* If you work, take advantage of your lunch hour for shopping, organizing, planning etc. Eat lunch at your desk and order online.
* Order online. Select items from magazines, newspapers, TV etc. and order online. You can do a little at a time without the stress of the store traffic.
* If you have to give a number of people a gift, select one gift and give everyone the same items. This cuts down on thinking through each one. Select a picture frame, candle, box of baked goodies or something simple to let others know you are thinking of them.
* Shop for gifts throughout the year.
* During the month of December, shop first thing in the morning. Most malls open early during the peak season. Be there before the doors open, most are unlocked before the stated time, and shop for a few hours before the rush hits. Leave before the stress arrives.
* Take advantage of free or inexpensive gift wrapping when you make your purchases. It is worth it in the end.
* Go out to dinner with a close friend in early September, after the kids are back in school and the fall schedule is underway. Help each other make a list of everyone that you need to buy for this season. Start making preliminary ideas of what to buy. See if you have similar items on the two lists so you can “double” purchase. Challenge each other to get a percentage of the names done monthly. Meet monthly to unwind, review and relax.
* Have a wrapping party. This task usually falls to the female, so get the males involved by having them load up the car or truck with all your gifts. Select one house for 5 – 6 close friends to gather – that male gets to unload it all. Enjoy wrapping together and talking. Have plenty of refreshments on hand.
* For presents you have to wrap, wrap as you go. Wrap a few each night. IF you have a large family, color coordinate the wrapping for each person in the family so you can easily identify whom each package belongs to.