Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pursuing Peace Week 3: 5 Tips for a More Peaceful Holiday Shopping Experience

It's already started.

The honking, the name calling, the tailgating, the finger pointing, arms flailing, traffic jams everywhere you go.

You know the holiday season is upon you when people all around you are suddenly in a BIG hurry.

I'm that person a lot of the times. Ask my husband.

But this season I am resolving to...

Slow down.

Keep my cool.


Enjoy this time of year.

I don't want to get caught up in all the commotion, the stress, the rush, rush, rushing around.

I want peace.

What about you?

 I want to slow down and enjoy this time of year for the right reasons because the wrong reasons tend to trip me up and send me in a frenzy. This year I want peace.

If you also want peace this holiday season, here are 5 tips to make shopping a more pleasant and peaceful experience:

1. Have a plan.

Make a list of the places you need to go and the items you need to purchase. Determine how much time you have to get your shopping done and plan your stops reasonably, allowing enough time for driving, shopping, and potential slowdowns. Arm yourself with sales ads, coupons, a water bottle, snack-- anything you need to achieve shopping success. 

Organize your shopping trip according to places you need to stop at first, second, third, etc. If you're like me, I get in the car and wonder, "Where to first?" Having a written plan with the order of stops will keep you from driving all over the place and becoming frustrated.

Do not veer from the plan. I repeat: Do not veer from the plan. 

While you are out, you may think, "Oh, I need to run in Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby." Don't do it if it's not part of your original plan. This impulse shopping will cause regrets later, and you may take out your ire on innocent people. Trust me: been there, done that already today.

Also, if you derail from the original shopping plan, you risk rushing to get to the places you really needed to go, and that's when you start the honking, yelling, and finger pointing.

2. Have a budget & stick with it.

Planning and budgeting go hand in hand. Without a plan you're as lost as last year's Easter egg. You have no sense of peace because you're wasting time and aren't getting anything accomplished. Likewise, when you don't have a plan for how to spend your hard-earned money, you become stressed because you're making purchases that often you can't really afford. 

I think all the commercialism and spending at Christmas time is what creates so much stress in people. Credit cards are pulled out to pay for gifts people really can't afford, and then, they become frustrated and worried about how to pay the minimum payment after the holidays. 

Make a budget and stick with it! I recommend Life Your Way's free {Christmas} Budget Worksheet to help you create a basic Christmas gift budget.  

3. Turn on relaxing music. 

Anytime I go shopping I get antsy. It probably doesn't help that I love to shop. So, if I'm in a particularly hurried mood, I like to listen to this or this or this. Or I will turn on my local classical music station or put in this Christmas CD just to slow down and enjoy my shopping experience. 

Even if you can't stand elevator music, listening to something soothing will help you remain calm when that man whips right into the parking space you've been waiting patiently for.

4. Forego the caffeine.

I love to go shopping armed with a tall peppermint mocha, but in my experience, large doses of caffeine do not a merry shopper make. Excessive caffeine tends to make me jittery and overly anxious. When I'm all amped up on caffeine, I make impulsive purchases and just act impulsively overall. A better alternative for me is a decaf latte or water. 

If you're curious how much caffeine is in your preferred shopping beverage, look here or here for Starbucks drinks.

5. Shop during slow times or online.

I like to do the bulk of my Christmas shopping online. With three small children, it's just the simplest, most peaceful way to go. There are no long lines, no traffic, and no rude customers to contend with.

Still, if you enjoy doing your holiday shopping at the mall or stores, the best times to go are first thing in the morning, late at night, and during work/school hours. If you go to the grocery store at 5:00 p.m., in my opinion, you are asking for trouble. Likewise, shopping on Black Friday may be exciting and fun, but more than likely you will not have the most peaceful shopping experience.

"Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace." 
Psalm 37:37

The holidays can and should be enjoyable. I hope these 5 tips for a more peaceful shopping experience will help you during this holiday season. 

**For other free printable worksheets to help you plan for a peaceful, enjoyable Christmas, check here.

Praying for peace for you this holiday season,

Other posts in our series on Pursuing peace:
Pursuing Peace Week 2: Submitting Our To-Do Lists to the Lord
Pursuing Peace: A Series to Help Us Enjoy the Holiday Season
Pursuing Peace Week 1: What is Peace?

Linking up with: The Better MomMonday Mom MusingsRaising ArrowsTime-Warp Wife, Artful Tuesday, Teach Me TuesdaysLeaving a Legacy, Women Living Well WednesdaysRaising HomemakersRaising Mighty Arrows 


  1. These are great!

    I don't know if I can get on board the whole "no caffeine" concept though ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by earlier!
    ~Elisabeth@The Beekeeper's Granddaughter

    1. Oh, I know! I love having a coffee with me while I shop, but caffeine tends to make me an impulse shopper.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Keri, I'm visiting via the MMM link-up and you have great tips for keeping it cool during this crazy shopping time. I just did a bunch of my online last week and it was really fun--and peaceful! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Great, Meredith! I will have to check out your post!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. So thankful you stopped by my blog! I love yours and I can't wait to read more!!

  4. Great Tips! I have to admit I never stick to... actually I never even make a budget :x

    This year I will certainly make and stick to a budget.

    Thanks for reading my post on Iron Sharpens Iron Bloggers

    God Bless <3