Get Your Christmas Shopping Done in a Weekend!

Okay, hands up! Who’s having a bit of a meltdown because they haven’t even started Christmas shopping?

Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. The ShoppingCity team have an advantage – we work in a shopping centre after all. But that doesn’t mean we’re not sympathetic and understanding that for many, it’s not quite as easy.

So…we’ve put our heads together and come up with an action plan, just for you latecomers to the Christmas shopping party ☺

It’s possible (trust us!) to get your presents listed, bought, wrapped and under the tree in a weekend. Here’s how.

Friday Evening

Order in a takeaway, pour a glass (or two!) of your favourite tipple and settle down with a pen, paper and some festive music or a Christmas movie. Some of you may prefer a spreadsheet on the PC – use whatever works for you.

On your list, write the names of the family and friends you need to buy presents for. Decide at this point what you can afford to spend on each. And don’t ever go over that budget. Christmas is a time to enjoy and not worry about money. If you can’t really afford to buy for everyone, why not have a ‘Secret Santa’ agreement. Check out our previous blog for some fun Secret Santa Gifts.

Once you have your list, put them into categories; usually, age and gender work best. This will pay dividends when out shopping as you can often buy several presents from your list at one shop.

While you’re relaxing and sipping, have a bit of a brainstorm. Write some ideas for each person on the list. Possibly they’ve mentioned some ideas to you, or you may have seen a TV ad or magazine advertising presents that would be perfect for them.

It’s okay to keep your ideas vague though. For example ‘Mum, something personal to make her feel special’ and Dad, ‘DIY stuff’. If a particular shop springs to mind when you think of the person, make a note of it.

If you get stuck for ideas, you could check out their Facebook page, they may have mentioned what they would like for Christmas, or you may notice a theme from previous threads and conversations. You could even ask them! It’s often better to get something you’re sure they would like and use, than something that will sit in a drawer.

The final task for Friday night is to look at the centre’s shopping guide.  Plan your route around the centre to incorporate the type of shops where you are likely to find the gifts on your list. Also, plan in where the ‘loo’ is just in case! That way if you need to, you can easily divert and not get too far off track. Likewise with coffee shops. You need to make sure you stay fuelled, and definitely indulge in some edible Christmas treats for you!

TIP: Think about the size of the gifts you’re likely to buy too. Try and plan for getting the larger items last, so you’re not carrying them all for too long. Or you could always head back to the car to drop some bags off if that’s an option?

C:\Users\User\Documents\Craig\Images for blogs\Christmas Shopping lady with bags.jpg

Saturday Morning

Take time to eat a good breakfast before you leave the house –  shopping can be tiring! It will also give you the opportunity to look at your ideas again with fresh eyes.

Make sure you’re dressed appropriately. You don’t want to be bundled up too much and get hot and irritable. Likewise, you don’t want to be shivering. We’re fortunate here at ShoppingCity; everything is under cover, so no need for cumbersome umbrellas! Just park up and off you go. And if you’re planning to come by bus, it’s the same – all under cover. And most importantly don’t forget shopping bags!

TIP: Always get gift receipts so you can return what you’ve bought if you see something better later in the day, or want to include it with the present just in case.

Saturday Afternoon

Stop for lunch – VERY important! Not only will it give you and your feet a well-earned rest, but it will provide you with the opportunity to assess what you’ve bought. You can also amend or update your list based on what you’ve seen.

We can highly recommend Costa’s Christmas hot drinks this year. The favourites, Black Forest Hot Chocolate and Gingerbread and Cream, are back. And this year Costa have added Caramelised Orange & Cream and Hazelnut Praline & Cream. Yum!

Costa Christmas Drinks

And if you haven’t tried it yet, now is the time to treat yourself to the most delicious dish ever… ‘Pigs in Blankets Mac & Cheese’ Yes, really.

Once your feet and tummy are satisfied ☺ head out to the shops once more; you should now have a fine-tuned list and a very clear idea of what you still need to buy. Don’t be afraid to deviate from the list a little…you may see the perfect gift that you wouldn’t have thought was even available!

TIP: Leave wrapping paper purchases til last. Once you know what needs wrapping you can make a more educated guess on the quantity of paper required – if your gifts are all small you won’t need to buy as much!

Sunday Morning

Get up early and make a start on the wrapping. That way if you HAVE forgotten anything there’s still time to pop out and get it. Lay everything out according to size so you can get the best use from the wrapping paper.

And before you wrap, make sure you write the labels and place next to the gift. I bet everyone has, at some point, wrapped all the presents then forgotten who they were for!

Once they’re all wrapped, place carefully under the tree, and spend the rest of the weekend relaxing and, let’s face it, a little relieved that you’re all sorted for Christmas!

TIP: Forget the usual Sunday morning ironing – use the ironing board as a handy wrapping table. Make sure you cover it though, or you may be wearing glittery clothes the rest of the week.

Online shopping can be unreliable and unpredictable, don’t risk it!

That’s it. Your foolproof action plan for getting your Christmas shopping bought and wrapped in a weekend! And the good news – there are two weekends left till Christmas, so still plenty of time.

And remember, you may be tempted to shop online, but do you want to risk presents arriving after Christmas? It’s far more enjoyable to see and touch gifts and to be sure that you know exactly what you’re getting. And not be disappointed that the photo you see online has no resemblance to the item that’s just arrived on your doorstep!

Christmas shopping should be fun

You just need to be organised, but flexible. It can be stressful of course, but only if you allow it to be.

Consider too, what kind of experience you want your Christmas shopping to be. If you’re going to make it a family occasion, then we have SO much happening to entertain you and the kids while you’re out shopping. Take a look at our Christmas Events pages for more details, then schedule your trip around those activities you know you don’t want to miss.

TIP:  If you want to ‘speed walk’ through your shopping on your own, we suggest you visit us midweek when it could be a little quieter.

Our Customer Ambassadors are out and about in the centre if you need any help and advice. And we look forward to seeing you in the next few weeks!

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