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December 2019

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4 easy ways to minimize gift-giving stress


(NC) Being tasked with finding a great gift for a friend, family member or office Secret Santa can prove challenging. Sure, there’s the worry of the gift selection itself – even the best gifters can find themselves stumped when attempting to buy for the person who has everything, or for someone they barely know. Factor in the stress of gift wrapping, timely delivery if you’re ordering online and trying to score a just-right item that also suits your budget, and you’ve got a perfect holiday-anxiety storm.

Fortunately, alleviating the aforementioned stress is very possible. Here are four ways to help:

  1. Whittle your list. Even if it feels like your people-to-shop-for list is set in stone, know this: it’s okay to reassess each year. Buying for kids instead of adults in a family-and-friends dynamic is a great way to minimize spending and incorporating an ornament exchange with hard-to-buy-for types will keep the spirit of giving alive without sacrificing your sanity in the process.
  2. Be a purposeful shopper. A great way to avoid buying items your recipients don’t want or need? Make a list. Whether you prefer to shop in-store or online, being prepared before you buy will help minimize unnecessary purchases. And making a list early will also help you determine if you’re planning on buying too many gifts, period.
  3. Get emotional. A study published by the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that many participants chose to give a personal but predictable present, assuming the recipient would prefer it. Interestingly, the study found gift recipients valued emotional gifts that tugged at their heartstrings instead. The takeaway: choosing a gift that’s meaningful and gives back is never wrong. Purchasing a gift from World Vision’s gift catalogue is a great way to feel good about giving, especially considering that each donation has the power to literally change a life.
  4. Shop early and shop smart. Sometimes it’s not possible to finish your holiday shopping by September. So, whenever possible, make a plan to set aside a few hours on a weekend or after work to chip away at your list online or in person to avoid the chaotic last-minute rush. And for those who prefer to shop online but are concerned about delivery dates? Shopping early (and with reputable retailers) is even more important.

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