Low Stress Shopping

The upcoming holiday season should be a time of joy and happiness – but too often it’s filled with stress and tension. One way to reduce that anxiety is simple: Plan ahead.

If you already know what you’re giving as gifts, start shopping now — before the malls are packed and you have to fight for parking, merchandise or your place in line at the register.

Write down your gift ideas before you head to the store, so you don’t wander around, overwhelmed, looking for the right gift. And since there’s a chance your first gift idea might not be in stock, include alternate selections for each person on your list.

Researching gifts so you can buy them on sale is great, but do yourself a favor – take sales flyers with you so you don’t end up going from store to store trying to remember where it was advertised. For the smaller presents you give to babysitters and mail carriers, consider gift cards. They save you time and give the recipient some choice.

Finally, you can take the headache out of possible returns. Simply ask for a gift receipt when making your purchase and staple it to the merchandise tag. By going into your seasonal shopping with a plan, you can ensure gift shopping doesn’t ruin your holiday spirit.

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