How To Find The Best Christmas Gifts For Family And Friends Without Losing Your Sanity

Burj Khalifa
Source: Flickr

Depending on one’s perspective, choosing appropriate Christmas gifts can either be a joyful exercise or an avoid-it-until-the-last-possible-minute disaster. Kudos to those who handle buying Christmas gifts with ease: your finesse is to be applauded. For the more wretched shoppers who can use a bit of help, here are some tips to make finding great Christmas gifts a little bit easier:

• Make a list – there’s no shame in writing down names and ideas before you hit the stores. Even Santa needs a list to keep track of Christmas gifts! It’s a good idea to shop for Christmas gifts for immediate family and close friends first. Once you have all the must-buy-for people stroked off your list, you can concentrate on others people like neighbors. Having a list will also help you avoid unintentionally buying two Christmas gifts for the same person, and if you’re working with a limited budget, seeing a written record of everyone you want to shop for gives you an opportunity to trim the list to a more manageable size.

• Shop early – yes, shopping carts grow bigger and more difficult to handle and shoppers desperately combing store shelves for Christmas gifts get even crankier and more unruly as the big day approaches. Bypass the crowds by shopping earlier in the year. Whether you’re touring a summertime farmers’ market or just hanging out at the mall while the kids catch a movie, keep your eyes peeled for possible Christmas gifts you can buy early and have wrapped and ready to go before the first Christmas flyers hit your mailbox. If you’re really savvy, and you know someone who loves Christmas, take in the Christmas-themed merchandise sales in early January to find inexpensive ornaments, glassware and other goodies that make great Christmas gifts for those who sing Jingle Bells all year long.

• Go online – the World Wide Web is a Mecca for shoppers of all types and you’re guaranteed to find super ideas for Christmas gifts for family and friends without ever having to leave your home! Better yet, if you’re a klutz with tape, many online retailers will wrap and ship Christmas gifts to either you or your intended recipient for very little money. The selection of goods that can be found online is incredible, so don’t be afraid to try something new when searching for Christmas gifts this year.

• Budget – for a budget to be useful, you have to stick to it. Think about how much you want to spend on Christmas gifts before you shop, and don’t despair if you can’t afford a lot. Christmas gifts don’t have to be expensive to be appreciated. In fact, inexpensive handmade Christmas gifts are often the most cherished items under the tree. Consider crafting your own Christmas gifts: family photo scrapbooks, homemade mustards and gourmet salad dressings, or knitted scarves are all sure to be loved, and require only a little money and a bit of effort to create.

Buying Christmas gifts doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little planning and thought, you, too, can have friends and family saying, “Oh, you shouldn’t have!” as they open their Christmas gifts on Christmas morning.

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