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Half the fun of gifting is picking out the perfect gift. It can be a rush, going out from store to store and finding just the right something. Maybe you’re the type who collects presents for people as you see them all year long, or maybe you wait for those Black Friday sales, list of people in hand, and then jump into the fray ready to snag your deal.

Whatever your style, there are a few things to keep in mind as you shop this holiday season.

  • Always have a plan. Whether you’re shopping at the mall or surfing the web, have a plan for who you’re shopping and a general idea of what you’d like to get them. This will help save you time, as well as from getting confused or going down the shopping rabbit hole of options in the moment. Planning can also include knowing where in the mall or along the street the shops are that you’re interested in visiting, the best place to park, and a good restaurant or café that’s close by to time your breaks.
  • Time your shopping trip. You may love the buzz of the crowd, but a Black Friday frenzy can become overwhelming. Try to time your trip for non-peak hours (like early morning on a weekday) when everyone’s at work and it’s not as busy, or weigh the sale day with the experience—is it worth the intensity of the crowd to save a couple of bucks?
  • Pace yourself; make it fun. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Hydrate, take rest breaks, and know there’s always another day. Don’t think you have to check everything off your list in one go. Rest to rejuvenate and know you can always come back!
  • Two’s company. Take along a friend or family member! An extra pair of hands to carry parcels, as well as someone to share a laugh with, will make the excursion all the more fun—and safe. Company’s great, but they can also look out for you, especially in a crowd.
  • Cyber-shop. You can avoid the hassle of driving, finding parking, and wrestling with the masses altogether by shopping on the internet. You’ll require a certain level of online savviness to make this work for you, or better yet, invite over a trusted loved one who is, put the kettle on, and turn that into your shopping date! They can help you navigate the online world, with the bonus of getting in some quality time together.
  • Don’t stress. Once in a while, deciding on the perfect gift can be stressful. You want it to be just the perfect thing, so you might become indecisive or decide that nothing’s good enough. That’s why gift cards were invented: get one to their favourite store, and it can be like the gift that keeps on giving!

Even if you’re less mobile than you used to be, shopping for your loved ones can still be a fun event. Consider the above tips, try what works for your lifestyle, and remember: it’s always okay to ask for help!

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