I am reminded this time of year how much I dislike shopping. I feel the sense of urgency with the shoppers and I get a little panicky even though I am relaxed. My husband and I made the mistake of pulling into the Target parking lot on busy holiday shopping weekend to buy a bottle of water and I looked at him and we exchanged looks that we both knew we had made a big mistake. We maneuvered our way out of the parking lot like it was a maze in a war zone filled with obstacles. We high fived as we exited the parking lot unscathed. We didn’t even enter the store.
I don’t shop often but when I do I need to keep a few things in mind.
Shop when the stores first open. Stores are open extra hours this time of year. Go to the stores website and check their holiday hours. Most people aren’t at the stores when they first open unless there is a door buster sale going on. And if there is a door buster sale, be warned, it will be busy.
Shop smaller stores. I love shopping little boutique stores in our community. They tend to not be filled with shoppers. The mood is more relaxed. Most often they are locally owned. The local stores I shop know me by name. I love great customer service and the fact that they know my name makes me feel a little special.
Shop with a friend. If I am going to maneuver the crowds I am going to make it fun. We will stop of tea or lunch and people watch and make an afternoon of it. For me the holidays are always about connections with our friends and family. So make a date with that friend and have fun.
Get your exercise in. Instead of parking as close as possible to the door of the store, take that spot far away from the store. While in the store or the mall take a couple of quick laps before you even start to shop. If you have seen a mall walker before you know that they mean business. Find a mall walker and follow them at their pace. Don’t follow them too long so that they are creeped out, as nobody likes to be reported to a mall cop!
Stay within your budget. This lesson is for me as life is really comical. When I have the funds to buy gifts I can never find anything. And when I have no funds I find perfect gifts for everyone. I seriously want to just take photos of the gifts I would buy and send a text and say “thinking of you but my budget says no.” I honestly think that most people would appreciate the thought. Now don’t do this with your young child with the toy they desperately want. They won’t think it is funny and neither will their new therapist you will need to schedule them to see.
Stick with your list. Too often I find myself buying “gifts” for myself instead of those on my list. My poor husband has nothing left to by me. I bought the boots I wanted as I found a 50% off coupon. I bought the clothes I needed as I had a coupon. I joke with him and say I should just wrap up the gifts I find and buy for myself. Remind me on Christmas day that I told my husband not to buy me a thing.
Wishing you a joy filled holiday season. Remember that it is the people not the things that create memories. Focus on the people and the rest really doesn’t matter.
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Melissa’s e-book on Kitchen Organizing can be found on Amazon.