Shopping Season is here Again
Well folks, it’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years….the Holidays are upon us once again. Many people including myself find the holiday season a special time of the year. It’s a joyous time that involves, good friends, good family and good food! But of course that’s only the end result. Before we can begin all the fun, there’s one key thing we must do…..Shop!
So I was thinking this morning on my way to work about this. Every single year I tell myself, “Self, I’m going to start my shopping early this year.” Whether it be just buying one gift here and there until completion or doing short spurts of power shopping now and then. But as most of us probably make this self-pact, it never comes to pass. I never seem to do what I know I should, and that’s to get started early. I usually come up with some kind of excuse like, “well…if I buy this early, someone may purchase what I got them before I can give it to them.” Of course that’s a logical argument. But the fact remains, most of us are last minute shoppers, so here’s a few of my thoughts on getting prepared for battle!
Make a Plan
The fact that most people out there are probably last minute shoppers leads to one logical step. To make a plan of action. This could include things like making mental notes, or even jotting down ideas on paper. Try to figure out what you want to get for everyone in advance. It’s so much easier to come up with ideas in the comfort of your own home than it is to try to impulse buy for everyone. Although there is nothing wrong with impulse shopping, but when confronted with a massive crowd of competitors, it’s sometimes hard to make rational decisions regarding what to purchase.
Prepare for the Road
As we all know, the streets are also a battle field. The streets are more crowded during the holidays and shopping days than any other time of the year. So decide on where and what stores you want to visit in advance, and make a list of them. Then either consult a map, or plot out your directions online. Some of you may have a GPS unit for your vehicle, most of those allow you to plot courses allowing for different stops along your destination. So if you can plot a worthy course and stick to it, you should have no problem taking care of business. And by all means be careful. Nothing can
put more of a damper in the holiday spirit than a great big pile up on the roadways. Here in Texas we don’t get much snow, but if you’re in an area that has bad winters, you have to take extra precautions while on the road. It may not be so much yourself that you need to look after, but all the other wild drivers on the road. That’s who you have to look out for.
I believe it’s important to also plan for a break at some point. Make plans to stop somewhere along your route to have lunch, or dinner depending on the time you’re out. Having a bit of a rest can help mentally and allow you to make adjustments in your schedule if needed.
On a special note, if you are going to be traveling during the New Year, be especially safe. January 1st is the second most deadly driving day of the year as I discussed in my Statistics from Behind the Wheel post.
Don’t forget the Accessories
Ok, so we’ve made a successful and safe shopping trip so far. But think about this. You get through all the hustle and bustle and finally make it back home only to discover you didn’t get any wrapping paper, tape, ribbons or name labels for your packages. That means you’ll have to get back out on the scary race track and venture out once again in hopes of a safe return.
So keep this in mind when shopping, nearly all shopping establishments will have these types of accessories available for purchase, normally up close to the registers or front of the store. It only takes a second to look through what they have and make a decision on what kind of wrapping paper to get. Be sure to get plenty of tape as well. Nearly every year I will run out of tape and have to go for more, what a pain! Remember to make sure you have scissors as well, if you have a pair and verify where they are then great. They also make these nifty little paper cutters made just for wrapping paper, they’re real cheap and work great, it’s worth the investment.
All these tactics work great for Thanksgiving shopping also. The grocery store can sometimes be just a ruthless as the department stores or sometimes worse. I know for a fact the supermarket parking lots are extremely dangerous. Seems like everyone is on cloud 9 or something during these times and don’t look where they are going. So you may need to look twice, once for you and once for them. 🙂
Remember, the main point of all this…..Good friends, Good family and Good food! So let’s make it a safe one this year and have a great time. All it takes is a little planning and some good strategy and the holiday season will be superb!