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Tips to Tackle Holiday Shopping

Mary Peffer

You had the best intentions, there were big plans in your iCal to devote yourself to holiday promotions like small business Saturday sales. But alas, if you are like me, you instead found yourself enjoying the long weekend with close family and friends, and maybe even shifting a bit of that determination towards detoxing from Thursday’s celebrations. Don’t start blasting 90’s complaint rock just yet, everything is not lost. Here are a few ways to navigate the seemingly overwhelming waters of holiday shopping and well, actually enjoy yourself doing so.

Creating Your Gift List - Now

It’s the obvious advice. The who is pretty straightforward to jot down quickly, it’s the what to get that who which can become daunting. This is a good example of a project that can benefit if you approach from a different angle. Try asking yourself, “what types of gifts do I want to give?”. From here, you can begin to outline a list based on things like sentiment, safety, intellect or even humor. For example, your boss will likely fall under the intellectual column while your new mother-in-law may land more on the safe side and that tinder guy, well I hope he’s humor. Starting your process from a place of creativity can not only set the right mood, but also avoid said list becoming simply a numbered account of how and why your bank will soon diminish its funds.

Messy Bed, Messy Head

Translation: Don’t get in your own way, clutter in one’s life is the greatest form of distraction. On the day of dedication, start with your best foot forward. Wake up early, meditate for 20 minutes, wear an outfit you love, even stop to pick up your favorite pour-over or green juice before you begin shopping. Doing little things you love ‘just because’ will make you feel good, but also balanced and clear. How are you expected to enjoy the moment or find the perfect present if you are currently suffering from caffeine withdrawal or battling a bout of belly growls before you even begin?

Just do it!

The slogan applies to more than just athletic footwear. You’ve carved out a day or a weekend to devote to shopping, excellent. But there’s no reason to delay If you see something you know is ideal. Go ahead and pull the trigger. Procrastination risks devoting unnecessary, and frankly precious, over-time to the process OR WORSE, forgetting what it was exactly that was so perfect.

Go On, Google it

You have a smartphone for a reason. Use it to map out the most efficient process. Whether you are ordering everything online or hitting up local shops, it doesn’t make much sense to spend your hard earned cash on extra fuel or additional shipping costs.

Call Ahead

You are dead set on picking up that limited edition piece of pottery to give to your best friend. You are probably not alone. Contact the store for a quick stock check before you head out or shoot an email or tweet over to your favorite online retailer’s customer service team. Should your dream item be out-of-stock, don’t get bummed out, ask about a waiting list. Often times retailers will create one to secure sales on future shipments and will in turn offer you first dibs when the item is replenished. —Crisis averted!

Outsource the Undesirable

There, despite our wildest wishes, is not a way to have more time in a single day. There is however reliable time-saving assistance that can make it feel that way. Thanks to a few startups and that tech-accessory that’s always in our hands, there are several resources available to help lighten the load when we are truly stretched for time. App based services like TaskRabbit, WunWun and Postmates wait at the ready to answer the calls of our digitally savvy fingertips. I can’t think of a better time of year to lean upon them for reliable assistance.

Keep Calm…

You will likely face hurdles,— lines, unpleasant attitudes or pushy proprietors, but take a breath. This is a season of giving and thanks. Remember why you are so anxiously on the hunt for precious products and how those names on your list have touched you. Doesn’t seem so bad now does it?

It even makes you feel somewhat lucky to have so many wonderful people on your list? Ommmmm……..

Mary Peffer is a contributor to, Stylecaster, and partner at Navy PR. She is a fashion expert having spent 6+ years at Saint Laurent.