The parking lots are filled, the malls are crowded and going from shop to shop almost became an Olympic sport. To avoid seeing this as a tedious chore, Motherforlife.com gives you some advice. Exit the madness and on with Zen's shopping!
The best moment
- In December, the shops are open every evening during the week. If you can, go on Monday and Tuesday instead of Thursday and Friday; the busiest nights of the week.
- Why don’t you go shopping right after work? During these two hours or so when most people are stuck in traffic or preparing dinner, shopping malls are empty. Good for us!
- If possible, go shopping without the kids. That way, you will avoid hearing “I’m tired, can we go now?”, “I’m hungry!”, “I need to pee”, etc.
- Read store offers and write down the things you want to buy for each member of your family. A list per person allows setting a budget and sticking to it.
- From your list, make a list for every shop and establish a productive route. Target essential stores and others to visit if you have enough time.
- Choose malls that offer the services that you need such as cloakrooms, drop-in centers for children, etc.
- Try to focus your shopping in one place to avoid having to find more than one parking space.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. It is important to feel good while shopping!
Before you leave
- Bring a few snacks and don’t forget your water bottle!
- Empty your handbag of anything that you will not need. If you have a big handbag, use a smaller one that will not weigh you down.
On the spot
- Don’t forget to keep your receipts for possible exchanges.
- Keep an eye out for extraordinary sales to buy a few extra gifts for last-minute invitations, gift exchanges, etc.
- If you shop with your children, take a few minutes to give them clear instructions if they lose you. In crowded shops, it is unfortunately easy to lose sight of your children. It is a very stressful situation that could be avoided by following these tips from Enfant-Retour.
Tips from Enfant Retour Québec
- Upon arrival at the mall, identify the places where your child could seek help if they get lost.
- Remind your child that they must remain in sight at all times.
- Make sure you have a document that could help identifying your child such as an Enfant-Retour document or any ID with a picture that could truly help if you lose sight of each other.
- Always accompany young children to the restroom.
- Never leave your child alone in a toy shop, an arcade, a video club, a cinema or an activity center relying on the staff to keep an eye on them. It is not their job, and they are not trained for it.
- Respect your child if they are uncomfortable sitting on Santa’s lap. Remember that your child is learning to trust their instinct by listening to their inner voice. This could change them for the best if dishonest individuals ever approached them.
Source: Enfant Retour Québec
Shopping… from home
- You could also go shopping in the middle of the night and in the comfort of your home. Many stores offer online shopping on secure sites (The Baie, Chapter's, Amazon, Toysrus, etc.). Just check what deadlines you must respect to receive your gifts in time.
- If you already bought your gifts and you must send them to your family who lives far away, visit Canada Post to learn more about delivery delays.