‘Tis the season to leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute. Year on year, men leave their Christmas shopping to the absolute last minute. It’s become such a phenomenon that shops now specifically prepare for this event, dubbed the ‘Man Dash’. For the few organised enough to be unaware of the ‘Man Dash’, it is when it gets to Christmas Eve, and you realise that you have yet to get a gift for that all important person, or more likely, for anyone at all!
This isn’t some made up thing to boost pre-Christmas sales, either. Christmas cards with the words ‘wife’ or ‘girlfriend’ on the front spike massively in sales on the 23rd and 24th of December – far higher than any of the other cards on offer – each year without fail! It’s November, so now is your chance to get Christmas sorted and beat the dash by following our handy Christmas shopping guide.
Make a list
There’s a reason Santa makes a list and checks it twice; it really does help you to get organised. Make a note of everyone you need to buy a gift for, as well as a couple of ideas about what type of thing you think they may want. Think about what they like, and check out some present guides online, such as our guide for smokers Christmas gift ideas. Keep track of your budget by jotting down roughly how much you want to spend on each person. You do not want to be getting that work acquaintance something more pricey than what you’ve bought for your partner!
Get an early start
Whatever day you manage to make it into the shops, be it early-December or Christmas Eve, ensure you’re getting there early. The goal is to get it all done in one go. The thought of going through the shopping process probably fills you with dread, so make a move as early as you can manage. Not only will you get a head start on the day, but shops are often quieter in the mornings, taking the pressure and stress off of the experience.
Don’t avoid the shop assistants
A visit to a department store will often lead to a shop assistant asking if you need any help. Normally we may run away, desperately trying to escape from the perfume aisle as quickly as we can. Not this time. Take the help! These people know the store better than anyone, and they know which products are selling the most. They can be particularly handy if you’re on the lookout for a ladies present, aiding you with the selection of scents and styles. If you hit a shopping wall, some stores offer a personal shopper to give you that much-needed advice.
Get a second opinion
If there are no shop assistants in sight, remember that we are in the age of the smartphone. Found a potential gift but you’re not quite sure? Snap a pic, and send it off for a second opinion. Of course, we all struggle the most with our wives or girlfriends. She may well have been dropping strong hints for the past few months about what she wants, but who is to say if you’ve been listening? Your partner’s best friend will probably be more clued into what they want than you, so give them a call for some hints and find out if there’s anything you’ve missed.
Don’t just buy anything
There is nothing worse than opening some old tat on Christmas morning. You want your loved ones to be happy with their gifts, not spending the day having to feign gratitude. If you don’t know what to buy or you’ve left it to the last minute, there is still no excuse not to get a heartfelt present. Quality gift sets can be a good idea, especially with the added bonus of looking like quite an attractive present. But don’t get sucked in by the special offers and knocked-down prices of some stores; ask yourself why it’s reduced and will anyone really want that!? If you’re really stuck, just fall back on a nice bottle of bubbly and a box of festive treats.
While you’re out, keep on the lookout for a wrapping stand. Many stores, or charity stalls, offer the service of wrapping your gifts for you. After you’ve gone to all this effort to get the perfect gifts, don’t spoil it all with your less than perfect presentation. It’s a small price to pay for making your life way easier.
Let’s be real; the Man Dash is inevitable. You may prepare as much as you can, but realistically someone will be forgotten! But that doesn’t mean you can’t get ahead of the pack.