Shopping Reminder Day

It's time to put on comfortable footwear and arm yourself with plenty of cash and plastic cards because, in case you forgot: It's Shopping Reminder Day!

In the days before Christmas, television and magazines bombard you with ads all designed to motivate you to shop. After all, Christmas is looming and there are only 30 days to 'shop until you drop.'

Shopping Reminder Day is just another wacky holiday that isn't really a holiday.
Some people need a bit of a push to get them going, like busy husbands who wait until December 24 to jump into action.
A Shopping Reminder Day for procrastinators may not be such a wacky idea after all!

What to shop for

Getting a head start with your Christmas shopping is always a good idea, but only if you know exactly what you want to buy as gifts. If you aren't sure, one way to solve this problem is to listen closely to any obvious hints, watch if your loved ones linger in front of display cases or notice if they go all gooey-eyed over a certain item. Pay attention and be a detective to find gift ideas that your recipients will love.

When in doubt, talk with a family member or friend of the person you intend to shop for. If they aren't sure, ask them to be discreet about helping you discover that one special gift to put under the Christmas tree.

Another more practical idea is to go right to the source. Ask the people you intend to shop for to draw up a wish list. This is a sure way to avoid disappointments. The person will get something he wants without knowing exactly what the gift will be.

You might want to consider drawing up a wish list yourself. Maybe there's something in particular you would like, but don't dare to ask for. Don't expect your family and friends to be mind readers. Maybe they know what you want, maybe they don't. A wish list takes the guess work out of shopping and helps you avoid picking up unwanted gifts that end up being returned.

Make a list

Once you have your shopping information, write down all the potential purchases and create a budget. Too many people get caught up in a shopping frenzy and later turn white when they see their credit card bills.

A list will also remind you to purchase a few extra gifts to cover you in case of surprises. Be prepared with a gift for the hostess of a party, for your boss or as a small token of your appreciation for your child's favorite teacher or your valued colleague. You might even want to get an extra gift for an unexpected guest who appears on Christmas Eve.

Your shopping list should also include wrapping paper, name tags and sticky tape.

If the prospect of shopping is enough to depress you, call a friend and start the conversation with 'In case you forgot: it's Shopping Reminder Day.' Chances are, she'll find the task just as daunting and be glad for your company. After all, an extra pair of hands might come in handy to help carry the load.

If Santa Claus can make it, so can you.