Christmas Shopping Made Easy

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    You are already wondering what you are going to get for everyone, but you should really be out buying a pumpkin. Again it begins... what we promise we won’t get sucked into this time, but always do. Christmas was so magical once, and now all you can think about for the next three months is how you are going to please everyone with gifts. Using just one or two of these tips may allow you to enjoy the less material aspects of the holidays a little more.

    You know all those gift basket catalogues that companies begin sending you in August? These are actually huge pleasers. If you have ever received one, then you know how much fun it is to have some holiday snacks and spirit just magically appear at your door at the beginning or middle of December. Send these out to all of your out of town friends and relatives that you might not get a chance to visit. Many of these gift baskets come with a cutting board, wine rack or decorative basket, which will give them something to keep after they’ve shared all the goodies. If you were planning to spend $30 to $40 bucks on a couple, you can actually get them a nice selection of gourmet delights. Try keywording “gift baskets” and you will be able to get half of your shopping done in an hour. You can also send a Christmas card with some of these baskets for a couple of extra dollars which checks another item off your holiday to-do list.

    Instead of spending hours at the mall, put some of your art or craft skills to use. You can make large, postcard-size watercolor pictures, scarves, candles, or just about anything. Just pick something you enjoy doing and make an evening out of it. People really do appreciate hand-crafted items and artwork. It is a very personal gift which they can cherish and it keeps you from spending hundreds of hours and dollars at stores playing the guessing game with gifts.

    For those of you that try to fit all the gifts you have received and will be giving into your car as you caravan hundreds of miles, there is yet another way to relieve the gift crisis. Agree with a set of friends or relatives that you will all treat yourselves to a delicious dinner somewhere instead of giving gifts. You could also all buy tickets for a play or sporting event. This will let you spend time together enjoying one another’s company, instead of sitting around watching each other open gifts.

    The key is to be creative and open to alternate definitions of the word “gift.” Presents can be saved for the kids at Christmas one year, or turned into a night on the town. Most people are exhausted by the Christmas process, but don’t have to be. Find your way around the stressful holiday routine, so you and your friends and family can enjoy your time together!
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