Christmas Shopping With Toddlers: Part 1 – The Preparation
Christmas shopping is a difficult task. Add an impatient toddler in the mix and you’re in for disaster. The thought on its own can lead an already anxious new mother to drink. Don’t despair. There are ways to get around this hurdle and turn a potential sequel to the Nightmare before Christmas into a special time for both of you.
The steps below may seem overwhelming and tedious but I assure you that putting in the time to properly plan your shopping adventure will save you hours and help prevent that very possible nervous breakdown.
I’m sure that you’ve heard this one many times over. The day after Halloween is a great time to start sitting down and putting your energy towards Christmas.
Make a list:
Make a list of people you usually exchange gifts with: Family members, friends, co workers, daycare providers, teachers, the mail man and whomever else you can think of. Remember to add a section in your list for hostess gifts. You never know when you’ll be unexpectedly invited to someone’s place over the holidays. This should take you under 20 minutes.
Break your list up:
Once you’ve completed your list, separate the list into groups such as age range (basically children, teenagers and adults) and gender. Write a budget next to each name and some potential suggestions, if you can think of any. This should take you under 20 minutes.
Research during nap time:
While the little monster is sleeping, take the time to go through your list by group and begin to research online. Start with stores that you shop at regularly and note anything you find interesting for a particular person. List these items next to the respective person on your list. Don’t jot down more than three items per person. Remember that you are trying to get things done quicker and easier, not make things more complicated! Give yourself a time frame for each group. Don’t spend more than 15 minutes per person on research. If someone is making you think too much, move on to the next person and get back to the difficult ones later.
Map your plan of action:
Go through your list and see what items you can scratch off quickly by ordering online (and early). Once these items are purchased, break up the rest of your shopping list by category (ex: children’s clothing, toys, liquor store, women’s clothing etc) and create a route. In a nutshell, make yourself an itinerary. Many shopping malls have maps you can download online. If your list is long, plan several shopping outings aiming to purchase a maximum of 4 items per trip; therefore, setting yourself up to succeed. Each outing should not exceed 2 hours including traveling time.
Taking the necessary time to plan your Christmas shopping in advance may seem like a daunting and complicated task. Yes, time is required for planning, but attempting to drag a crabby little one through a mall during rush seasons is a lot more complicated and time-consuming. Having a plan of action in place will undoubtedly increase your productivity and leave you extra time on hand to enjoy your Christmas preparation!
Look out for Christmas Shopping with Toddlers – Part 2 – Putting your plan into action.