Christmas is on the 25th every year and we panic every year…

Deals, deals, and more deals land in our inbox, caress our mobile devices and chase us on our trips to the mall and social outings. From a 50% deal on the latest charm jewelry to a discount on dance lessons, we are well-informed about the next best gifts for Christmas. The pressure to find the perfect gift is overwhelming and it happens once a year.

 

In the past 2 years, I’ve decided to watch and listen, and get to know people better. To my surprise, people are not as complicated as they seem. Taking time to become an active listener is the best thing that’s happened to my Christmas shopping list. Days of navigating crowded stores, impatient shoppers, and wasteful buying has ended.

Here are 5 things I do to take the stress out of shopping:

1. Shop and plan throughout the year.

Shopping throughout the year, helps take the stress out of last-minute shopping.

 If you’re creative, take advantage of those creative juices and hit up craft stores for product sales throughout the year.

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Google Images

2. Don’t shop all in one day.

  The first time I powered shop on black Friday, it took me two days to recover. I was                                traumatized!

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3.  Check out summer and fall festivals.

If you want to make your gifts feel special, buy something unique. Most major cities are loaded with festivals.

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African Fest, Chicago (Washington Park)

4.  If you’re a salesperson of a product or service, pay attention to some of the things people absolutely love and order repeatedly. Give your clients those favorite products in a bundled gift and wrap it in a pretty box to add a special touch.

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5.  Leverage your friends and family social media pages to learn more about some of their favorite things to do. Let’s face it, we can’t be everywhere and talk to everybody all the time. Use this space effectively.

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Google Images

Most importantly, let’s start practicing active listening throughout the year.  Imagine a tin can full of peanuts landing in the garbage because the giver never knew the receiver is allergic to nuts. Or the fancy restaurant gift card is only enough for an uppity house salad and the receiver can’t afford to add-on to get a complete meal.

 

 

 

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Follow crystal on Twitter and Instagram

 

 

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