Christmas is on the way, and many of us are looking for Christmas gifts for our families and friends. Do you like Christmas shopping? Admit that guessing what the recipient might like and looking for the options is not always easy, and quite often not the most relaxing thing.
But Christmas gifts are not about buying or obligations to make presents. They are about unity, emotions, and bonds – another perfect opportunity to see those you love and give them something that would remind of your relationship on the days you are away.
We prepared a guide to relaxed and productive Christmas shopping and advice on choosing presents in general. So here are the tips on how to save your time, money and energy and make the presents that won’t be later re-gifted, sold or put in a hidden box.
Think in advance
The hardest time for any shopping is just before the event. You feel obliged to give at least something, and what you concentrate on is the idea of buying, not giving.
When you have only several hours left, make a quick brainstorming on the idea of a present and then choose it in relaxed mood thinking about the person you are going to give it to.
Don’t buy for buying sake
Never buy anything you think of as a useless or poor thing. First of all, you won’t get any pleasure from giving such a present. Second, the recipient’s opinion may coincide with yours. When watching one of the “How to react to bad gifts” videos, we heard the phrase “Depending on how terrible the gift is, you may not be able to return it”. So what we advise – do not make terrible gifts. And hope you are not given ones either.
Expensive does not mean the best
We all like good presents. The more luxurious they are, the more we adore them. But price does not equal value (either practical or emotional), so think what benefit the recipient gets from the present. It’s important to give what people need or dream of.
In case you cannot afford something that would make a perfect present, use the opportunity to buy it cheaper.
Ways to save on Christmas presents
Buy at sales. Black Friday, the Global Shopping Festival (held annually on 11.11) Cyber Monday and local sales are a great chance to get a real discount (from 50% to 90%). Before Christmas, not everything is in stock, and the prices are often higher.
Shop with friends. Many shops offer good discounts on “big’ orders.
Buy with cash back. I swear most of you have cards with cash back. It’s very convenient, as you get a part of the purchase cost back when buying gasoline or foods. But did you check the other shops returning cash back? You will be surprised when you see the options.
Don’t miss double cash back. Buying from online stores, you can get cash back:
1. On your credit card.
2. In online cashback services.
Cashback services allow to get up to 40% of the purchase cost back. To return part of the purchase cost, you have to register in a cash back service and activate cash back before shopping.
Our choice is Megabonus cashback service. It offers the highest cashback rates (we compared the offers, and in most stores, they pay more than eBates), has a very clean and easy to use website and a bunch of helpful solutions for online shopping and e-commerce.
What is also important, if you are new to the topic and need assistance, you will find detailed notes on cash back and shopping with cash back on both stores’ pages and in the Help section. Here’s an example:
Their support service managers are also very welcoming (the quickest way to get an answer – in a chat on their Facebook page).
Ask for advice
Feeling confused and don’t know what to buy? Look for a helping hand! Ask your mutual acquaintances, relatives or check the person’s page on social media.
Learn to listen
Chatting in a café about the upcoming Christmas season, start a topic on the best and the worst Christmas presents. Throughout the conversation, you will learn what people see as a perfect Christmas gif this year. This way you will not only get an idea of what to buy, but what is even more important, what present would be a total failure.
Buy… yes, in advance!
Going past shops on an early spring day and seeing winter sales notices, think about going in and checking what’s in stock. Small presents that cost you a fortune in December may be worth several dollars in February or March. The end-of-season shopping is also a way to buy at the lowest prices.
Check gifts’ reviews
There are so many articles and videos on everything in life that quite often we feel overloaded with information. But they can be really helpful in case you need some practical tricks. For example, if your friend/colleague is an addict of the Lord of the Rings series, check if there are any new themed products. A good thing is to subscribe to a newsletter of a thematic website or shop. General ideas of the newest gadgets and souvenirs can also be a way out when you are pressed for time.
And here are the tips on how to finish up making a perfect Christmas present
Emotions. Our work, hobbies, traveling – all this is senseless without emotions. It’s also true about Christmas gifts. Think what can surprise or thrill. It can be a photo reminding of an important moment, a small souvenir, or even proper wrapping. Suitable wrapping paper can add juice to your present. Some humor, creativity and style, and they will like the gift before they open it.
Be non-standard. Buy a tour to a romantic place for you and your girlfriend, go fishing with your brother or take your parents to the place they have been dreaming of going to for ages.
Remember that Christmas presents are about caring not buying. In this case, Christmas shopping will bring you strong positive emotions even before Christmas time starts.
Megabonus – cash back up to 40% in 1500+ online stores.
This content is sponsored by Media News.
Photos provided by the author.