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Stress-free Christmas Shopping On A Budget

Author: LaGeris Underwood Bell
Published: Dec 9 2013

It's a fact: Christmas shopping is stressful. Not only do you have to fight your way through the throngs of other gift hunters cluttering up the shops, but you also have to find a holly jolly present that fits both the recipient and your budget. It's enough to drive you nuts. However, you can keep stress to a minimum and your enjoyment of the holidays to a maximum by following just a few easy tips. Drop that hysterical, tear-stained letter to Santa and read on.

Stress-free Christmas Shopping On A Budget

All I Want for Christmas Is...My Sanity

Juggling your need to cross people off of your Christmas list with your fear of draining your bank account is a tough one. As the big day grows nearer, it's easy to feel your stress level rising. You may be tempted to just give in and spend more than you'd planned. However, there are many great options for holiday gift giving that can keep you in the black and help alleviate your stress. Sound impossible? It's not.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

One of the biggest causes of stress during the holiday season is cash, or more to the point, the lack thereof. While you'd probably love to spend money like Daddy-Warbucks-on-a-bender on every single person on your list, the reality just doesn't work out that way. Set a per person price and stick to it.

For example, you may want to spend a bit more on immediate family members. Go ahead! Splurge on that adorable new niece your sister just had. Something like a play yard for infants is always a great buy.

Co-workers, well--they're co-workers! They can have something less expensive. If you come in under budget on anyone, put it towards gifts for those important folks in your life.

Get In There Early

Don't you hate crowds? It seems the closer it gets to the holidays, the crowds (and people's irritation levels) go up. Though it may feel a bit strange, start your Christmas shopping as early as possible.

Savvy shoppers do their gift picking all year round, with the post-Christmas January sales being a particular favorite for uber-bargain hunters. Not only will you beat the crowds, but you're sure to get better deals than if you wait.

Shop Online

Speaking of crowds, do you ever wish you could just have the whole mall to yourself? Well, you can by shopping online. Nearly every item you're looking for can be found online, and oftentimes for a lot less money.

Online retailers lack the overhead costs of their brick-and-mortar counterparts, thus allowing them to pass the savings on to you. For example, online retailers such as Amazon.com let you buy bulky items and ship direct, avoiding the hassle of dragging them to your car. Online shopping also allows you to gift wrap and deliver your presents to the intended recipient, all without taking your slippers off.

Go Homemade

Get into the true spirit of the holidays all while keeping your budget low by making homemade presents for those on your list. Going homemade is like giving a little part of yourself, and can make a touching present.

Think homemade cookies or candy, home-infused liquors, or even bath products. Not only will making your gifts save you money, but engaging in fun crafts and baking can really help to reduce stress.

Take Care of Yourself

While it's easy to allow yourself to get stressed out during the holidays, keeping yourself calm and happy can help you stay healthy, especially during the colder winter months. Exercising regularly, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and even taking   immunity-boosting multivitamins can go along way to making your holidays bright and fuss-free. In between the hustle here and the bustle there, take time for yourself and engage in relaxing activities such as a hot bath or reading a book.

Allowing yourself to get bent out of shape can really put a damper on a time of year you should enjoy. When you feel that it's all getting too much, remember to step back and take a few deep breaths. This is supposed to be fun! By not taking it too seriously and keeping stress to a minimum, you'll enjoy your holiday to the fullest you can.

Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell hopes these tips will help you have a phenomenally stress-free holiday. For shoppers looking to gift a precious new baby, she suggests a play yard for infants. Baby and mommy will thank you for it.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29638108@N06/5220659212/

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