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As Christmas rolls around it can be difficult to shop for friends and family members that might have expensive tastes or who you don’t know all that well. Christmas can also feel overwhelming financially and emotionally.

I’ve always helped my mom do the Christmas shopping every year but lately, I’ve taken on a larger role in helping her score the best gifts for the best deals to impress everyone on our gift list. So, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that will hopefully help make your holidays run a little smoother!

Tip 1: Set up a gift exchange/White Elephant with your family/friend group

This tip will help you save money during the holidays and can save you a lot of stress over figuring out what to gift everyone. You can also use different apps or websites, such as Elfster, that help organize the amount of people in your gift exchange, keep track of important dates such as the day of your event, and give everyone in your group the option to fill out their wishlists. 

Tip 2: Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals

Look out for deals on Black Friday through Cyber Monday that will help lower costs and holiday stress. My favorite stores to shop at with the best deals every year are Ulta Beauty, Old Navy, Amazon, and Bath and Body Works.

Tip 3: Make a Christmas list

I know making a Christmas list sounds like a very obvious tip, but something different I have been doing this year is making a Google Docs Christmas list instead of a handwritten one. This is way more beneficial because as you’re shopping you can take screenshots of different gift ideas and prices to compare with other gifts you may be considering, helping you figure out which is the right fit for each person. Additionally, a Google Docs list will help you stay more organized, as you can quickly highlight names on your list once you’ve gotten their gift. 

Tip 4: Always look online for gift inspo before heading into the store

Shopping in-person is always hectic and stressful during the holiday season and even more so during a pandemic. Therefore, one way you can avoid stress and save time at the store is by looking online before you shop and coming in already aware of what the store sells and possibly even what exactly you’re going to buy. Looking online also has many perks, since you can usually hit the free shipping minimum pretty quickly, which would save you a trip to the store.

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Chantal Chew

UC Berkeley '24

Hi everyone! I am a second year at UC Berkeley studying Public Health. On my free time I enjoy binge watching new shows on Netflix, FaceTiming family, and hanging out with friends.
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