Gearing Up for the Holidays: How will YOU Shop?

Gearing Up for the Holidays: How will YOU Shop?

Depending on where you live you may look outside and notice the leaves just starting to turn. After a long blast of oppressive heat, some cool, crisp air is finally starting to seep in. You might have even felt a nip in the air late at night. That means the holidays are right around the corner, which naturally means holiday shopping. Of course, the holidays are going to be a little different this year. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

The watch words for this year are pandemic and sustainability. 

The pandemic part is obvious. You’ll want to keep not only yourself safe, but also avoid the risk of exposing those around you. For example, you may not want to hit the malls with the same fervor you did in the past. Sure they may be all decked out for the holidays, but you have the coronavirus to contend with along with the usual crowds, limited parking and the long walk from store to store. Think about some of the crazy holiday sales you’ve seen where you have lines of people out at 4:00 a.m. in pajamas. You see them huddling together to keep warm in the late November/early December chill so they can be the part of the first two-hundred shoppers in the store. That’s the type of thing you may want to skip this year, right along with the kids sitting on Santa’s lap. 

Sustainability is another important factor to consider. At its simplest it means shopping in such a way as to reduce the number of things that end up in a landfill. Sustainability might mean donating old clothes instead of throwing them out. Could you reuse some of them? Rather than tossing out an old sweater, consider converting it into legwarmers. A flannel shirt might make a nifty set of potholders, an ideal gift for the family chef. Turn that silk shirt into a set of pillowcases for your son or daughter to use in their new house. When you look at old items as materials to be used to make something else rather than items to be thrown away, you’ll begin to see a wealth of creative possibilities that reduce waste, inspire your imagination and save money.

Speaking of money, another unfortunate aspect of 2020 is the downturn in the economy. Your holiday budget may not be quite as fat as you’d hoped. However, with challenge comes opportunity. A limited budget means you have to be more thoughtful about the gifts you give. Rather than rushing off to the store to grab the first thing you see, take the time to assess the person you’re buying for. What do they really need? What is the one thing that would put a fantastic smile on their face? Keep in mind how that person lives and what they like to do with their time. For example, a fancy computer might seem like the perfect gift for Grandma, but will she really use it? 

Also, don’t make your shopping list any longer than it has to be. Don’t feel the need to give a gift to every single person you’ve ever met in your entire life. Your best friend’s boyfriend’s cousin’s dentist might be a great person, but they don’t necessarily need a heartfelt gift. If you must give something to people outside your direct sphere of family and friends, consider a homemade card instead. 

Yes, the holidays may be a little different this year, but it’s no reason to worry. Be smart and sensible and you can have fun and build some great holiday memories. 

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