The holidays are just around the corner and like most of you I am not prepared for the chaotic shopping, traffic and long lines. The holiday season is a good time of year to lose your sanity and rush to buy décor you regret that will end up being garbage at the end of the holiday season. Here are my top 5 tips for holiday shopping and decorating.
Invest in a collection
When it comes to holiday decorations I am never prepared and I rush to buy stuff after thanksgiving is over, so I run to the closest store and find the cheapest stuff I can find. It’s better to plan ahead and look into your décor shopping earlier on in the year. Odds are the décor will be cheaper since prices won’t inflate since everyone else is shopping at Christmas time. Byers Choice Figurines are excellent for holiday decoration. Collecting these figurines can continue to grow through the years and can be passed down to the next generation; some of them can even increase in value and be worth a lot of money.
The last thing anyone wants to do is fight the crowds risk accident or injury rushing from store to store to buy everything you had on your list. Online shopping is where I do 90% of my Christmas shopping, for both decoration and gift buying for family and friends. Finding deals online can sometimes be a challenge which is why I recommend using slickdeals.net. This site is awesome for black Friday shopping. People are constantly posting deals from around the web and I always find great stuff at amazing prices, be sure to keep tabs on them during the holidays for all your shopping needs.
The holidays is always an excuse used by everyone to get into major debt, and a lot of people by Christmas time the following year are STILL paying off that debt. I recommend to always pay cash, using either a debit card or cold hard cash. Because when you’re out of money, you’re out of money, and don’t need to worry about being out of money and having extra debt on top of it. Put a budget together based on your income and what you can afford and stick with that budget. Just because you can’t afford a brand new iPad like your neighbor doesn’t mean you have to break the bank just to look good to your friends and family. Holidays are about spending time with family and friends, not about who can spend the most cash, so know your budget; $100 means $100 not $120…
Make Your Own Decorations
It is fun to decorate your house for Christmas, but it’s unrealistic to make ALL your decorations. So bust out your collectibles and family heirlooms then have a craft night with the kids. Making your own Christmas decorations is a fun way to get the family involved in activities during the holidays and save money while doing it. A lot of people will spend $100’s and $100’s of dollars buying decorations that will end up being thrown away anyway, so why not make them out of inexpensive household objects instead and have a blast doing it. You can find 100’s of “how to’s” online on how to make your own holiday decorations.
A gift exchange in which you choose one name and put more thought than money into picking a single gift for that person instead of spending a lot of money shopping for every sibling, parent, grandparent, nephew, niece, spouse, friend and in-law. Gift exchanges are a lot of fun and give you more time to put a lot of thought into a single gift that person can appreciate more than getting a dozen cheap gifts that will find their way to the dumpster in a month or two.
By Stephen Cowan, Stephen is a freelance writer and internet marketing guru with a wide range of known topics and expertise in the SEO industry.