Navigating Holiday Shopping

Tis the season of gingerbread, pine-scented car fresheners, and rolls of paper that seems to be made to rip rather than wrap. Should you stick to a budget, should you plan for cyber-Monday or black Friday sales? Everyone’s family dynamic is different and the expectations that come with it. While I can’t address for everyone’s unique scenario, I hope I can help you focus on what about this season makes you feel happy.

Don’t Stress the Holiday Shopping

Focus more on the person you are gifting to than the gift. Research does actually show that it’s the thought that counts. What about them do you want to celebrate? Is there a new hobby or passion that you can encourage with your gift? If you’re still stressing, try a bit of structure to help you navigate the challenge:

  • Know what stresses you during the holidays and find ways to focus on what brings you joy
  • Make a list and start early (especially if you are wanting to handmake or personalize the item)
  • Ask for help. If you pick out the item, maybe your significant other or friend can run to the store or order online for you

Create Memories With Your Holiday Gifts

In a society that focuses on consumerism it’s easy to get lost in the stuff—literally, with piles of toys or closets packed with clothes. A more recent trend is to contribute to activities that create memories for years to come. Here are some ideas!

  • For the family with kids: contribute to a membership to a children’s museum or zoo
  • For the creative: contribute to a Master Class membership or a local workshop like painting. Here’s my local art gallery offering oil painting classes.
  • For the couple: get them a gift certificate to a painting class like Wine and Canvas, an axe throwing adventure, or their favorite restaurant
  • For the outdoorsy: contribute to a National Parks annual pass

You get the idea!

(Psst. Do you, or someone on your shopping list, like cozy fantasy and short reads? Releasing Friday is my winter holiday fantasy short story, The Lady’s Crownbearer Magic, gift giving, bard mayhem, and a mythical creature!)

Holiday Shopping Summary

Remember, while it can feel rewarding to gift someone something special, the receiver’s joy is a reward of its own. If your niece loves manga, but you think buying a book is boring, try imaging her joy at receiving her most favorite thing in the world. Go ahead, buy what’s a snore fest for you because the person receiving it will know that you know them, that you see them, and that you want them to be happy.

Tell me your tricks for stress-free shopping this holiday season.

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