Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Holiday Gift Buying: Part 1

Holiday gifts have everything to do with relationships, and when you give someone a gift, you want to be sure that you’re giving that person something meaningful. This is the first in a two-part series on holiday gift giving, and Part 1 will focus on how to plan your gift buying so that you have time to amass the gifts that your loved ones will appreciate the most.

One of the most consistent problems people have when it comes to holiday shopping is procrastination. Daunted by overcrowded stores and malls that make you want to crawl out of your skin, you may react in the way that countless others do: avoidance. This year, do not procrastinate. Start early and you’ll be able to relax by the time the end of December comes around.

If you hate the atmosphere of holiday shopping, replete with ringing registers and shoves from the hurried masses, there is a savior you have likely already used for shopping purposes: the internet. In terms of shopping, the internet is an excellent resource to find hard-to-find gifts, those that will light up the faces of your friends and family, and it also prevents the need to go out to the stores to get the gifts you need.

Rather than avoid holiday shopping, set a goal for yourself to do 90% of your shopping by the end of this month. Though it may sound like a challenge, it’s a possible goal to achieve. Make a list of those things you can purchase online, and set the goal to have purchased those items within the next week (provided you already have money set aside for that purpose). Make another list of the items you need to purchase in person, and set aside the dates on which you plan to purchase those items. As you do this, create a map in your head so that you can purchase your gifts in as few trips as possible.

The more you plan ahead, the more thoughtful the gifts will be that you give. When you’re in a rush, you often feel compelled to simply find that person anything - whatever meets the gift quotient. The truth is that your wallet moans and cries when you make it pay for things that don’t really mean anything to anyone. If you manage to plan ahead and finish your actual gift buying early, you will leave yourself time in December to engage in relaxing holiday activities – baking, cooking, and decorating.

Finally, be sure to check back tomorrow for Part 2, which will focus on the actual gifts that you buy for your loved ones.

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