And How To Survive The Silly Season
The holiday season is always one of the most hectic times of year, especially for parents. With presents to buy and the children on school holidays, sometimes it feels almost impossible to get it all done. Some of us wait till the last minute, purely because we run out of time! If you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet, don’t worry! You are not alone!
Not only is holiday shopping time consuming, stressful and hard on the hip pocket, it is busy and with children, often chaotic. With this in mind, we have come up with some of the best tips to help you get through all of your shopping this silly season!
If Possible, Shop Early!
This is for 2 reasons. Try to shop earlier than December. Along with shopping centre Christmas Carols and Santa setups, the crowds tend to start at the beginning of December. If at all possible, try to do your holiday shopping in advance. Loads of people tend to spread it out throughout the year, so by the time December comes, they are all ready to relax and enjoy the festive spirit. It also gives you time to scope out specials, discounts or, if you shop online, any free shipping deals which will help toward you saving money this silly season.
Secondly, if you can’t get to the shops before December, get there as early as possible in the day! The earlier you arrive (eg. just before opening) the better chance of getting a carpark, there are less crowds and you are more likely to be in and out a lot faster with your items in tow.
Hire A Babysitter!
If at all possible, try to get a babysitter to watch the kids before heading out into the holiday shopping fray. Babysitters too expensive? Another option would be to swap babysitting duties with a friend or family member who also has children and needs to get some shopping done. Being on your own without the children will make it a lot faster to get all of your shopping done. If at all possible, getting a babysitter while the children are sleeping at night means you can take advantage of the overnight shopping and 24 hour openings of larger shopping centres. There are often less crowds in the middle of the night.
If a babysitter is out of the question, avoid taking the children to the shops around meal times, nap times or late afternoon when they are worn out from the day. There will be less meltdowns and it will be much easier on everyone.
When shopping with children, it is important to ALWAYS take snacks! Kids get hungry at the most inopportune times, they say they are hungry when they are bored and often claim to be hungry as you walk past the brightly coloured, sweet smelling lolly and chocolate aisle!
Taking water bottles, other drinks and healthy snacks will help keep everyone’stummies happy and healthy and hopefully stop any grumbles. It will also save you money, as shopping centre food courts and cafes are often expensive and don’t always have healthy options readily available.
Making the family happy these holidays is important to everyone. By subscribing to your family’s favourite stores email lists, you will get sent a heads up on any upcoming sales and promotions. Companies often provide exclusive benefits such as special discounts and gift vouchers to shoppers and potential customers on their email promotions. Hearing about hot new items your kids may be interested in with a discount is often a great way to come up with difficult gift ideas! You will also hear about any online specials and free shipping offers, which can often mean you don’t even need to go into the brick and mortar store, missing all that holiday shopping centre craziness.
Join Sales And Coupon Sites
Sale sites are undoubtedly one of the best ways to save money on gifts this holiday season.More often than not, they are free to join and provide you with access to heavily discounted designer toys, clothes, and services for your kids. This can also help with discounts on any holiday activities in your area, helping you provide family holiday fun while saving money!
Do Your Homework!
The internet is a wonderful place, and you can use it your advantage while shopping for family holiday gifts this season. Researching online will help you find the best prices and places to go for your holiday shopping needs. It can also help you find out where your nearest store is, and if the item is in stock, saving you the trouble of driving around to numerous places. Websites often have a wishlist option, which is also really helpful if you need to make a list of what you would like to get this holiday shopping period. Which leads us to….
Make A List (And Check It Twice)!
Santa makes a list and checks it twice and you should too! Writing a list will help make sure you don’t miss anything you need (even with all the holiday shopping distractions!) and can help prevent you from impulse buying. Planning, writing a list and having a budget planned can help you save money this holiday shopping season.
It’s OK To Say No
It is understandable that as a parent, we want to give our children everything their little heart’s desire this magical holiday season. Often, children don’t understand the value of money or the costs of their requests. Should the problem arise where your dear little one asks for something unattainable that you simply can’t afford, don’t be afraid to say sorry, but no, not this time. Many of us save during the year for the holiday period, but with the cost of living rising, it is hard to get as much together as we would like. The holiday season is just one part of the year, don’t overspend and get yourself in trouble for the rest of the following year.
Finally, Enjoy Yourself…
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and everyone loves receiving gifts. The most important thing to remember this holiday shopping season is that it is the thought that counts, and showing someone you love and care about them enough to give them a gift is one of the best gifts the holiday season can bring.
Relax and enjoy it.