Christmas shopping can be incredibly stressful. From high streets filled to the brim with stressed out shoppers wielding bags of gifts to desperate parents willing to fight you for that last item of the shelf. Working in retail I seen all sorts of crazy in the run up to Christmas, and every year I try my best to avoid the madness that is Christmas shopping.
I thought I'd share some of my tips to surviving Christmas shopping with the hope that we'll all get through the festive season without getting lost amongst a crowd of stressed out shoppers.
1. Get organised
This may be obvious, but it's surprising how few people actually plan when they're going to buy everyone for Christmas. Admittedly I'm not very good at actually sticking to the lists I write, but they're always a good place to start. By planning what gifts you need to buy it's a lot easier to work out how much time you'll need to buy everything and where you can get them from. Once you've done this you can plan shopping trips around the stores you need to visit and avoiding wandering around countless shops and making extra journeys to purchase those forgotten gifts.
2. Do your research
There is a lot of money to be saved if you do a little bit of research. Yes it can be tedious searching the internet to find the best deal, but a quick ten minute search on Google I managed to half what I was spending one some of my Christmas gifts - money that should have been saved but is much more enjoyable in the for of Starbucks! A lot of stores launch sales and loyalty promotions throughout November and December, so by researching what shops sell the things you're looking for you can earn yourself a lot of bonus points and make the most of the time you have when you're out shopping.
3. Love mornings
As much as it pains me to say it, mornings are the best way to avoid long queues over the Christmas period. I recently spent nearly thirty minutes queuing in shop and was still nowhere near the front and had to leave before I paid for my items - never again! Where ever possible I try to get into the city centre as soon as the shops open so that I can quickly get in and out of each store while they're still tidy and free from epically long queues.
4. Buy now collect later
Buy and collect services are amazing and can be a real life saver this time of year. If you're not able to get your shopping delivered to you home why not get them delivered to your nearest store or Collect + and pick them up at a time that is convenient with you? A word of advice though, be careful when paying with PayPal as many companies are unable to process refunds directly into your account in store and instead can only offer you a gift card which isn't ideal for everyone.
5. Online isn't always best
While online shopping can be absolutely amazing, it's not always the best way to do your Christmas shopping. Some websites charge ridiculous amounts for delivery and others are unable to guarantee that you'll receive your order before Christmas day. Also, if you're working a lot in the run up to Christmas you may be unable to stay at home to wait for you parcel to be delivered and have to pay for a redelivery or collect your order from your nearest depot which always seem to have the most unsociable opening hours.
I love buying people gifts but I hate Christmas shopping. These tips help make the whole thing a little less painful and easier for everyone. By planning my shopping trips and avoiding the midday rushes, I've managed to avoid all of the angry shoppers and busy, untidy stores. How do you survive Christmas shopping?