Thursday, November 11, 2010

5 Things You Can Do to Alleviate Holiday Shopping Stress (or Aaaargh! 45 Days until December 25th)

Did you realize that there are only 45 days Shopping Days until December 25th? Aaaargh! NO! Wait! Now is not the time to PANIC!

So, here are 5 tips which you can do right now to avoid complete gift shopping meltdown.

1. Make a List of the People you need/want to give presents to.

I personally LOVE making lists and checking things off them. My list could be as simple as
a) wake up... b) make coffee... c) feed dog .... See? I already feel very accomplished first thing in the morning. So, make a list of names of your people and don't even worry about filling out the "what to give" section yet.

2. Recruit a Helper.

Yes, did you notice? Even SANTA has elves! I absolutely love delegating. If you are not a control freak, this will make complete sense to you. Control freaks? Just remember, do you REALLY want to be wrapping presents on December 24th and miss out on all that eggnog again?

My helper is my husband. Every year, we have managed to draw a line down our list of people quite easily. I am in charge of all the girls since I know the 'girly' stuff. He is in charge of all the boys. And, he does know the boys stuff better than me. See? Easy peasy.

3. Do a little Reconnaissance.

Invest your time in a little investigation and it will go a long way in helping you save both time and money. We all know that meandering around a mall without a clue can be a drain on your energy, time and wallet. So I highly recommend sending a sweet and short e-mail to the significant other of the person on your list. You can also send an e-mail to their mother, brother, sister, best friend, aunt, whomever. I am sure this person will be more than happy to oblige and let you know what the person on your list has been obsessing over. If nothing else, you can find out if they still wear turtlenecks.

E-mail Tip: Send an e-mail with “need help” in the subject line and you’re bound to get a response.

4. Shop Online.

Shopping online is now extremely easy, sophisticated and user-friendly. So, yeah, go ahead, check out sites like Amazon (not just for books anymore) and Etsy (handmade and vintage marketplace). Be hip and cool. Take advantage of all the free shipping deals out there.

Yeah, alright. Sometimes there is nothing like touching and feeling things in person. But then again, if you do your homework and really READ the descriptions, find out the shipping times, return policies, and contact the seller if you have questions. Would it not be worth the hassle of driving to the mall, going in circles to find a parking spot, walking a mile to get inside the store, getting in long lines with aggravated people, going back outside to find your car, finding out someone backed into your car, having to call the insurance company and then the repair shop... well you get the picture.

5. It’s Not all about the Gifts.

So, you’re like, wait a minute, isn’t this advice about gift shopping? And, don’t you OWN an online jewelry store? What’s the catch? Well, although I do own an online shop, I would like to bring to the table this little notion called “charity.”

So here’s my take. Maybe this year, you can be considered a cool and hip HUMAN - not by how many new techno gadgets you found for under $9.99. But, for giving to charity and dedicating the donation to a person on your list.

Yeah , I know, sometimes it does take all the fun away from the shopping. But, listen to this ingenious idea.

Maybe you don’t can the whole list. Maybe you just donate for the people who are really HARD to buy gifts for. You know you have them on that list. We all do! It’s probably why we hate the gift list to begin with. It’s easy enough to buy a bright red scarf for your niece who will squeal and appreciate anything she receives, but not everyone reacts that way.

Maybe they are difficult to shop for because they already own everything cool and new under the sun. Maybe it’s because they have really great taste, and frankly, you can’t afford them. Or maybe, it’s because they are just naturally crabby and no matter what you give them, they don’t appreciate it anyway. Remember last year when you took a whole weekend to find that special something for someone and you didn’t even get a half hearted “thanks”?

So, I recommend that you look at your list, highlight the “more difficult people to shop for," find a charity they would approve of, donate to that charity in their name! Walla! You just cut your estimated shopping time in half! So, get them off your list today and move on with the rest of your shopping!

See? Now you have more time to enjoy all that eggnog :)

If you have female types on your list who like shiny things... here’s my recommendations from Fine Heart on Etsy

Gifts Under $25

Gifts Under $50

Gifts Under $75


  1. Hi,
    I'm following from the Etsy forum. I would love it if you followed back. : )


  2. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Great post Yvette with wonderful holiday tips. It is kind of crazy to think that it will be here so soon.