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Sunday, November 18

Avoid the 'Nightmare Before Christmas' With Early Holiday Shopping

We all know the last minute Christmas shopping routine by now-- Rush out of the house at 10 a.m. with your coffee, wait forever to find a parking space at Target or Walmart and hope to come back home with gifts sometime before 10 p.m.! Late shoppers, why torture yourself by wasting an entire day among hoards of other last-minute shopping “crazies” and risk trampling injuries? Do yourself a favor and start a little earlier this year, not a day or a week early, but two whole months early and look forward to an organized “Christmas Countdown.” Start your Christmas shopping in October, and you will be amazed at how enjoyable it can be. Here's why:

More Time to Prepare for the Holiday

The best thing about doing holiday shopping in October is that with the task out of the way, you'll be able focus your energy on preparations for the coming season. You'll also have plenty of time to exchange or return gifts or decorations if needed, and you can assemble everything in a timely manner. Instead of spontaneously grabbing any holiday card in site from the row of greeting cards at the pharmacy, do something out of the ordinary. Find a specialty card from a holiday store or create your own greeting. For example, holiday cards give you the option of incorporating your own photos in the greeting, making for a highly personable and crafty creation. With early shopping, you'll also be left with time to make other crafts like dinner table centerpieces and around-the-house decorations that will dazzle your home and win over your guests.

Shorter Check Out Lines

There's nothing like navigating through the store with a full shopping cart to find a clear checkout line and a cashier that doesn't look like he or she is having a nervous breakdown. If you do your holiday shopping as early as October, you'll be able to take advantage of time flexibility and better store conditions. You'll have less of a chance of having to deal with long lines of impatient shoppers, refunds and checkout errors. Online shopping is another option that is easier to do early in the season and will alleviate the need for trips to the store altogether. With the hefty amount of time ahead of you, you can compare gift prices online to find the most affordable purchases. There are resources like Cyber Monday that can be helpful, as they list all the best deals and coupons for major retail outlets.

Peace of Mind

I don't know about you, but for me there's something about last-minute holiday shopping and the knowledge that everyone's in the store for the same reason that kind of gets under my skin. Maybe it's the relentless passer-by chatter of “Welp, it's that time of year again, huh?” Or maybe it's the fact that last-minute shoppers are stressed and frantic and sometimes flat-out mean. A store full of procrastinating shoppers has a certain chaotic, angry feel to it. Why go shopping for happy holiday gifts in an unhappy and stressful environment? Starting your holiday shopping in October is a much smoother alternative, allowing for more focus and peace of mind. It can be inspiring and fun to go browsing for holiday gifts before Halloween even starts.

If you methodically plot out your holiday shopping well in advance, you can have a stress-free holiday season. With all of the craziness that ensues in that special month, why would anyone want to add more craziness by doing your shopping last minute? December should be spent with your family, relatives and friends. It should be enjoyed to max and taken one day at a time with winter trips, ice skating in the park, taking long romantic walks with your special someone and preparing delicious dinners. You should be making sure you and your loved ones are having the time of your lives... Not waiting in lines for hours at department stores!

Contributed by:

Heather Wood

Heather is a blogger and Twitter fanatic who follows anything that has to do with home interiors.

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