There seems to be two types of Christmas shoppers in the world. Those who sort everything early in one foul swoop, with a big red bow on every gift (and then brag about it on Facebook). Then there are the mere mortals – the people who spend weeks buying socks and stocking fillers until (shock horror) they find themselves in town negotiating the crowds on Christmas Eve. If you’re one of the latter, help is at hand. Here’s our handy guide for getting it all wrapped up in a day.
It can be fun to shop with friends. But if you’re serious about getting this done in a day, brave the festive fight for the last remaining bottle of Molton Brown alone. Think of it as some much needed ‘you time’. Trust us, you’ll get way more accomplished.
Pick a playlist
If the chatter of millions of other shoppers will drive you nuts, or the thought of hearing the Pogues tune one more time has you running for the safety of your living room, bring your own soundtrack on your MP3 player or phone. Choosing a few Christmassy numbers will help you get in the mood and most importantly, you’ll have the controls.
Write it all down
Start with the names of whoever you want to buy for then list present ideas you have for them. They might have requested something, which makes life so much easier. If not, think about things they like to do, eat, drink, watch or listen to and put pen to paper before you even set foot out the door. The more detailed the better – include the cards and wrapping paper/gift bags you need, too.
Plan a route
At the very least, it’s a good idea to pick the area where you’d like to go shopping. There are some fantastic and gigantic shopping centres around, such as Westfield, Bluewater, Brent Cross and Lakeside. You can go online to see the shops in each one. If you prefer the frosty, sparkly streets for your Christmas shop then plan a route that will help you pick up all the gifts on your list in an orderly fashion. It basically avoids doing a 180 every five minutes and going back to where you’ve just been – 50 times!
It’s easy to get distracted by thoughts of work, playing with your phone, or the nice jeans in the window at Tommy Hilfiger that you’d like to buy yourself. Stay strong, stick to the list and keep on shopping. If you’re going mid-week or you’ve taken the day off, it’s a good idea to tell people you’ll be incommunicado for the day.
Don’t be a Grinch
For some, the idea of a whole day of Christmas shopping has them quivering on the floor with anxiety and wanting to hide under a duvet and watch Elf instead. Relax, this is a time for fun, festivities, hot chocolate and carols. Tell yourself you’re going to enjoy getting out and about, stop for a little bite or glass of mulled wine somewhere along the way, take in the twinkling lights around you and you’ll be in a merry mood all day long
Happy shopping from Outlet