Helpful Tips and Tricks

Holiday Shopping, Getting Ready for the Battle

Montgomery Mall III by Montgomery County Planning Commission, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  Montgomery County Planning Commission


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

Artistic Christmas Tree by photostoronto, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  photostoronto

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!

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21 thoughts on “Holiday Shopping, Getting Ready for the Battle
    1. I know that’s right. Black Friday being a big factor in doing that. Having people line up outside the stores starting at midnight just to make sure they’re the first ones in. Kind of scary that people are that shopping crazed. I understand wanting to get a good deal, but some of these folks get vicious. 🙂

    1. You’re certainly welcome. Staying safe during the holidays is a big deal. I felt the need to reach out with a few ideas that might help.

    1. You are very welcome Samatha…I’m glad you were able to find something of interest here. I do try to cover a wide range of topics.

  1. Very interesting information.
    With the holidays knocking on the doors is good to have a plan and go to shopping prepared because it will be a pain in the a## if you don’t have a list with what do you wan’t and you will lose some time..

    1. I agree completely Gus…Making a list and checking it twice works good for more than just Santa Claus. 🙂
      But in all seriousness, getting organized before venturing out is for sure half the battle….In fact I’ve got plans to start mine Friday…but I don’t think I’ll be taking part in the Black Friday early morning madness…

  2. Can anyone remember the name of the uni.-prof who once said that spending money on gifts is purely worthless in comparison to giving away the money? Having read the studies of this guy will give a fresh perspective on that topic, really.

    1. Lelala it’s possible you may be thinking of Michael J. Sandel, he a professor at Harvard University. He discusses a lot of things about how the value of giving someone the money you would of spent on their gift is more valuable than the gift itself. This is all centered around the corrupting effects of markets. He does make a lot of good points on the subject. Is this who you were thinking of?

    1. For sure this is the busiest time of the year for shoppers, and things can get quite dangerous out there. Remember, always be prepared, and pack your survival kit. 🙂

  3. Just going through some old articles… good to read this one.
    I like this site of yours. 🙂 …. Always a good read with interesting stuff (basically because it is “different” from what you would usually read and it is “light” read). … I joined recently and trying to catch up on old articles as and when I find time.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Hey glad to see you’re finding some of the older gems.

      This last shopping season was a nightmare, people flying around like crazy people. I guess everyone gets blinded by the Christmas Spirit. So I thought I’d try to help out with a survival guide! lol

  4. Not only are fewer people shopping early, they’re also preferring to spend more in-store than online, the reverse of the previous year.

    1. Yes it seems folks are gearing more towards real life shopping rather than the fad of shopping online. But the way things trend these days, the online shopping stores will be packed once again. 🙂

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