It’s that time of year again!
Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, Christmas is rapidly approaching, which means you’d best get off the couch, pile into the car and head to the city to fill the lists of all the good boys and girls you know. Maybe you want to get it out of the way in a day or two in Manchester – great, there are tons of Manchester hotels for you to crash at after your feet give out. Or maybe a few day trips to London is more your speed? Well whatever you decide, it’s best to make plans now.
You might be thinking it’s too early to start shopping – all the good deals don’t come out for another month or so! Well you know what else isn’t out right now? The ridiculous crowds that threaten to undermine your resolve from last year ‘not to leave it to the last minute’ even if it means spending a little more. After all, aren’t they worth it?
Here are some suggestions for how to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible regardless of how you plan on doing it.
With the Family
If you’re bringing the kids, make an adventure of it – it can be a mini vacation that is great way to save money. It’s probably going to be a bit stressful with the wee ones, but just embrace it for what it is. Plan on heading to a shopping centre, pair up the older ones with the younger ones (or take turns with your spouse or some reliable adult) to get things for each of them and then meet up afterwards. Plan for dinner in the food court or if in a nearby restaurant that everyone likes – you’d be amazed how memorable these kids of adventures can be for kids.
Get a group of friends together, take the day off work (calling in sick is more fun!) and head off for a day out together on the town. If you leave early, you can move at a more relaxed pace, have a nice lunch together and have a chance to catch up before the madness of the Christmas season prevents you from seeing each other.
With Your Significant Other (oo la la)
This can be a ton of fun if you are both game for it – so get excited! Plan on leaving after work, visiting a London shopping mall for a few hours where you’ll spend some time together for joint gifts and some apart for each other. Meet up at the end, head to a fancy restaurant for a romantic dinner and then spend the night in any number of fine London hotels. Do your best not to peak at what each other bought… if you even think of it;)
Going by yourself can actually be the best way to go as far as stress factor and efficiency. Plan around your own schedule, make a list of where to get what gift and you’ll be amazed how fast you can get it all done. Maybe you have a shopping mall in your town – skip it and go to a big city like London. It gives you a day in someplace different and with less chance of running into someone you know – sometimes it’s good to get away!