Today I was talking to a retailer about Christmas Carols. He said that he had noticed that the earlier the stores started playing Carols the more stressed his customers became. He believes many shoppers worry about how they will manage to get everything done in time for the big day.
With this in mind I thought I’d run through my top time-saving Christmas tips.
1. Have a plan for your Christmas shopping. Write a list of who you are buying for and perhaps some ideas of what to get. Using catalogues or browsing online can help you decide on appropriate gifts. Then (this is the critical bit!) decide which stores you will visit and in what order. A little planning will prevent backtracking and save you time. I like to write a store by store list
- Myer – towels for K, t-shirt for D
- K-mart – chocolates for gran, hairdresser and Mrs J. gift tags, wrapping paper
- Kikki K – diary for P
- Fishpond (online) – books for L, T and C.
2. Shop online. Many online retailers will provide free wrapping and delivery, saving you precious time.
3. Ask stores to gift wrap for you. Even if you have to pay a fee it can be worth having your gifts wrapped. They’ll look great and you can save hours if you give lots of gifts. Many stores will wrap gifts while you shop elsewhere, saving you even more time.
4. Get the Salvos to do the work for you! In my local shopping centre the Salvation Army have a gift wrapping stall where they will wrap gifts for a donation. This is a great way to contribute to a local charity while saving time. Check your local centre for similar services.
5. Shop locally. Save travel time and support local businesses at the same time.
6. Call ahead. Many stores will hold items for you if you do this. Even if they won’t hold goods, you can save time by finding out before you leave home if what you want is in stock.