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Stress-Free Christmas Shopping: Tips for an Enjoyable Holiday Season

11/9/23 | Kinsey Love, Digital Marketing Manager

Christmas Tips

The holiday season is a time of joy, love, and togetherness, but Christmas shopping can be overwhelming. There are so many options and possibilities for shopping on top of holiday planning, parties, and events. There are plenty of strategies and tips to make your Christmas shopping experience stress-free and enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you get started with early Christmas shopping so you can have an enjoyable holiday season:

Make a List

Create a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for. Include ideas or preferences for each person, which will make it easier to find suitable gifts. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even make a spreadsheet to track purchases for each person and track budgets at the same time. Lists will help you stay organized and not forget anyone. If you’re a list person, you might enjoy checking off names as you complete purchases, giving sense of accomplishment.

Set a Budget

Determine how much you can afford to spend on gifts in total and for each person. Sticking to a budget will help you avoid overspending, which is one of the leading causes of holiday stress. You can even set a budget for decorations, dinners, and other holiday expenses. Stick to your budget and stay on top of your stress.

Start Early

Begin your Christmas shopping as early as possible, ideally in the months leading up to December. This gives you more time to find deals and avoid the last-minute rush. Avoid the crowds at stores and take advantage of early holiday deals.

Consider Wish Lists

Ask your friends and family to create wish lists or share gift ideas with you. This can make your shopping more efficient and ensure your loved ones receive something they truly want. Share your budget with your family so they can make recommendations that fit within your budget limits.

Shop Sales and Discounts

Keep an eye out for sales, discounts, and promotions throughout the year. Many retailers have sales during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other events, so you can take advantage of those deals when you shop early. Sign up for email alerts from your favorite stores so you know when their sales happen.

Getting a jump on your shopping and staying organized will help reduce the stress during your holiday season, but another option for keeping your holidays enjoyable is to think outside the box and consider alternative gift ideas. Try making gifts, shopping local or supporting a small business.

DIY Gifts

If you're crafty, consider making homemade gifts. These can be both heartfelt and budget-friendly. DIY gifts can also be less tangible. You can write a song or poem for someone or do a service that they didn’t expect.  

Gift Cards and Experiences

Consider giving gift cards or experiences, such as spa days, cooking classes, or concert tickets. Experiences may even happen on a later date, which helps deemphasize the importance of instant gratification. Gifts like this can be a thoughtful alternative to physical gifts.

In a 2021 survey, the American Psychiatric Association found that 2 in 5 adults, or 40% of their respondents, were worried about finding holiday gifts and 46% were worried about affording gifts. Christmas shopping should be an enjoyable part of the holiday season, not a source of stress and anxiety. A few simple practices can help you keep the crazy at bay and help you remember to enjoy the holidays.

Tips to Stay on Top of Shopping

  1. Wrap and Label Early: As you buy gifts, wrap and label them immediately. This will save you time and stress as the holiday season gets busier.
  2. Keep Track of Purchases: Maintain a record of what you've purchased, who it's for, and how much you've spent. This will help you stay organized and avoid overbuying.
  3. Avoid Procrastination: Don't leave your shopping to the last minute. The earlier you start, the more relaxed and enjoyable the holiday season will be.
  4. Stay Mindful of Shipping Deadlines: If you're ordering online, be aware of shipping deadlines to ensure your gifts arrive on time. Many online retailers provide this information.
  5. Stay Flexible: Be open to adjusting your gift ideas if you come across something better suited for a particular person. Flexibility can lead to more thoughtful gifts.

Early Christmas shopping and organization not only reduces stress but also allows you to enjoy the holiday season with more leisure and joy. Plus, it gives you extra time to spend with your loved ones. So, help yourself take the stress levels down a notch and pick some strategies that will keep your holidays merry and bright.


Kinsey Love is the Digital Marketing Manager at Altabank. She specializes in content creation and strategy and enjoys all activities you can do in the mountains.