MARQUETTE - There are five days left until Christmas and if you've still got plenty of last-minute gift shopping to do, you are not alone.
There's still time left, but the clock is ticking. At this late stage in the season, shopping locally is probably your best bet. By now, Internet gift shopping involves trusting gifts will arrive on time and likely paying increased shipping fees to ensure that they do.
Getting out to the local stores can get your shopping done quickly and easily and in a lot of cases, gift wrapped too.
Shoppers hit the Westwood Mall in Marquette recently. (Jounral file photo by Andy Nelson-Zaleski)
The website www.worldofchristmas. net offers some good advice for those running down the Christmas shopping clock. These tips can help you save time and money in your gift searches:
- Even though you are shopping at the last minute, it does not mean that you will exceed your budget. Just set an approximate limit as to how much will you spend and stick to it.
- Since you are shopping at the last minute, you won't be having much time for browsing through stores aimlessly. Just make a list of all the persons you want to buy a gift for, along with the gifts that they would most probably like or want.
- Before leaving for the store, it's better to pick up the newspaper to get an idea about which stores still have sales in progress. This will save much of your time.
- It is often better to consider first go to the large stores or small stores that offer a wide variety of items under a single roof. You will likely be able to take care of several presents at the same time.
- Don't forget to visit discount stores in your haste. At times, you can get extremely good deals there and save a lot of money.
- Even though you are sure to encounter large crowds as Christmas Day comes near, you can still avoid the largest crowds if you visit the stores during daytime hours.
- During the final days before Christmas, the large crowds can provide opportunities for thieves. If you don't want to become the potential target of pickpockets, leave excess cash, credit cards, et cetera, at home.
- If you are planning to buy clothes for someone, it is better to have the complete information regarding measurements and sizes before you leave home.
- If you are purchasing electronic items, it is better to read the complete information about warranty, replacement, et cetera.
- Since you may be shopping for a long time, it is better to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. At the same time, avoid clutch or oversized handbags.
Beyond these tips, it's also a good idea to take breaks if you get tired, maybe making a trip to the car to drop off some of your bags to lighten your load.
If you have a large amount of shopping to do, it might help to break it up into a couple of days of effort to make things seem less daunting. It might also be a nice idea to celebrate the finish of your Christmas gift shopping with a nice meal or at least a treat of some kind. Shopping with others can make things more fun, but can also slow down your shopping excursions.
For more information, visit: www.worldofchristmas.net
John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.