Tips for last minute Christmas shopping
Christmas; the most wonderful time of year. Love, laughter, gifts, pigs in blankets, lots of tinsel, twinkly lights, more pigs in blankets. What’s not to love?
I love myself a bit of retail therapy, and I especially love buying gifts for people. But let’s face it, 9 times out of 10, Christmas shopping isn’t as magical as they make it look in the movies, or as fun as we wished it was. And it’s especially awful when you leave most if not all of your gift shopping to the absolute last minute. This is the story of my life every single year. I’ve somehow lived through doing my crimbo shop on the 24th of December, so here I present (nice lil pun) you my tips for getting through it. Learn from my mistakes, people.
Make a list, check it twice.
When you’re not rushed, prepare yourself by writing down a list of what you want to buy each person, or what you think they’ll like. Don’t go with the ‘I’m sure I’ll find something’ attitude. If you make a list but you do end up finding a better gift, that’s a bonus.
The magic of the internet.
Have a browse online at the shops you’re likely to be visiting. This will give you inspiration for your list and with a bit of luck you’ll turn up, grab what you need and be back home in your pjs binge watching Friends in no time (this won’t happen, lol).
Prevent the ‘hangry’ meltdowns
Eat a big breakfast/lunch before you head out. I’m talking a feast. You don’t have time to eat out and about. And have you tried shopping when you’re hungry? Don’t do it.
‘London is so beau…mission abort, I said mission abort!‘
Avoid popular shopping places and markets, especially in central London. Those places are a delight if you’re there to enjoy the pretty lights and maybe pick out a few bits. They are hell when you’re holding what feels like a billion heavy bags whilst battling for some walking space along with several hundred eager shoppers. Try out a cute town in the suburbs, it’ll likely still be busy but not horrendously ‘get me out of here now‘ crowded.
Take the bags to the car, shop some more, moan your arms ache, repeat.
If you can, take a car. I don’t drive yet and the lack of freedom is painful. Carrying heavy bags around all day will hinder your motivation and productivity, and you’ll probably get distracted by a shiny object on the shelf and leave them in the walkway for someone to trip over. *puts head down in shame*. If you don’t have a car, well hopefully you have a strong set of muscles and a decent amount of willpower.
Only take with you what you need.
If you don’t have a car, pack as light as possible. I usually take all of my cards out of my purse and put them in my pockets. A rucksack works wonders compared to a hand bag.
Dare to bare.
Well, not really, but don’t wrap up warm. Forget the scarf, hat and gloves. They are very unforgiving when you’re dragging yourself around an abnormally mild store. You don’t want to be collapsing or even worse facing a migraine when you’ve got mountains of wrapping to do.
Gift wrap. The satan of all satans.
For the love of God, buy your gift wrapping separately. That stuff is awkward to carry on it’s own, let alone along with ten other bags!
It might be stressful, but last minute Christmas shopping is a sure way to throw you right into the festive spirit. Every shop in town is going to be playing your favourite Christmas classics and everything will be covered in tinsel. It only happens once a year so embrace it and enjoy it before the long, cold, and boring January arrives. Also, you might be in with a chance of picking up many items in the sale. This has happened to me several times. Maybe last minute Christmas shopping isn’t a bad idea?
Remember what Christmas is really all about.
When I was younger and had just started earning money for myself, I’d get carried away with the amount of presents I’d get for each person. Now, like most adults, I’ve realised Christmas is not about what you spend in terms of money. It is how you spend the time. It’s all about having the family together for a day or two and being thankful for the love and thoughts you have for each other. No gift can compensate for the love you give. Sorry for getting all deep there.
How do you get through those mad last minute sprees?
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