9 Holiday Shopping Tips for Very Busy People

Published: December 8, 2015 | Updated: March 16, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Lifestyle, Personal Finance

Shopping Tips for Busy People
Whether you’re buying gifts for family, friends, or the big office gift exchange, you want the gift to leave a lasting impression on the person. The problem is that you tend to get really busy, leaving little to no time to get the perfect present.

You might argue that it’s the thought that counts, but there’s a difference between a small – but well thought out – present, and one you got on the fly. Nobody ever says no to a gift, even when they don’t like it, but a plain gift might just get re-gifted because you couldn’t spare the time to get a proper present.

Here are a few holiday shopping tips for busy people:

Friends or family?

Your gift-giving thought process tends to vary when you’re shopping for specific people in your life. A present that’s well-received between close friends may not be as successful among members of your immediate family. Take personal preferences, good taste, yearly traditions, everyday habits, and inside jokes into consideration when doing your shopping. This can help you narrow down which gift ideas may or may not work.

Be attentive

The best gifts are the ones with a personal touch, showing that you’ve put considerable thought into what your recipient might enjoy. Has your little sister developed a craving for red velvet cupcakes? Is there a classic novel your best friend has been eyeing every time you go to the bookstore? Even comments made casually or in passing can serve as helpful hints for when you’re shopping for that perfect gift.

Be practical

Sometimes the most effective gifts aren’t things people want, but things people don’t realize they need. Try thinking outside the box, but be mindful of your recipient’s preferences. Got a cousin who’s redecorating their home? Find tasteful but functional furnishings like bookends or storage containers. Got a friend with a creative streak? Pay attention to the art supplies or writing materials they like. Can’t think of anything? Find gift certificates to high-end department stores and other specialty boutiques your recipient goes to.

Plan ahead

Does your workplace throw a holiday party every year? Is a big family reunion coming up? It pays to take note of important dates and special occasions you may need to buy gifts for. Don’t be afraid to spend on a perfect gift even if the event itself is weeks or months away. Some people have even gotten into the habit of building a stockpile of small “emergency gifts” all year long. In the end, being over-prepared is better than having to shop at the last minute.

Try something new

This can be an especially fun idea if you’re buying gifts for children or young people: Instead of shopping for an item, try shopping for an experience. Find board games or arts-and-crafts kits that encourage people to bond and work with their hands. Challenging jigsaw puzzles, knot-tying books, or origami sets are gifts that also double as memorable group activities. Even the silly misadventures that come with these gifts can make great stories to share for years to come.

Be creative

Got a special talent or hobby of your own? Use it! Even framed sketches or small photo albums with handwritten captions can be a thoughtful and beautiful gift for people in your family. If you can’t think of a single gift, try the “grab bag” approach: Stuff a gift bag or a large box with lots of small goodies your recipient will enjoy like stylish accessories, magazines, classy stationery, or even candies from their childhood.

Check online

Got a clear idea of who you’re buying for or what you want to get them? Try poking around the internet. Some online shops offer large discounts and gift vouchers for on-the-spot purchases. Online retailers that accept major credit cards can also save you time and money, freeing you from the usual hassle that comes with shopping. Be sure to stick with reputable online shops, such as those with good user reviews, free shipping or comprehensive security protocols in place.

One safe gift idea: Edibles

This tip works best if you are familiar with your recipient’s preferences. Are they avid foodies? Are they fond of sweets or gourmet foods? Do they have any allergies? When you have time to kill in between errands, browse your local bakeries in search of cakes, pastries and other tasty food you can give as gifts. Better yet, look for bazaars or independent sellers in your area offering special treats you won’t find in supermarkets.

When all else fails, just ask.

Be subtle when asking about what kind of gift your intended recipient would like. If the situation calls for it, be honest. In lots of cases, the thoughtful gesture of gift-giving alone would be greatly appreciated. After all, wouldn’t you feel the same way?

Looking for more ways to save time and money? Check out the MoneyMax.ph blog for all kinds of tips and tricks. Want to take your finances to the next level? Test drive MoneyMax.ph’s online comparison tool for great deals on credit cards, personal loans, and more.
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