Thanksgiving is only two short weeks away, and the air is filled with anticipation of the official start of the holiday shopping season.
I’m obviously talking about Black Friday, when people stay up all night to get a shot at (self-proclaimed) once-a-year door-buster sales. I’ve heard people brag how large a percentage of their gift shopping they complete on that one magical day of sales.
But I honestly do not get it.
Black Friday is the pinnacle of impulse shopping. Huge crowds storm through the doors of countless retailers with the lure of getting their hands on a handful of unbelievable sales. While in the rush of the moment, people grab everything and anything that seems like a good sale in fear of missing out.
Sounds like a recipe for overspending, and buying a bunch of stuff we don’t need. I take a different approach to shopping for my Christmas gifts, and choose to enjoy my Thanksgiving holiday differently.
I won’t be standing in line on Thanksgiving evening, and I won’t be getting up early Black Friday morning because I already have a growing stack of gifts accumulating on the floor of our guest bedroom.
Holiday gift shopping became so much easier and less stressful once I started doing the following three steps:
- Keep your ears open: If someone is an important part of your life, you should never have to ask them what they would like as a present. Simply keep your ears open, pay attention to their hobbies, scour their Pinterest boards, and figure out what they like. All you have to do is listen!
- Match the gift to the person, not vice-versa: Many people buy items during the Holiday season, especially on Black Friday, because they’re on sale. Then try to think of who might like to receive it. I find the whole gift giving experience more satisfying and meaningful if I buy something specifically for a person.
- Shop early and plan: I’ve been Christmas shopping for weeks already. We were walking through a Bed, Bath, and Beyond a month ago and found the perfect gift for my brother-in-law. I was in Costco last week buying fruit and found something on sale, that another family member would absolutely love.
As we finish our Thanksgiving dinner at this year’s family gathering, I’m sure people will be passing the ads around. Some will be piecing together their Black Friday shopping plan. But what will I be doing? Dishing up another piece of pumpkin pie, because my gift shopping is already almost done.
What’s your Black Friday strategy this year? Do you brave the crowds to save a buck? Share one way you save money on holiday gift shopping!