I have a love-hate relationship with holiday shopping. I absolutely love searching for the most perfect and thoughtful gift for my loved ones, and watching them open it with giddy faces throughout the holiday season. On the other hand, I absolutely hate the crowded stores (and expensive prices).
Since it’s unrealistic to expect pricing to change anytime soon, let’s focus on what we can change: when and where you shop.
When should you shop?
In July. I’m kidding, sorta. Holiday shopping doesn’t seem to dawn on people until after Thanksgiving (hence the sudden packed parking lots and Disney World’s space mountain sized check-out lines). It may sound extreme, but taking a vacation day to bang out all your holiday shopping may not be the worst idea.
At the very least, do not even think about shopping the following days:
- Black Friday
- December 19th, Super Saturday
- December 26th, Day After Christmas
- Saturday, December 12th
- Saturday, November 28th
- Sunday, December 20th
- Saturday, December 5th
- Monday, December 21st
- Sunday, December 13th
- Sunday, December 29th
So basically, avoid shopping on all weekends for the rest of the month.
Where should you shop? That’s easy (and obvious): online.
Hi, we live in the digital age, so start acting like it. Ordering online is dangerously easy (just ask my boyfriend and the constant flow of boxes delivered to our front door). Shopping online is the best idea this holiday season for the following reasons:
- The best gifts are online.
With Pinterest and Etsy, you can always find the perfect, quirky gifts for your loved ones. Seriously, where else would one find the ‘good day, bad day, don’t even ask’ wine glass for your boss, Friends themed ugly sweatshirt for your little sister, and groom-to-be ‘cold feet’ socks for your boyfriend’s brother. I used to love looking through stores for thoughtful gifts, but now the best ones are online.
- The best sales are online.
Have you seen Amazon these days? They literally have everything, and you can get same day delivery. Before you hit the store, search the item on Amazon, it will probably be cheaper and ship within two days. That is well worth not battling the crowds and crying children at the mall. However, if you insist on going into the store, at least do some research and make sure they match the lowest price you can find.
- The best presents are not procrastinated.
Welcome to your ticket to a stress free holiday season! Sit down and order everything within the first two weeks of December then just relax and wrap gifts as they arrive the rest of the month. That’s exactly how the holidays should be spent – not frantically driving to every Toys R Us in the tri-state area for the new Hulk action figure.
- The best stock is online.
In stores, there is nothing worse than hearing, “you can order that online and have it shipped to the store if you’d like.” No one actually likes that. If you would like that, you would have just stayed home and shopped in the comfort of your messy hair, don’t care look. Save the irritating store clerk and shop where they never run out of stock: on their website!
If I haven’t convinced you yet, then maybe you deserve to battle the crowds, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.