Guide to tackling Christmas shopping this holiday season

By SARA BERTSCH Lifestyles Editor

With a mere three weeks left to go, everyone is scrambling to get their Christmas shopping done.

 To most this is an incredible feat, one that often is known to cause mild headaches (from thinking long and hard on what to buy), slight body aches (from waiting in long lines at shopping centers) and the most common –severe debt (from purchasing extravagant items for loved ones).

In order to avoid these symptoms, there are a few things everyone should consider before buying their Christmas gifts.

–  Is there a spending limit on the present? If not, check with this person. Maybe there should be. Sometimes the best thing is to set a limit so nobody is spending more than they should.

–  Check multiple stores. Maybe you found the gift you want to buy, but you aren’t sure it’s the best deal. Check around and see if it’s cheaper elsewhere. That extra few bucks that you might save could go toward something else. 

–  Has Black Friday/Cyber Monday occurred yet? It’s already too late for this year, but next year consider buying presents on these two days. There are some crazy deals and if you are hard-pressed for money, this might be the best option.

Money is not the only issue that shoppers face. Picking out the perfect gift for somebody is sometimes the hardest part. There are several ways to get around this predicament.

–  Check out their social media pages. Are they on Pinterest or Wanelo in particular? If they are, check out what they’ve been saving lately. There are sure to be some great ideas on there.

–  Think about what they like/dislike. Maybe they have a favorite sports team or a TV show/movie they really enjoy. Get them some gear in these areas. There’s nothing wrong with a shirt that says BAZINGA on it.

–  Are they in college or their young adult years? If so, get them something to use in their dorm room or apartment. There’s always something they forgot to buy and could really use. A new pizza cutter is a must in most households.

–  Gift cards. Sure, they are a little impersonal, but you can’t go wrong. Now they can go buy whatever their heart desires. They’ll thank you for it when they buy the one thing Santa forgot to bring them.

–  Food/Drink. Do you know what their favorite candy is? Get them a nice big bag of it. Or maybe they have a favorite drink, stock them up. They’ll appreciate it. And if it’s something impossible such as the pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, then get them a gift card. They’ll love you for doing it.

–  Show some school pride. This isn’t for everybody, but some grandparents love to get t-shirts and sweatshirts from their grandchild’s university featuring the coveted school logo and the words GRANDMA or GRANDPA on it. It shows a little personalized touch without the added effort. This also works on aunts and uncles.

There is always going to be that one person who is impossible to shop for. If worst comes to worst, just stick the receipt in with the item and if they don’t like it they can return it. Or simply ask them to make you a list, one that is within your budget.