It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, which means it’s time to hit the crowds and make your way to holiday shopping. Tis’ the season for all things jolly and joyful, however going through the overcrowded malls and fighting over the last item you needed, takes away the fun of gift-giving. Finding the right gifts for your friends and loved ones can be a challenge, so here’s a few tips and tricks from fellow shoppers to help you navigate through the aisles this season.

1. Make a list and stick to a budget. Shopping with no list in mind only leads to being in the malls for a longer time trying to guess what that person would like as a gift. When you have a budget set, it’s easier to turn down the item you were eyeing for yourself and be reminded that you’re strictly there to shop for others.

Shopper, Elissa Smith, mentions how she manages to get by this time of year.

“I try and stick to a budget most of the time,” said Smith. “For friends, I keep it around $30 and for family I don’t mind splurging a bit for them if I know its something they’ll love.”

2. Skip the Black Friday lines, and fill your shopping cart on Cyber Monday. Waiting outside in the cold and finding out the item you waited for all night is sold out, is one way to get yourself feeling like the grinch. There’s no need to camp out and stay up late when you can do all the shopping from the comfort of your own bed.

Michael Zamora, 19, gives his take on whether Black Friday is worth it or not.

“I always prefer to do Cyber Monday,” said Zamora . “I usually only online shop when I know exactly what I want to get for someone, but finding the deals online is usually easier.”

3. Don’t go shopping last minute. It may feel as though there’s all the time in the world to get your shopping done, but in reality there isn’t. One day it’s November first and you’re removing Halloween decorations; the next, it’s mid-December and you haven’t even chosen the gift wrapping .

“I, unfortunately, wait until the last minute, but I always have a couple of ‘plan b’ gifts just in case the first thing I want is sold out.” said Smith.

Shopper, Marina Navarro, suggested a tip that she goes by when shopping for any of her friends.

“I think casual shopping is the way to go,” Navarro said. “Going to the stores when running your errands works because you might find something your friend likes and there’s no pressure to find a present right then and there.”

4. Give gift cards. If you just can’t help but procrastinate, no one turns down giftcards. Whether it’s a Starbucks card or their favorite store, at the end of the day it is the thought that counts.

The holidays can be stressful, but implementing these tips are surely well enough to keep you going in the holiday spirit.


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