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We've got the best tips to make your Christmas shopping that little bit easier...
Christmas – we prepare for it months in advance, but somehow we’re always caught out. Whether its last-minute gift shopping or finding your ideal tree, we’re all guilty of stressing out about making Christmas special. The festive fun of carol singing, fairy lights and copious amounts of mince pie can fall by the wayside to the tedium of pounding the pavements in search for the perfect present.
Ensuring that all gifts are purchased and the house is looking festive can take weeks of preparation, Luckily, we’ve taken the hassle out of the seasonal to-do list with the very best Christmas Shopping Hacks to keep you feeling festive.
Click through the gallery and discover the best ways to save money, time and your sanity during the holidays…
Unless you've been asked for a specific item and size, buying clothes as Christmas gifts is a difficult and time-consuming task. Not only that, but chances are either the gift receiver will already own it, loathe it, or grow out of it by next year! Looking for the perfect gift for the fashionista in your life? Opt for a gift card from their favourite shop, so they can pick out their favourite pieces in the Boxing Day sales.
With a neverending Christmas to-do list, it's easy to forget to buy that secret santa gift for your colleague, or buy the same pair of novelty socks you bought for your cousin last year! Prevent any embarrassment of giving the same gift twice, or no gift at all, by keeping a gift diary.
There's always at least one tricky-to-buy-for person on your gift-giving list. Our tip? Find out their favourite nibble or liqueur, wrap it up in a beauitful presentation box and voilå! If you feel like exercising your culinary muscles, cook up one of our edible Christmas gift recipes and show them you really care.
Leaving things til the last minute might sound like a terrible idea, but
shopping on Christmas Eve forces you to be more efficient with your
time. The streets are also surprisingly quiet, as most people will have
finished their shopping.
After the big day, stocking up on wrapping paper, cards and decorations might be the last thing on your mind, but take note - from Boxing Day, many shops offer huge discounts on Christmas items. If you're looking to get ahead for next year and save money, this is the hack for you.
What to get the person that has everything? Give a little extra this Christmas with a charity gift. Not only will you be helping out a cause, but you'll save yourself the hassle of the high street. Charity Gifts has unique ideas offering everything from animal adoption to blankets for babies.
From last-minute Secret Santa to an uninvited guest, Christmas gift-giving is rife with pitfalls. Pick up a 'spare' gift during your shop - something fairly generic like a mug or book - to make sure everyone has something to open. The worst-case scenario? You have a spare present for any upcoming birthdays or even next Christmas.
Whether you buy your tree weeks before Christmas or on Christmas Eve, make sure your tree is fresh to keep your festive décor looking its best. Here is a handy tip: tap the tree trunk on the ground from a few inches. No more than a few needles should drop off - if they do, look for another tree.
Getting to know your firs can also help when it comes to needle droppage. Balsam and Douglas firs are both non-drop varieties, and are generally cheaper than Nordman and Turkish firs.