With Black Friday just around the corner, and Christmas on our noses, its time to wise up, strategize and prevent another year of regretful purchases.
The combination of large masses of people, small confined places, a short deadline, screaming children, long lines and so called "bargains", one can seriously suffer from a holiday brain freeze.
What exactly defines a shopping fail?
To put it simply, if you end up with a pile of stuff, you do not need, you have failed. The goal is to find gifts within your budget that come from your heart and will be appreciated and kept for a lifetime.
Here are some easy tips to guarantee an A for your upcoming shopping excursions.
I know, it seems excessive and overly prepared, but this is a must, if you are on a budget and you have a list of must buy friends, and family. Take at least 10 minutes the day before you go shopping to write down one or two gift ideas for each person, with price range considerations. Leave a box next to each name, and check off as you purchase each gift.
2.) Have a plan-
As much as I love to go Christmas shopping with friends and enjoy the festivities, I warn you, be careful. It is so easy for you to get distracted by the glitzy glamour of a holiday sale, mixed in with a good old chat. Have a plan, a budget, and an idea of which store to go to. If you just mindlessly walk around for hours, you will end up with sore feet, a migraine, and bags full of things you really won't care about.
3.) SALES are your ENEMY-
If you see the big bold words SALE, or buy one get two, stop, think, and back away. Alright, sometimes you get lucky and a product you normally use is half off, and this is the moment to stock up. However, normally during the holidays, they are the quickest way to fail. They are a distraction from your plan and should be observed cautiously. Holiday sales are meant to drive profits. They offer deals that attract you to buy by price and not by content. How many times have you purchased a buy one get one half off gift and given the exact same gift to 2 different friends? I know I have, and it really is not a heartfelt way to gift something to anyone. The reaction is always lukewarm, and forgettable.
4.) A Gift is a Treasure Hunt-
Perhaps the most valuable tip is the intent of the gift. I personally search for little treasures that can be cherished and remembered for a lifetime. Maybe an antique ornament, a dainty necklace or a well made cashmere scarf. Try avoiding products that are meant for only a moment, and that end up in the trash pile for Spring cleaning. The world really has enough waste as it is. The holidays are about creating memories. Let your gift be a fingerprint in their heart that they will remember forever.