It’s hard to believe but Christmas is only 45 days away. Have you started your shopping yet? With just a bit of pre- planning, Christmas can be a wonderful season of joy and love. In years past, I’ve had the experience of working retail at the holiday. I’ve made observations of shoppers at each stage of the game and it’s so obvious who is the happiest at the holidays.
The customers that came in my store in early November, armed with coupons from the catalog they received in the mail, usually found exactly what they wanted. They took their time, shopping and picking out presents. If they needed to special order their gift, they had plenty of time to wait for it to come in. These were the calmest shoppers.
The closer to Christmas it got, of course the less catalog items were available. And, the more irritated and irate the customer. The December shoppers were more frazzled. The week before Christmas shoppers? Forget it. They were down right miserable and sometimes not very nice.
Now, the November customers may have paid a tiny bit more for their items. But they were relaxed and happier over all. Mainly because they were getting their shopping done early and were able to enjoy their holiday parties and families more. And they had their pick of the nicest goods.
Moral of the story? Get going. Start shopping local or online. Make a list. (check it twice!) Ask loved ones what they want (yes, so much easier) and give them a budget amount. If you’d rather surprise them, fine, but make sure you have receipts in their gift box. You’ll spend less time too in the long run, because you will give thought to the gifts you purchase.
If you plan on giving homemade cookies or holiday breads work on your grocery list now. Buy flour, sugar, fresh baking soda and powder (my mom taught me this), nuts, cupcake liners ahead of time. I love to go to the Fiesta Outlet early on and buy oval platters to put my famous baklava on. (I’ll share that recipe soon!) That way I can leave the platter behind, a lasting memento of my delicious gift.
I hope this inspires you to start shopping if you haven’t already. Love to shop local? Please also check out my favorite floral shop- Cuttings Flower and Garden in Sewickley PA.
What’s your favorite shopping strategy? Please share it with us!