The Holidays are centered around gift-giving. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Gifts are an expression of love and appreciation.

But it all turns ugly when you think that sitting in a traffic jam…

in the underground parking lot…

of the biggest mall in the city…

on December 24th…

at the last hour…

as your TMJ gets tighter than a crocodile’s lock-down…

is all in the spirit of Christmas.

That used to be my Christmas Eve every year. And while I admit that procrastination might have something to do with that whole scene, shoppers start loosing their marbles as early as December 1st.

So what does it take to be a serene Santa? Don’t follow the crowd.


1. Shop Small – in other words, no malls. No department stores. No outlets.  You may not be able to find all your gifts under one roof, but you can afford to do a little driving around with the time you save from not standing in line-ups.
Bonus: supports small and local businesses.

2. Buy Handmade – There are craft fairs a dime a dozen around this time of the year. The atmosphere is generally festive and relaxed. While the craft fair may be packed with people, folks are moseying along from one craft table to the next while sipping on hot chocolate. Alternatively, you could choose to shop handmade in your pajamas, on sites like
Bonus: shows artists some love. 

3. Choose Re-discovered – get out your duster and turn something old and abandoned into a something shiny and new. You can find old things at a Salvation Army, a flea market, garage sales or once again, in your pajamas, on Craigslist. Previously-loved can be so much sweeter than brand new.
Bonus: greens your gifts. 

4. Do  It Yourself – build it. Bake it. Sew it. Paint it. Gifts made by you are guaranteed to be a hit.
Bonus: exercises your creativity muscles.

5. Create Memories: everyone loves spending time with you so why not give them the gift of a special day with their favourite person. Concert tickets, a spa day, or a getaway are always popular.
Bonus: builds relationships.

6. Shop Online – There is a whole world of shopping available at our fingertips. But take note of delivery times. You want to make sure that you order early so that the gifts arrive on time!
Bonus: most enjoyable when done in a snuggie.

Follow this guide when holiday shopping and your gifts will turn out to be far more intentional and thought-out. These tips shift the focus of the holidays from being about spending and wasting (your money, time and energy) to more about giving and connecting. Ahh, feeling zen already, aren’t you?

What have I missed? Share your sanity-saving shopping secrets in the comments below!


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