Yes, I mentioned the C word. I heard Christmas songs in a shop this week so the countdown is officially on!
I was talking to a friend about going Christmas shopping this week and whilst I much prefer to do my shopping online, there is something magical about going to the shops, listening to all the songs and getting into the Christmas spirit.
Nearly a quarter of Britons view Christmas shopping as more stressful than rush hour traffic, filling in forms or flying, according to a survey by Ocado. With lots of people to buy for, having a plan is the best way to ensure it is most definitely a happy Christmas, so here are our top tips for stress free Christmas shopping.
1. Make a list
I have been the worlds worst for impulse shopping in the past so making a list (and checking it twice, just to find out who is naughty or nice) absolutely helps to have a definitive number of gifts to buy and who to buy for.
2. Start Early
Its never too early to start and although it is October, I know people who started in early September. Not only does this give you more time to get everything sorted, it will help you spread the cost too.
3. DIY Gifts
Sometimes it is the handmade gifts that mean more than the expensive cashmere jumper, so if you are a nifty knitter or a crochet queen, then a handmade scarf or blanket could be the ideal and very personal gift for someone this Christmas.
4. Create a budget
Budget, budget, budget. Do not spend what you don't have. If you have a set budget, don't deviate from it. It will make gift selection easier and results in more practical purchases, rather than emotional ones.
5. Enjoy a little Christmas Spirit
In Birmingham, the German and Craft Markets span a mile of the city from Symphony Hall through hundreds of stalls leading down New Street to the Bull Ring Shopping Centre, which houses some fabulous shops, restaurants and bars. So why not treat yourself to a glass or two of wine and a stay at a hotel to make a weekend of it. You know we love a good deal, so we have found some great places to stay in Birmingham:
Holiday Inn Coventry
We actually have our Water Babies lessons at the Holiday Inn now, although I am more interested in splashing some festive cheer in a glass, than in the pool at the moment!
I think I just need to get some friends together and see if they fancy joining in the Christmas spirit with me! Who fancies it?
Disclosure : This post is in collaboration with IHG but all stress free tips are our own.