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Christmas Shopping with Kids – How to Stay Sane

Christmas shopping with kids

Guest post: This article was written by Rachel Noonan the owner of online baby products shop Bubbalove. Bubbalove sell a wide range of products for your little one and also for you! Check out her store for some lovely Christmas ideas.

Christmas shopping is often a fun and exciting time for families. But when you’re shopping with kids, it can quickly turn into a terrifying experience — one that even the most experienced parents can’t stand up to. Many choose to simply leave all the shopping, put it back on the shelves, and walk out of the store — or even worse, to simply drop the basket and run, never finishing the task they set out to complete. This can definitely have an impact on your sanity, especially if you have more than one kid— and for them all to have a tantrum at the same time!

But worry not — there’s still hope, and you’d be surprised to learn that, with a little planning and our tips below, you can stay sane during your Christmas-shopping experience. Yes, even if your kids are coming too!

1. Create a Shopping List – and Stick to It

Going to the store without a clear shopping list in mind can lead to a horrifying experience for parents. If you don’t know what to shop for, and where to find everything, you’ll probably wander from store to store and shelf to shelf, with your little ones distracting you from all of your intended purchases.

Here’s a rule to live by when you go shopping with kids (at any time of the year): write down everything you need to get, and group items by store and/or department. You can even plan out your shopping route store by store. This will save you time, and will make the whole shopping experience significantly less stressful.

2. Buy from Shops That Do Gift-Wrapping

Gift-wrapping can be a massive task, especially if your little ones like to ‘assist’ you. Often, kids’ desire to help you out can be maddening, and refusing them almost always leads to tantrums.

Avoid this by buying from shops that offer gift-wrapping. They already have some pretty gift wraps handy, and you can save lots of time and frustration. Plus, your kids will certainly enjoy the “show”!

3. Choose Stores with Parenting Rooms or Kids’ Areas

Wouldn’t it be truly blissful to take your children with you when you go shopping for Christmas gifts, but keep them from making your experience rather unpleasant? Well, that’s possible — if you choose a store with parenting rooms or play areas. These areas have been specifically designated for parents to drop off the kids to play, and continue shopping on their own. Once you’re done getting everything on your list, you can go and take the kids back.

Kids’ areas inside stores or shopping malls/centres are literally a ‘Godsend’ — so take advantage of them to make Christmas shopping a stress-free experience. Some IKEA stores have the ultimate play areas which kids find hard to leave!

4. Go Late Night Shopping with a Friend

Why take the kids with you when you can leave them at home with your other half, while you have a splendid time with a friend? Make a ‘date’ of it — head out for dinner, a couple of drinks, and then some late-night shopping. Time will pass easier this way, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way back home. The good news is, you’ve got all the gifts on your shopping list, you’ve enjoyed a great ‘date’ with your friend, and your little ones have spent quality time with their your partner. Everyone wins!

5. Switch to Online Shopping

Online shopping doesn’t entail going out with your kids, or them having tantrums — you can do this between housework, at the office, when the kids are in bed, or even on the go while commuting. Even better, online shopping means you don’t have to worry about everyone else rushing to the store to buy gifts, and you can probably find some handsome discounts online too.

Never again will you cringe when you hear the words “Christmas shopping”. It doesn’t have to terrify you — if you follow our advice, your experience is sure to be absolutely stress and tantrum free!

What are your top Christmas shopping tips? Leave us a comment below.



  1. Alice
    December 8, 2015 at 1:30 AM

    I have a teenage kids, so they are helping me with shopping a lot 🙂 They tought me how to buy on-line, but I still prefer go to the shop in some cases 🙂 But my friends always go shopping with their kids (13 and 12 years old) and they choose presents together (of course not for themeselves – that is always a secret). And, for crowded places they have installed Kidtracker app, so they could know, where exatly their teenagers actually are 🙂

    • December 8, 2015 at 6:48 AM

      That app sounds like a great idea Alice!

  2. November 24, 2015 at 10:33 AM

    Great tips. Any shopping with kids makes me shudder, never mind Christmas shopping. We going to Melbourne this year, so I have done a lot of my shopping online and had it shipped there. High fives to me, I think, lol xx

    • November 24, 2015 at 12:58 PM

      Thanks Robyn 🙂 Great idea to have it all shipped to Melb!

  3. November 23, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    Leave the kids at home 😉

    • November 24, 2015 at 12:59 PM

      Hehe, they really shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the shops.

  4. November 23, 2015 at 1:43 AM

    Terrific tips . Online shopping is always the winner for me and lists are essential !

    • November 24, 2015 at 1:00 PM

      Thanks Jules 🙂

  5. November 22, 2015 at 8:39 AM

    Such great ideas, especially going with a list!! Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst and hope you’ll pop by again 🙂 x

    • November 22, 2015 at 9:25 AM

      Thanks Helen 🙂 A list is so important.

  6. November 21, 2015 at 6:47 PM

    I’m a massive fan of #4 and #5! ESPECIALLY number 4! It’s the perfect excuse for a girly night as the hubs will do anything to avoid shopping! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub – it’s lovely to meet you and your blog…I’ll be back!

    • November 22, 2015 at 9:27 AM

      Haha, all hubbies hate shopping!

  7. November 21, 2015 at 6:03 PM

    I’m a huge fan of online shopping now that one got two little ones in tow, it makes it sooo easy, but making a “date” night of it with a friend sounds like lots of fun too 🙂

    • November 22, 2015 at 9:28 AM

      Online shopping is the way to go! A night out without kids is always good too 😉

  8. November 21, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    I cant bear to shop with my 1 year old at the moment, she is super active and hates being carried or put in the pram, she prefers running in whatever is the opposite direction to where we should be going. I definitely think late night or online shopping are my options this year!

    • November 29, 2015 at 6:54 PM

      This sounds exactly like my boy! Just runs and runs and runs…

  9. November 21, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    I’ve just rediscovered online shopping and I’m loving it. So much choice, especially for the anime and collectable things my teens are into, that you just can’t get in the country. And delivered to your door, often for free. Love it.

    • November 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM

      I’m in love with online shopping too!! 🙂

  10. November 21, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    Love the idea of late night shopping with a friend! That combined with some online shopping seem like a good plan for me! Great tips and thanks for linking up with the rabbit hole xx

    • November 21, 2015 at 7:55 AM

      Seems like the most civilised option, doesn’t it 🙂

  11. November 21, 2015 at 1:59 AM

    Haven’t actually started my christmas shopping yet this year but I think online is definitely the way forward! Thanks for sharing. #coolmumclub

    • November 21, 2015 at 7:23 AM

      Thanks 🙂 Definitely online!

  12. November 20, 2015 at 12:58 AM

    These are fab tips. Anything that makes it easier with an 2 year old is very welcome in my books!

    • November 20, 2015 at 9:15 PM

      Thanks Leslie 🙂 It’s so hard shopping with kids, isn’t it!?

  13. November 19, 2015 at 11:47 PM

    Great tips. Having a list helps as you can check how much things are in advance and keep an eye on costs too.

    • November 20, 2015 at 10:15 AM

      Thanks 🙂 Yes, lists are so important. I can’t stand just wandering around the shops not knowing what I’m looking for.

  14. November 19, 2015 at 3:48 PM

    With a newborn this year all of my shopping is being done online. No way I am facing the craziness of the mall if I can avoid it.

    • November 20, 2015 at 10:16 AM

      Congratulations Tamara! Online is the way to go, definitely.

  15. November 19, 2015 at 3:00 AM

    Such great tips! My one year old has such a short attention span – so hard to even go grocery shopping with him!

    • November 19, 2015 at 7:29 AM

      Thanks Chrissa 🙂 So does mine!!! He lasts about 5 minutes in a store!

  16. November 19, 2015 at 1:54 AM

    Great tips for parents this time of year. Sometimes, you simply MUST bring the kids!~ or shop online!

    • November 19, 2015 at 7:29 AM

      Thanks Carol 🙂 Online is definitely the way to go!