Holidays don’t have to be stressful if you plan ahead.
Plan your work and work you plan.
Give yourself permission to enjoy some quite time,
and have a happy. merry, season.

Here are a few tips, to make your shopping and gifting a little smarter:-)

 1.  Start EARLY…I can’t stress this enough! This will save you time, money, and hassels.

Why take the chance of running our of time…not to mention the crowds.  Watch for good sales
anytime you’re out and about.  I buy a LOT of my Christmas gifts at after Christmas sales.
and store them in large clear plastic tubs.
2.  Keep a small notebook tucked away in your purse or briefcase, 
with a list of the people that you regularly buy for.  
Include sizes, favorite colors, interests and needs.  
This way you can  refresh yourself when you find great buys.
3.  Make sure that you catalog your purchases, 
and where you’ve stashed them.  It of no use to buy ahead, 
if you can’t find them, once the holidays roll around.  
I have a spiral notebook with pages for each family. 
I list the names of the members each family, and then jot down the gifts as soon 
they are brought home.
4.  Stock up on wrapping paper, tags, ribbons,
and bows when you find them on sale.  
Don’t forget the tape!!!
Even the smallest little present can be very very special, 
when you take the time to make the package
extra pretty, fun, or elegant.
5.  Don’t hesitate to re-gift… just be sure that you keep track of who
has given you the gifts the you are finding a new home for.  Y
ou surely don’t want to tick off your Aunt Martha,
by giving her back, that ugly lamp that
she gave you 3 years ago!  And don’t just re-gift for the heck of it, 
but if you have something that you aren’t going to use, 
and you know someone who would – pass it on.
6.  Watch for sales via magazines, weekend fliers, TV commercials,  and coupon blogs.  
Cut coupons, and be sure to bring them with you.  
Coupons are no longer just for groceries.  
You can find a coupon for just about anything.  
 Double up coupons with sales and rebates, to save cash.  
You can use the money that you save, to buy something nice for yourself:-)
7.  Make shopping fun.  Bring friends along.  
Make sure that they will be honest with you.  
Not sure if a gift is a winner – ask your shopping buddy.  
This is also a safety measure.  
Many stores are open 24 hours during the holidays, 
and late nights/early mornings, make for clear isles, 
and short checkouts…and having several of you together, 
will make it a lot less scary walking 
through parking lots, in the dark.  
Be sure that if you are driving in different cars, 
that you call each other, to make sure that everyone got home safe and sound.
8.  Think green – carpool, plan your route, call ahead to make sure 
that specific items you are looking for are in stock.  
Most stores will be happy to hold an item for 24-48 hours.
9.  Have a budget – and stick to it.  There is nothing worse than after holiday regrets.  
There is NO SUCH THING as an Easy Payment Plan.
Remember to calculate food and entertaining costs into your holiday budget.  
10.  Hate shopping, crowds, and running from store to store?  
Shop online!!! Many stores will deliver directly to your home via mail, FedEx, 
UPS, or private delivery companies.   
Ship to Store, is also an option, and there usually isn’t a shipping charge for this.
* Bonus *
Always keep a few small gifts on hand for unexpected visitors.
Bake and Freezer holiday treats, at the beginning of November.
Have a gift wrapping party – relaxed, with holiday music and treats.
It’s so much easier to tie a pretty bow, when you have an extra  set of hands.  
You could combine this with a cookie swap!
And don’t forget to remember the reason for the season.
Merry Christmas 
Happy Hannuka
Prosperus Kwanzaa
May your days be bright with family and friends.
“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms
and Office Depot blogging program, making me eligible to get a 
$40 Office Depot gift card. 
For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 

10 Tips for Smarter Holiday Shopping and Gifting

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