Make holiday shopping excursions special

As they fulfill the social obligations of the holiday season, many people find themselves spending less time at home. Consumer Reports notes that individuals spend a great deal of time shopping for gifts come the holiday season. Americans engage in 15 hours of shopping on average, with women spending twice as long as their male counterparts (20 hours versus 10). In addition, the average person devotes 10 or more hours to wrapping and returning gifts.

Holiday shopping can monopolize people’s time away from home during the months of November and December, and some shoppers wonder how they become so disconnected from other activities, including family time, that they cherish throughout the rest of the year. One way to tackle holiday shopping without sacrificing time with family and friends is to make holiday shopping a social event.

Invite friends or family along

Recreate the days of your youth when it was fun to meet friends at the mall and scour the shops. Plan a meeting location and have an itinerary in place. Divide shopping lists so that everyone shares the task of shopping and fatigue doesn’t set in prematurely.

Make lunch or dinner part of the day

Incorporate refueling into your shopping plans. Failure to eat or drink can lead to hunger pangs and test shoppers’ patience, two factors that are seldom conducive to successful shopping. Having an end goal to meet friends or family at a nearby restaurant – even a dining location right within the mall – can inspire intrepid shoppers to get their work done promptly. Reward yourself for a job well done over a tasty meal and maybe a cocktail. Just be sure to indulge responsibly.

Break up the day with a flick.

Many malls also play home to movie theaters. Plan your shopping around the movie schedule so you can take a two-hour break to rest and relax in the theater. Chances are you’ll come out of the film relaxed, refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your shopping list.

Make it a date night

The thought of shopping may not conjure up ideas of romance, but if time is short, couples can use shopping excursions as an opportunity to spend time together. Visit a coffee shop or a bar for a nightcap afterward and enjoy some one-on-one time. Parents can enlist the help of a babysitter to keep children entertained while they enjoy some uninterrupted time with each other.

Shopping fills the days leading to the holidays. Make the most of such excursions by inviting friends and family along.

-Metro Creative Graphics Inc.