Christmas shopping is not for the faint-hearted or weak-willed.
No, no my friends. This is the time for the battle-hardened shopper, likely to have been in training for months, to take centre stage. To come into their own. And ultimately, to utterly outshine, as you’ve never before seen, the novice.
If you think shopping is not a sport, prepare to be amazed.
There are techniques and strategies the expert shopper could teach you that would rock your world and as anyone who has ever gone Christmas shopping knows, you can most certainly win or lose.
Enter the arena with no list, no strategy, no time-plan and at the wrong time of the day… and you’ll more than likely end up curled in a fetal position in the corner of some coffee shop with a sad few bags, teetering on tears, wishing you could Sabrina-the-Teenage-witch yourself back home. I’ve been that sad person. Trauma is the only word I can use to describe it.
You do not want to be traumatised.
I’m not an expert shopper but I do come from a family of said experts who have ingrained certain fundamentals in me that I feel I should pass on in the spirit of Christmas giving. Happy shopping and best of luck!
1. The Early Bird Catches the Worm. Go early. If you can, get into town before the shops even open. There are many benefits.
Parking – This will give you a chance to find a nice parking spot without having to drive around for ages looking for a space or having to park miles away, which can induce further trauma at the end of the day when you’re lugging back all those shopping bags.
Quiet Shops – Uh, how much nicer is it to have some actual space inside shops to let you walk around and look at things without bumping into people at every turn…
Empty Streets – Have you seen Grafton Street on Christmas week? Looking at it even makes me panic. Shopping takes twice as long when the streets are busy, constantly having to weave in and around other people, or push past all the tourists and people “soaking up the atmosphere”… I like a soak as much as the next person, but only once the shopping is done 😉
Get in early, get everything done and then you can sit and chill with a coffee watching the world go by. THEN you can soak and enjoy it all.
2. Make a List – Just like Santa does. Make a list of people you want to buy for, the presents you think you’re going to get them and the shops you need to hit for these particular items. This will save a big chunk of time and aimless wandering, which you can use later to enjoy properly.
Don’t waste your day fretting and clueless.
3. Bring a Wing Man – Christmas shopping can be daunting and overwhelming. So many presents to buy, so many shops to go to and just SO MANY PEOPLE to push your way past. At some stage, you might find yourself crumbling and losing the will to live. A good wing-man to keep up your spirits and inject a bit of fun or some light banter is the perfect antidote.
Not to be underestimated.
4. Coffee Breaks – Essential. Caffeine for an extra kick, sugar from a good snack and fuel for the soul is exactly what’s needed to keep you going when the energy levels start to flag.
My thing is usually to have coffee when I first get into the city (after point 1) and have parked the car – talk strategy with my Mum and review the shopping lists and plan. We then get as much done as possible before stopping again around lunchtime for a gingerbread latte and muffin. Nutrition aside, this does wonders for my soul.
5. Don’t Lost the Run of Yourself – Wandering around the shops, it can be so easy to find yourself picking up extra bits and pieces for people, which soon add up. It can seem like a nice idea at the time but if you have list with presents for everyone on it, then stick to it. The presents you’ve already put thought into are likely to be far better than anything you pick up off the cuff.
6. Wrapping Paper – This isn’t an essential, just a handy tip. Check your storeroom or attic (or wherever it is that you keep all your Christmas crap) before you hit the shops. You might find that you already have a few rolls of wrapping paper leftover from last year. I always do.
Just a few rules to help you on your way. Not too many, just enough to remember 😉
HAPPY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!!!!!!!!!!!