Yes, you read the title of this post right, and, no, it’s not December yet.
So why am I bringing up the holiday season before we’ve even hit Halloween? After spending four years cramming all of my holiday shopping into roughly a week thanks to finals, lack of a car on campus and many other commitments associated with college, I made a vow last year-my holiday season as a college grad-that I wouldn’t put myself through that torture again. So, I started early, and you know what? I had a much smoother holiday season. I know it sounds like common sense, but it can be hard to put into practice. (It’s pretty easy to say you’ll pick up that scarf for mom a couple of months from now.) However, by beginning now, you’ll reap plenty of benefits and save yourself a ton of headaches.
Here are fives good reasons to start stocking up for the holidays now while malls and boutiques are relatively calm.
1. You’ll avoid ridiculously long lines.
Okay, we’ve all been there. You only need one thing from a store-for me it was a Jeff Dunham CD for my dad from FYE-and you get caught in a line 20 people long, turning your quick trip into an unwanted long excursion, cutting into the time you need to spend in other stores. Avoiding the lines alone is enough to get a jump start on your holiday shopping now.
2. You can avoid sticker shock by spacing out purchases.
One of the things that can really damper your holiday spirit is the total you get at the register, especially during these tough economic times. By starting now, you can spread out purchases over a couple of months rather than a couple of weeks giving you time to really compare prices to get the best deal and avoid one big lump sum at one time. You may even be able to carve out some extra funds for a few purchases that fall in a slightly higher price range.
3. You’ll be able to get more attention from salespeople.
Having worked in retail for the last year, I can attest that December is one of the hardest times to get one-on-one time with a salesperson. It’s not that we don’t want to help you, but it’s difficult to really give customers our full attention when there’s so many vying for it. If you come in now, you’ll be able to have all your questions answered with little interruption and may even score some great gift recommendations for the people on your list.
4. You have time to get crafty.
If you’re the type who likes to give homemade gifts rather than store-bought, starting on your holiday gifts is even more vital. You’ll have time to plan out your projects, price out and purchase supplies, and map out your time frame. You’ll also give yourself a window to purchase gifts if you run into problems with your projects.
5. You’ll avoid a lot of dreaded holiday stress.
While everyone else is running around like crazy, you’ll be able sit back and enjoy the holiday season knowing, with the exception of a few last-minute items, you have the majority of your holiday gifts purchased. Hey, you might even be able to squeeze in a little personal shopping. (If you’re willing to deal with the lines.)