Christmas Shopping with Kids – How to Stay Sane
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.