A few classic Christmas experiences most of us will be more than familiar with:
- Spending hours untangling the Christmas tree lights
- Arguing over what to watch on TV
- Regretting the hours spent wrapping the kids’ presents only for them to tear them open in seconds
- Panic buying last-minute gifts when the shops are packed with people in the same situation
Every year you promise yourself, never again, and every year, it’s exactly the same.
Tinggly is here to help with the last of these. Here’s 11 great pieces of advice for last-minute Christmas shopping – how to save yourself time, money and stress!Go in with a plan
Before leaving the house, make a list of who you need gifts for, how much you want to spend on each gift, and also which shops you need to visit, so that you can plot a route. By doing this, you lessen the risk of overspending or forgetting anyone. If you can, shop earlier in the day rather than later as the shelves are likely to have been restocked overnight, and the crowds will be smaller.
Time it right for bargains
Many shops will already have started discounting by Christmas Eve, so if you have a specific gift in mind then you might get lucky by leaving it this late to shop. There is a balance to be struck though – the best bargains are usually to be found the later you wait, but of course you risk finding what you want is all sold out.Shop online
Many of us now choose to do all of our Christmas shopping online – it’s far less stressful, and you can visit 10 stores in 15 minutes from the comfort of your sofa. If you’re going this route, ensure that you opt for guaranteed delivery before Christmas. Many stores will provide a convenient click ‘n’ collect service if you can’t be at home to receive packages, and also remember that online offers can change on a daily basis, so it’s worth checking regularly for better deals in the days leading up to your deadline.Wrapping
Wrapping Christmas gifts can take almost as long as shopping for them. Many big shopping centers will offer a free wrapping service, which if you don’t mind waiting around for a while is a big bonus. Some online shops will also offer this service for a supplement.Points mean prizes
If you have a supermarket points card, Christmas is the optimum time to cash them in whether you’re buying ingredients for the meal, or last-minute gifts.Re-Gifting
You shouldn’t feel guilty about re-gifting, unless you’re returning last year’s gift to the person who gave it to you of course! If you’ve received something that you’ll never use, but that would be perfect for someone else, then it saves waste and frees up some space in your wardrobe.
Perfume is one of the most popular Christmas gifts, and also one of the most expensive. There are many ways to make it easier on your pocket though, as this guide explains. Also, avoid buying people clothes. This is tricky to get right even if you know the person and their tastes well, and clothes rank among the most returned Christmas gifts.
Smaller, independent stores are usually less busy, with more-organised shelves, plus the staff will have the time to help you find the right gift. These kind of shops are really struggling nowadays so even if you just buy a few things from independents, you’re making a positive difference.Save on postage
If you’re sending heavy parcels to friends or family that live in different parts of the country, research the costs of carriers to find the best deals.
Always a good idea if you don’t have any other ideas, or want to be sure your loved one gets exactly what they want, gift cards are sadly not as reliable as they once were. There have been several scandals recently of big retailers going bust and not honouring gift cards, and they also usually carry an expiry date too, so be wary.Gift experiences
Okay so we’re a little biased, but we think experience gift vouchers such as our own are the perfect Christmas gift idea for anyone when you’re low on inspiration. Giving people material items for Christmas is so over-rated!
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