Shoppers in Galway cannot have any complaints about the range of gifts that will be available to them this year and will have no need to leave the city or county in order to make sure their stockings are well filled this Christmas. With the Christmas market starting in Eyre Square this week and the wide range of shops in the city streets and county towns, there is plenty of food for thought as we plan our Christmas gift guide.
Money is tight this festive season so there is no need to go mad on gifts. Something with a bit of thought behind it is appreciated far more than a handy but expensive present.
They say it is the season to be jolly, but for many of us the thought of having to hit the shops during the festive season is terrifying. With the proper preparation and planning you can make Christmas shopping a fun experience that is hassle free.
• Plan, plan, plan. As obvious as it sounds make sure you plan out your Christmas present list. Sit down and go through the names of the people you plan on buying presents for this year. This way you will be less likely to forget anyone. Also, think about family members, should you and your siblings get together to buy presents for your parents? And will it be easier for you and your spouse/partner to buy presents for close family friends as a couple?
• Budget. Christmas is an expensive time of the year, between parties, new clothes, and presents. You should have been saving since August, right! Calculate how much money you can realistically spend on presents, this is where buying presents together will help you save.
• Keep it simple. For those friends and family members who usually give you a courtesy present every Christmas, why not keep it simple by buying a selection of chocolates and wines to divide out among them? There are usually offers on wines, chocolates, and biscuits at this time of year,
• Buy one, get one free. Some shops have offers on during Christmas such as buy two gifts and get one free. This can be a great way of saving money, but only if you really need the three presents.
• It’s the season to be jolly, not stressed out, so plan your shopping time well. Try to figure out what you are going to buy people and head straight for the shops that supply them. You can browse for stocking fillers later.
• If you are having a bit of trouble getting through the crowds try to pick a quiet time of the day such as early morning and keep it mid-week. Galway is a great shopping city, with retail parks, shopping centres, and streets to choose from you should be able to pick up everything you need.
• Relax. Christmas shopping does not have to be a rush. There are plenty of coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants in Galway for you to choose from. Take the weight off your feet half way through your shopping day and soak up the festive atmosphere in town. If you are at the Christmas market in Eyre Square, avail of the offers for afternoon tea in local hotels or take a break and stroll through the streets and find a cosy eatery to rest your legs and satisfy your palate.
• Wrap it up. Once you have the important presents out of the way wrap them up, label them, and put them away. This way you won’t be tempted to keep any of the presents for yourself.
• Treat yourself. Buying Christmas presents can be hard work. So why not treat yourself to something little? Let’s face it, receiving is much nicer than giving.