Oh the holidays! It’s the most wonderful time of the year right? Some may say that it also has the potential to be the most stressful time of year. The last thing you want to do is fight crowds and lineups during endless trips to the mall all while trying to maintain some sort of spending budget. Don’t worry friends, I’ve got you covered this season with my five tips and tricks on how to save you and your family time and money during the holiday rush!
1. Do Your Shopping on Black Friday
Black Friday is November 24th this year. Exactly one month before Santa Claus comes to town. Get your shopping done early and take advantage of awesome sales. I can get a lot accomplished if I leave my boys with my hubby, grab a coffee and hit the ground running after work on the Friday evening. There are just so many deals to be had! I can get something for everyone on my list: Lego from Toys R’ Us for the boys, new runners for my hubby at Sport Chek or a gift set from Sephora for my mother-in-law. I always scope out the flyers or in-store deals before I go!
2. Check for Deals Online
“He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice…” If you’re a planner like me, save yourself time and money by checking in-store promotions online before heading to the mall. It’s a quick snapshot of any discounts, sales, BOGOs or free gifts that certain stores might be having. You can also check the mall map and make a list of places that you need to shop so that you don’t miss anything.
3. Register to Visit Santa
Every year, I always want to get the token photo with my boys and Santa. It’s like a small snapshot in time and it’s always fun to look back on how much they’ve grown in the past year. Plus, they LOVE letting Mr. Claus in on their long list of demands. The problem is, it’s almost a gamble, as you never know how long of a wait you’re in for until you get there. That gives this overly prepared mom a bit of anxiety! Thank goodness this year, I’ve learned that you can now reserve your time slot to visit Santa online before going! Pure genius. Select your date and time with the interactive calendar at CF Chinook or CF Market Mall shopping centres.
4. Wrap it Up!
I love anything that helps me take the stress out of gifting. I’m not one of those people who creates these beautifully wrapped gifts. My wrapping always looks obviously rushed: jagged cut edges, tape everywhere, and a sad-looking crumpled bow on top. Definitely not my strong suit as I just don’t have the time to make them fancy. Well this year, the “Tufties” of the Magic Gift Workshop will do it for me! I can even register for that online so that I skip that line too. If I have more than a few packages that need wrapping, then for a small fee I can drop them off at CF Gift Wrap Valet. While I wait, I can relax with a beverage in the lounge area (do you think it would be appropriate if I put my feet up?) or continue shopping and pick it up later. They will even text me when it’s ready. No more ugly gift giving for me!
5. Divide and Conquer
If you like taking in all the festivities that Cadillac Fairview Shopping Centres offer during the holidays then make sure to share the experiences with your family and friends. Since you’ll likely be shopping for the people you are with, divide and conquer! Have your husband take the kids to see Santa or watch the tree lighting on November 21st. My best friend and I love spending time at the mall together during a chilly weekday. She will take the kids to the play centre and I’ll get thirty minutes to hit a couple of stores while they are occupied. I can then return the favour to her while taking the kids for some ice cream so that she can shop. It’s a great way to get out of the house, do something fun and get some of those names checked off my Christmas list!
During the holidays, it’s important to be ready for all the hustle and bustle. Watching my children throwing a screaming fit because the line was too long to see Santa is just something that I don’t need to experience anymore! I’m so glad that I can prepare myself with some smart time and money-saving options so that I can focus on the most important thing: spending my time with my loved ones!
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Cadillac Fairview, as always, all thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.