Christmas should be a happy occasion, but it normally turns out to be a stressful one. In fact, as Ellen Huerta writes on HuffPost, the second highest time of the year when most breakups happen is about two weeks before winter.

It could be because of the weather or perhaps the pressure of meeting families during Christmas time, but it could also just be about the stress that the season brings in general. And where is all this stress coming from? You cannot deny that a huge chunk of it stems from feeling harassed to finish your Christmas shopping in time.

If you don’t want to be a part of the statistics, here are some tips to lighten your load.

Prepare a checklist

As the popular Christmas song goes, “He’s making a list, and checking it twice,” you can also do the same as Santa Claus. Spare yourself from the embarrassment of receiving a gift from someone dear to you and suddenly realizing that you forgot to get them something. Divide your list as per your affiliations with them. For example, you have separate lists for your clubmates, workmates, school friends, and family, of course.

Be an early bird

Shopping for presents in one go is not only tiring. It will also make a significant dent in your bank account. To avoid this, the number one rule is to start shopping early and do it gradually. As advised by MoneySavingExpert.com, you don’t have to incur debts if you buy gifts over a longer period of time.

Buy from several sources

Aside from the list of the people you will give presents to, identify the best presents that you could give them. Sure, there’s probably anything that you can find for everyone in one department store, but you want to make them feel that you put some thought into what you give them. Custom-made items will be a big hit. For example, for your girl friends, consider custom jewelry available in Salt Lake City.

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Use vouchers and coupons

The individual vouchers and coupons that you get when you shop may seem insignificant, but if you start collecting them early on, it is going to amount to a lot. Use them when you start shopping. You can also check promos and points with your credit cards and use them.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and you should not let the pressure of Christmas shopping ruin it. You don’t have to be anxious and stressed about it. The most important lesson here — if you have not learned it yet — is to plan for it.