Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Maybe you haven’t even thought about it, but with the big day rapidly approaching (is it me or does it seem to come round quicker every year?) it’s probably about time that you at least started making a list.
Christmas shopping can be a right old stress can’t it? Firstly, there’s the pressure of having to come up with thoughtful gift ideas (seriously, you can’t buy your dad a pair of socks and a bottle of whiskey three times on the trot!), then there’s the actual shopping itself, which let’s face it you can tart up as much as you like with idyllic visions of snowy streets and mulled wine stop offs, but the reality is rammed shopping centres filled with screaming kids and Big Issue sellers.
But it needn’t be like that, no, there are some simple things you can do to prepare yourself that will make your Christmas shopping experience a much more enjoyable experience. We’ve put together our top tips so that maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to fulfil that festive idyll after all.
Find A Partner in Crime
First things first you need to bag yourself a shopping buddy, because let’s face it it’s way more fun when you’ve got your BFF with you. Having said that you need to pick someone who shops in the same way as you. Are they decisive, will they tell you if something’s rubbish, do they like the same shops as you, are they willing to stop for snack breaks (because that’s way important!). One key thing to remember is that it will be a long and tiring day so it will deffo help if you can make it as fun as possible. Once you’ve found your friend, we recommend factoring in some time where you can shop on your own too. Work out which shops you’re going to and then split up and agree to meet up again in say 20 minutes. That way you get to browse in the departments you want to without feeling as though you’re spending your entire time trailing after one another.
Timing Is Everything
We all know that going shopping of a weekend is mega busy and therefore mega annoying, so if you are able to avoid weekend shopping trips then do it. Think about breaking your shopping up into smaller chunks so that you can fit in buying a few gifts during your lunch hour. If however, weekend shopping is simply unavoidable, you’re going to need to plan your day like a military operation. Shops tend to be at their busiest around 11am onwards, sometimes earlier if there are sales on, so the earlier you can get out there the better. For maximum shopping bliss, we’re talking zero crowds and zero queues at the tills, you ideally want to be there just as the doors open. Our top tip? Get there super early and factor in breakfast at a cafe beforehand, because any excuse for breakfast right!?!
Shops are hot. You might think you look all super chic in your cashmere jumper and wool coat, but give it an hour and you’re gonna look slick for all the wrong reasons. When you’re shopping it’s all about the layers, and ideally the more lightweight and practical the better. It can be bitterly cold at this time of year, so of course you’ll need a coat, perhaps even gloves, a hat and scarf too, but as we said, walk into any shop and you’re immediately blasted with a heat that feels like you’ve just stepped into an oven. Take a big bag and be prepared to strip off!
Eat A Good Breakfast
OK so we’ve already mentioned the possibility of having breakfast in a cafe to get you to the shops nice and early, but what about if you decide not to do this? Don’t you even think about skipping breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day (hmmm sounding a bit like my mum there!) and getting some proper fuel in you is gonna ensure you’re powered up for the day. Have something hearty and filling like porridge with banana that will give you plenty of slow releasing energy for the day ahead and will also help warm you up from the inside out. It’s exhausting traipsing around busy, hot shopping floors and the last thing you want to be worrying about is a growling tummy.
Trainers aren’t just for the gym and yes I know us girls love a heel, but come on now, there’s a time and a place for sky high stilettos and sales shopping just ain’t one of them! You can still look as equally gorgeous in flats, and trust us your feet will be thanking you come closing time.
Make A List
I’m sure you all know by now, but we love a list here at The Art of Healthy Living, and wouldn’t dream of going shopping without one. Before you head out on your shopping trip, sit down and work out who you need to buy for, what sort of gifts you’re looking for and the budget you would like to stick to. We know it sounds a bit OCD, but honestly it’s gonna make your shopping trip so much simpler. Of course, no one’s saying you have to rigidly stick to exactly what you’ve written on the list, but it will certainly help you have clarity when your mind starts to get frazzled and energy levels are feeling zapped. Plus it should save both time and money, as you’ll know which shops you need to go to and you’re less likely to impulse buy.
Don’t Let ‘Hanger’ Strike
If you’re hungry, you’re hangry and that’s a sure fire way to ruin any shopping trip. Remember to stop for regular food and drink breaks, as you’ll need the energy and if you don’t have a regular drink you’re likely to get a headache. And anyway, stopping for a coffee gives you the chance to sit back and have a gossip, whilst assessing what you’ve bought, which if you have set yourself a bit of a budget gives you the perfect opportunity to tot up those receipts!
You’d be surprised how much ground you cover when on a shopping spree, so make sure you wear your fitness tracker that day to keep track of those steps. And obviously carrying all of those heavy bags is like a full on gym workout, so taking some time out for a delicious lunch and a cheeky glass of vino is the perfect way to replenish those burnt up calories 😉
Online Shopping Is Your Best Friend
Let’s face it, when all’s said and done you gotta admit that online shopping really is the way to go. No crowds, shopping in your PJs, plus you get to watch TV and eat snacks on tap all from the comfort of your own sofa. OK, so it’s not the same as making a day of it with a friend, we get that, but for all those big, heavy purchases and for lovely, lovely browsing (we LOVE a browse!) you really can’t beat it!
Hopefully with these tips your Christmas shopping will be an absolute doddle and you never know, you might even actually enjoy it.
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