Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Feature: 5 Essential Tips to Christmas Shopping

Christmas is the busiest time in terms of shopping because everybody has to make some type of purchase whether gifts, decorations or food in addition to the everyday essentials that we all need to buy. Thus, you can't just randomly roam around; you have to know what you're doing.
Let me just start you off with a few general shopping tips that can be applied at any time of the year, whether Black Friday, Christmas or Boxing Day:

Top 10 Tips
Top 10 Clothing Shops
Top 10 What Not To Do

Now, for the uniquely Christmas tips:

5. Brand names are important.

Some may not admit it but everyone likes brand names simply because of the popularity (although quality is often better as well). Whether it's shampoo, clothing or coffee, everyone wants the real stuff. And Christmas isn't a time to be pinch pennies; it's a time to show your love and care for people.

4. Hurry in the stores, not on the roads.

I know you're in a rush and I know you have better things to do but for your own safety, don't try cutting through hundreds of cars on your way to the mall to save a few minutes. In the winter especially, it's a hazard because of the slippery, wet conditions as well as the low visibility.

3. Remember to wrap.

Not putting wrapping paper on your gifts makes the recipient feel uncared for so just take a few moments to properly wrap what you give.

2. Shop on weekdays if you can.

The weekends see malls crowded with people each scurrying their own little way, and not caring who they irritate while they do this. On the other hand, weekdays are a lot more peaceful without the stink, heat and crowds of Saturday and Sunday. Parking spots are available and you don't have to worry as much about thieves either.

1. Know what you need.

It's easy to blow a holiday budget and even the most frugal of people can do it. I understand that you want to be a generous as possible but you have to stop at a certain point. So gather all the wishlists, make your own shopping list of things you need to buy for the big party and go armed with these. Inevitably, you're going to spend a bit more but it's always better to have a few guidelines.

One More: Don't be distracted by Christmas displays or events.

There's always going to be Santa Claus visits, special decorations and what not but you have more important things to do. Refrain from strolling around a shopping center examining each little Christmassy item.

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