Don’t do it all at once
Honestly, are you actually mad? Do you REALLY want to go out mid – December and do ALL of your Christmas shopping? You will only come back and realize you have forgotten to get Aunty Pauline that novelty Christmas jumper you only buy her because she gets you an equally shit present every year.
We live in a wonderful age whereby there is loads of technology on offer for you. Why not do some online, and then some in store? Also, most stores now have an online shop where you can get an item put by in case you really are worried those awful Christmas jumpers will sell out.
Make the most of vouchers and loyalty cards
When I went to the Philippines, I came back to my Mum proudly telling me she had bought a new iron with the Nectar points I had been saving up for about 3 years. You see, like most people who are approaching 30 I LOVE a loyalty card.
Boots and Superdrug are the ones who are quite big in the game for me for my Christmas shopping, but there are loads more out there you can start collecting on in January. Also, route round the back of your cupboard for vouchers. If you are like me, you get vouchers for everything and shove them in your purse and sort through them when you are in an awkward or boring social situation. Now is the time to get them out!
Make a list – but don’t stick to it, have options
As lovely as it is to have a ‘plan’ and an idea of what you want to get everyone, that soon goes tits up when you are walking around Lakeside. Don’t beat yourself up when you can’t find the exact thing you want for someone, the art of gift giving is giving someone something that lets them know you thought of them, and let’s be honest, getting anything for free is pretty good.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t start early
We all know that one annoying tosspot that started their Christmas shopping in February. Well SORRY if life got in the way of our Christmas shopping between January and November.
Don’t panic. Online stores like Amazon and eBay tailor their services around the Christmas period to make sure you can get your deliveries on time.
Similarly, all of the high street shops you know and love do not go around with a blindfold on every December, they know there is going to be a heightened demand for products and they absolutely expect it.
Take some headphones
The shops start getting busy from September onwards, so unless you really are one of those tosspots that finishes shopping in August you really are going to have to prepare yourself for some unwanted situations. These include:
- Armpits in the face
- Complete lack of personal space
- Queue jumpers
- Mad trolley dashers
- Pram pushers taking out the back of your legs.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent any of this, so the best you can do is to take along your headphones and download an album you like and switch off from the world.
Get in town for the crack of dawn
People, by nature are lazy. Everyone has the best intentions for Christmas shopping then obstacles like prosecco get in the way of your planned early start. Be the savvy one, lay off the mulled wine the Friday night before and get up and get in town in time to have a McDonalds breakfast and start early.
You will congratulate yourself when you are going OUT of the car park when everyone else is coming IN.
Stop for a glass of wine
Seriously, stop off in the champagne bar (yes, Lakeside has a champagne bar), and have a drink. Not only will it take the edge off but you might get some enjoyment out of utterly mundane situations like that little old lady who insists on paying for the One Direction album she’s bought with 2ps.