Five more tips to simplify the season

1. Decrease the stress of shopping.

• Shop weekdays instead of weekends.

• Shop earlier or later in the day.

• Skip malls, department, or discount stores if you don’t like crowds or standing in lines.

• Try online or catalog shopping.

• Avoid shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

2. Put some advance planning into the shopping.

• Make a list of what you need to buy.

• Know your destinations and strategically plan your stops.

• Make some phone calls in advance.

3. Consider buying the same thing for more than one person.

• Consider choosing a theme for the year.

• Give the gift of your time.

• Make a voucher for a home-made dinner and an evening to share it.

• Give your older neighbor a certificate for a few hours of yard work help.

• Take a friend for lunch.

4. Remember a gift is simply that.

• A gift should not be meant to communicate to others your entire feelings about them, tied up with a bow.

5. Be environmentally friendly.

• Buy products with minimal packaging.

• Recycle wrappings from previous years.

• Shop locally and support small businesses and craftsmen.

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