6 Tips in Surviving the Christmas Shopping Madness
It can be a jungle out there! Unlike any jungle, however, you cannot just shout roar to anyone – not to the senior citizen who cut the long line at Cashier 14, to the pregnant lady who just pushed the down button on the elevator, to the shrieking 4-year old baby girl who wants a Barbie and not a Hello Kitty! These scenarios are inevitable whether you are in the most sophisticated malls in Makati or elsewhere.
Since the BER months had officially started, for everyone’s sake, here are some practical tips to survive the jungle err— the shopping malls come the holiday rush.
Hey, this commercial nailed it!
1) Set up a budget, and stick to it. The latter seems hard. What you should do is to figure out the holiday budget for the entire year instead of trying to squeeze additional money somehow come the BER months. Save at least 5% of your salary each month.
2) Create a checklist and timeline. Group the persons on your list as family, relatives, friends, co-workers, etc. You may also list the person in order of importance with your godchildren as the most important, of course. Kidding. On a serious note, try to keep a general idea of the total amount that you are willing to spend for every person.
With such information, you can keep track of the presents by writing when and what you intend to buy that particular person across his or her name. Having said this, you can categorize the names based on what they want (i.e. books, housewares, gadgets), so you may buy as many gifts when you are in a store.
3) Be quality conscious. Compare prices. Buy in bulk. Buy people what they want, not what you want them to have. Give gift certificates instead if you are not sure what the person wants or needs. Buy extra gifts in case you forgot someone in the list.
4) Have a Christmas shopping plan. Visit mid-week; not on weekends. Go as early as possible, so you can visit more shop and buy the best gifts. Go against the crowd. You may also try the late night shopping hours. Did I hear you say midnight sales?
Also, go to bazaars where you’d surely find good deals. When buying presents, make sure to keep the receipts especially for expensive items that may require returning in the near future. Check the terms, conditions and policies.
Wrap the presents ahead of time, not two days before Christmas. Label the gifts adequately. Don’t buy items that easily gets outdated. The kids won’t appreciate this for sure.
5) Wear comfy clothes and shoes; no jewelries, no gadgets more so if you are going to brave the Philippines shopping Amazon – Divisoria! Bring only the essentials such as wallet, hand sanitizer, list, pencil or pen, hanky, phone. Eat before you shop so you won’t be tempted to buy extra food you see on the aisle especially when dining is not in your to-do list for that day.
6) Reward yourself. You’ve just been through a chaotic yet fulfilling saga at the mall, so it is time to pamper yourself. The littlest of things count. This doesn’t mean to buy yourself something that’ll only add up to the expenses. For instance, give yourself a whole day to rest.
The author is tempted to include 7) Get festive! But knowing us, Filipinos, no need to remind us. Did you know the Philippines has the longest Christmas celebration in the world? We hear Christmas carols as early as September 1st. Christmas officially ends on January 6th known locally as the Three Kings’ Day.
Fill your Christmas with sparkles and not stresses regardless of how jungle-like department stores can get during this time of the year. Gifts are good, but it is never fun to frequent the hospital during this season. What more lying on your hospital bed on Christmas Eve due to fatigue? Well, that the worst that could happen.
Sources: Bath Christmas Market | Great Canadian Holidays | PhilStar | LittleMissKessa | FemaleNetwork.com
Image credits: ThePinoy.com | Glogster.com | AshleeProfitt.com