Call us crazy, but the second Thanksgiving is crossed off the calendar, we switch to full-on Christmas mode. It might still be a few weeks away but there’s nothing worse than dealing with last minute holiday stress. As always, OurStyleBlog did its homework and prepared a fabulous guide to help you shop right and smart.

BUDGET UP
Yup, first things first. Not the most exciting idea, but it’s important to narrow down how much you are willing to spend in total and per person. Remember to add any holiday tips you intend on giving out as well. This step is crucial since it will help you be more objective about your shopping goals and waste less time. You don’t know want to spend hours trying to find the perfect gift only to discover it goes way beyond your means, right?

TECH SAVES THE DAY
Use technology in your favor and get organized.There is a multitude of to-do apps to help with task management. With functions like notifications, reminders, and other tools that can be customized to your needs, they are a surefire way to not forget anything – or anyone. So draw up a list and make sure to tackle at least one or two gifts per day. A strategy a lot less overwhelming than an entire weekend spent at a crowded mall.

SOMETHING THEY WANT INSTEAD OF SOMETHING THEY NEED
Sure, everybody needs underwear and socks. But part of the Christmas magic is the anticipation, the wonder, and mystique. Don’t ruin it with a 100%, super practical gift unless you know the person is dying to have it. It’s so much nicer to unwrap something you would love to have, but never end up buying for yourself. So keep your ears tuned in for any mentions of a book they would love to read or an activity they would love to try. A rollerball of luxury perfume, a gift card to a spa, a nice dress shirt … The possibilities are endless for a great gift.

IT ALL STARTS ONLINE
If you want to succeed in the art of gifting, then begin your search online. Sometimes we get lucky and find the most awesome present in that hole in the wall store, but it’s always great to browse the internet for both ideas and reviews. Be an informed shopper and gather all the info you can before you open your wallet. Also, a lot of shops on the net offer free holiday shipping during certain days of December, so be on the lookout for that.

DON’T PANIC IF YOU FORGOT SOMEONE
Don’t feel bad if you forgot to include somebody to your list. In case you are flying home for the holidays, take advantage of the airport’s shops. It won’t be too hard to find something among the different retailers. And if you’re pressed for time, consider an electronic gift card that you can send straight from your smartphone.

We hope these tips will help you relax a bit about your never ending shopping list. Start right away and enjoy a stress-free holiday. Short of gift ideas? Feel free to peruse any of our Editor’s suggestions for a little inspiration.

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