black friday sales are not a reason to wait to shop for holiday

Don’t Wait Until Black Friday to Start Buying Christmas Presents

I’ll be honest. I normally start thinking about Christmas presents in October. To me this feels early. I aim to have all gifts purchased by December 1, but that’s not always the case.

Just like you, I’m preprogrammed to procrastinate and wait until the last minute. I have all kinds of reasons for why it’s too early, and in my head I am feeling the stress of gift giving, and then I procrastinate even more.

When it comes to shopping for a loved one for their birthday or for Christmas or for whatever, the best time to start is right now.

So what are some actions you can take today to stop procrastinating?

Black Friday is a thing of the past

In the past, waking up at 4am to wait in line at Best Buy or Walmart for some doorbuster special was the best way to get a good deal. These days those same offers can often be found online. No need to wake up far before dawn after a holiday to get them.

Even brands’ online stores are constantly running offers and specials. Black Friday became “holiday weekend”, which became Cyber Week, and now offers and specials begin mid November if not earlier and run through Christmas. For many brands even their own anniversary or “friends and family” events are already stronger or as strong as their Black Friday specials. So why wait until after Thanksgiving?

Not only that, with Amazon’s Prime Day now an annual and global event, other brands are taking notice. They’re joining in with their own offers and promos to cash in on this huge event in July. This is pushing great offers even earlier.

Any excuse to wait for Black Friday because of great deals just doesn’t cut it. So knock it off!

Try this instead: set up a dedicated shopping email account and sign up for email newsletters from your favorite brands. When you feel like shopping you’ll know what’s trending and who’s having a special. It won’t overload your personal inbox with offers. Better still, if you’re using Gmail you can connect the two accounts to switch back and forth easily whether on your computer or on your phone.

While this may mean you’ll have to get creative about where you’re going to hide the 65” plasma, maybe we don’t need all that stuff after all…

Be present listening throughout the year

The old standby: “What do you want for your birthday?” or “What do you want for Christmas?” just isn’t cutting it.

I’ll concede, asking that does show you care enough to want to get them something. While that’s the case, the whole point of a gift is to surprise and delight the recipient. If you’re asking what they want then buying it, while sure it’s delightful, is it really saying everything you wanted to say?

The act of gift giving is to show love and appreciation. If we really love and appreciate someone, there’s no need to ask them what they want. If we look closer we actually have ideas of what is going to mean a lot to the recipient, and we’re willing to put ourselves out there to gift it.

Listen throughout the year, not just after you ask what they want for Christmas. This is two fold. It’s great for improving any relationship and it’ll totally up your gift giving game. When you are really listening and not trying to control or change someone else, you’re going to get what’s going on in their mind. You’ll be picking up on things they need. There will definitely be times when your loved one says something they really want, make a note of it even if it’s February 8. There will be other times something clicks for you based on concerns or complaints your loved one has shared with you.

This will be a far more powerful gift exchange than one that was built off of asking what they want directly.

When inspiration strikes

Anywhere you travel unique discoveries. You can find anything from interesting artisan crafts to local products. Use this as a time for inspiration.

Sure some people travel the world and may bring back exotic gifts, like a tribal didgeridoo from the outback of Australia. That’s not what I’m talking about, though that would be an epic gift for someone who loves all types of exotic instruments.

Whether you’re 6.5 miles away at your local flea market or 6500 miles away on the other side of the globe, inspiration will strike. You’ll see something and think, “That would be perfect for so-and-so.” And just the act of saying “That’d be perfect for so-and-so” is worth noting. Make the purchase right then and there or make a note of what it is about the person that makes that gift great.

I usually have a notepad on my phone that I use to keep a log of gift ideas for loved ones. Maybe it’s things they’ve mentioned or ideas I see while out and about. Then you have loads of ideas based off of what you know about the person, what you’ve heard from them, and you don’t have to rely on a special offer in November because you’re out of other ideas.

When Black Friday rolls around you can be as calm as Christmas tree, because your closet is stocked with gifts that just need to be wrapped and sealed with a note.

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