Don't wait until the last minute to make your holiday shopping list. Grab a pen or open your favorite list-making app... No really. Do it right now. We'll wait... OK, now jot down all the people you will be shopping for and what you'd like to get them. That way you'll be prepared for when you see a smoking deal. Plus it's so much more fun to pick up a few items here and there, instead of battling the hordes that march to the mall like present-hungry zombies just days before Christmas.
Use shopping apps
Take advantage of your smartphone (or if you don't yet have a smartphone, let this justify giving one to yourself for the holidays) by using shopping apps for major savings. Apps like Snaptell, Shop Savvy, Smoopa and Shopkick not only sound like fun, but they actually make holiday shopping a pretty good time by showing you where to get the best price and giving you rewards for walking into your favorite shops or comparing prices at local stores.
Avoid the mall
Who wants to spend hours combing the mall parking lot for a space when you can avoid it altogether? Stay in your jammies, grab a big mug of coffee, and shop on your computer while your husband entertains the kids, cleans the house and prepares a big meal — a girl can dream. If you absolutely must leave the cocoon of your cozy house, hit the mall during off-peak hours (weekday mornings are the best) to avoid the throngs.
Nothing will make you hate holiday shopping like having your purse snatched. If you must shop at night, bring a friend or make sure you park in a well-lit area — preferably close to the store entrance. Have your keys ready when you're heading back to the car with your purchases and wear your purse across your body. Better yet, leave your purse at home and only take the bare essentials in your pocket — one credit card, keys, phone and your favorite lipstick. Note to self: Wear cargo pants, not jeggings.
Of course we know you're a very kind person, but during the holiday shopping frenzy, go out of your way to do extra little acts of kindness. Buy a coffee for the person behind you in line, let the other car have the parking spot or leave a quarter near an arcade game for a child to find. You'll be spreading a little joy and hopefully lighting a spark for others to do the same. Happy holidays.