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How to Dominate Gift Shopping Year-Round

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Do you stress out about gifts for birthdays and various holidays? There’s no reason to let gift pressure ruin any celebration. Most people are truly just happy when you recognize and appreciate them, whatever the occasion. But gift-giving is a significant cultural tradition, so it’s often unavoidable. It can be especially frustrating to feel like the presents you give never match up to those you receive. Give yourself a break by following these tips that can lead you to satisfying success.

DIY

One-Stop-Shop

Don’t waste precious time and energy running around to a different store for each person on your list. There are easier options. Plan ahead and limit yourself to one or two stores for everyone—or even better, do all of your shopping online at one site designed specifically to make these kinds of purchases easier. My Gift Stop knows that even online shopping can be frustrating and complicated if you’re buying everything from different sites. Don’t make this task harder than it has to be. Find somewhere that specializes in gifts so you can knock out your whole list all at once.

Get What They Want

While some people are excellent at coming up with creative presents to surprise their loved ones, it’s often better to just get people what they’ve asked for. They’ll never be upset to get something that they explicitly said they wanted, so it’s guaranteed success, whereas a creative gift has the potential to miss the mark entirely. You might accidentally buy them something they already have or something they have no interest in. Don’t feel like you have to come up with the perfect idea on your own. Just ask your family and friends what they’d like. They’ll appreciate this conversation because it means they won’t be disappointed. Or, if you enjoy the element of surprise, pay close attention to things they mention in the months preceding the holidays or their birthday and listen for things that they need but won’t buy for themselves.

Opt for Experiences

Your gifts don’t have to be things. While getting stuff can be great, sometimes presents end up cluttering the recipient’s home, unused and taking up space. Or maybe you know someone who is impossible to buy for because they have everything they need and can afford to get themselves anything they want at any time. Instead of trying to find a movie they’d like or buying yet another scented candle, look for experiences they’d enjoy instead—such as concert tickets for their favorite band or a camping trip. Give them the gift of a fun experience and a wonderful memory. These kinds of gifts tend to get a more emotional response and have a more lasting impact on a person. It’s even better if the experience is something you can do together, as you’ll then also be giving them the gift of your time and a memory you both can share for years to come.

Set Limits & Budget

If the holidays stress you out because of how much you spend on presents, try something different this year. Make a budget before you start shopping. It’s okay to talk to friends and family to let them know that you’re being careful about your spending. If you’ve given extravagant gifts in the past, these conversations will help to manage expectations. You can also suggest everyone in your friend group or family stick to a similar budget so that everyone saves money and so that the exchange feels balanced and on the same level. A budget doesn’t have to mean cheap gifts either—consider setting a budget that allows everyone to make things for each other. It may seem cliché, but homemade gifts are especially touching because they represent the time and effort you put into making something for your loved one. Maybe you like to sew, in which case you could find fabric that matches each person’s personality or interests and make pajama pants for them. Or maybe you’re a writer or musician, and you could write a song or poem for someone, or you could learn to play their favorite song and perform it on the occasion.

One thing that all of these suggestions require is a bit of planning. Don’t wait until the last minute to get a gift, regardless of the occasion. Give yourself time and plan ahead to get the most out of these tips for success. Go easy on yourself and don’t make the process harder than it has to be.

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