you can make your Christmas gift giving a little easier.
• Make a list of everyone you’re buying gifts for, what your budget is, and what you’re going to get them, if you know. This will help ensure you don’t spend way more than you were planning, and it will also help save you time. You won’t be wondering aimlessly around the mall looking at things—you’ll have a plan!
• Shop early if possible. Waiting until the last minute means dealing with crowds and facing the possibility of not finding what you want.
• Shopping online also makes the holiday season less of a pain. However, again it’s very important to shop early. Otherwise, you may have to either pay for fast shipping or wait until after Christmas to give your gift.
• If you have family or friends spread across the country, it’s usually convenient to send a Christmas centerpiece with flowers, a poinsettia, or even a fresh, decorated Christmas wreath from a local florist. In the DC Metro areas, check out MyFlorist’s Christmas flowers, centerpieces and poinsettias.
• Don’t be afraid to ask someone for gift ideas. It’s better that you ask than get them something they already have or don’t need.
• Keep all your receipts just in case, especially when buying electronics (something may be defective), fragile items (things can get broken while being shelved in the store), and clothing (not all brands are sized the same).
• Food is always a good gift, especially if you know what someone likes. Desserts, cheese, and candy are hard to beat. Be certain the person doesn’t have a medical condition and needs to avoid certain food, of course. A bottle of wine is also a good gift for some people.
• Gift cards aren’t always a bad idea, and they aren’t always seen as impersonal. For those who often eat out, a gift card to a restaurant would be appreciated. College students might enjoy a gift card to Starbucks. Instead of guessing what books someone might want, get them a gift card to a bookstore.
• You don’t have to buy all of your gifts. If you knit or crochet, make someone a hat, scarf, or blanket. Scrapbooks are great gifts, too, as are original pieces of art. Get creative! Sometimes, in fact, handmade gifts are much more personal and touching than something bought at a store.