Every year, millions of parents start to dread the holiday season. It’s not just about getting kids ready for school and ensuring we’re all healthy enough to be around family. It’s also about finding time to shop for everyone on your list and dealing with the inevitable sales that happen during this time of year. With so much going on in one short period, it can seem impossible! But there are some things you can do as a dad to make your experience easier this Christmas.
Giving yourself a budget is the first step. Write down everything you need to buy and what it will cost, then hold yourself accountable for sticking with that number. You can find great deals on gifts if you’re willing to do some research. And even if you need to dip a bit into your credit card during the Christmas shopping experience, make sure that you save a few bucks before you swipe. The easy way is to compare credit companies and make sure that you save on interest rates.
Write It Down
Make lists of everyone who needs a gift this Christmas season, so there are no surprises when shopping time comes around again. Also, make sure your list includes their age range and any other things they might want or need from you. It makes buying easier in the long run.
The Act of leaving the house can be a tough one around the Christmas holidays because everyone else is heading out to get the same things. This means that traffic is awful, you end up being out of the house longer than you wanted, and everyone gets stressed out. If you can do it online, you should. However, if you have to leave the house for something, try using a traffic alerts system to let you know the traffic is moving in areas. This could cut out a huge amount of stress from being stuck in traffic. However, we can’t help you when it comes to queue jumpers and rude people. Check online before going out into stores. This way, you can see if shops near where you live offer better deals on items than others do (eBay/Amazon).
Timing Is Everything
Shop early or late in the day when stores are less crowded if you can. You’ll get more one on one with sales reps, too. This means you can ask questions about any incentives they might have gone on for this season’s shopping spree. But, again, this is a great way to learn about your options before committing to anything else.
Remember Your Fur Babies
Don’t forget to pick up gifts for your favorite pet, too. A new toy or collar can be a great way to show them they’re loved any time of year. You don’t want Fido or Fluffy feeling left out when the rest of you are celebrating Christmas together, do you? There’s nothing wrong with spoiling our furry friends – just make sure it fits within your budget.
And if all else fails, give people “gift cards” instead of physical presents. This will also eliminate the possibility of receiving duplicate gifts from multiple sources, such as siblings who may not coordinate their shopping efforts properly beforehand. This also saves money if you have no idea at all what to buy for certain people but still want to get them a “gift.”
Calling On Fellow Dads
Make use of fellow dads as a sounding board when trying to find ideas for gifts. Asking those close to you who are fathers themselves if they have any suggestions is always helpful.
Most importantly is to stay calm through it all. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done during Christmas time, but don’t let stress take over your holiday spirit. Instead, take breaks from shopping whenever you need them, and remember what matters most at the end of the day: spending quality time with family and friends.