Schedule when you go to the stores so you do not wear out your children (or husband). It is better to shop several shorter times than all day. If necessary, get a baby-sitter. Then shop till you drop. Shopping is not a Biblical duty but a social courtesy.To come home a grump makes shopping wrong. To come home and be a lousy wife (or husband) makes shopping a sin. To come home having spent money you know you should not have spent…well…that would be real close to sin as well.
Forget the statement, “We have to.…”
Make visits to pressure-filled homes shorter. There are those family members you dread visiting. There is no law stating how long you have to stay. No matter how long a drive it was, make it pleasant by leaving early.
Slow down enough to be kind to those you briefly meet. At the store, you need not fuss about the crowd. You knew it would be that way before you left to go shopping. Do not fuss at the cashiers about the wait; it is not their fault. Do not fuss at the excited child. All of the adults have set the stage for their excitement. Shop early mornings or late nights if you do not want to face a crowd.
Write it down. Have a list of what you have planned for each person and then record what you get for each one. Have another list of what each family member has for each person. Each child should have his own written list of whatever you want them to do or get. Do not wander around wondering who has what and how much more you need. You will end up purchasing items you do not need. It’s like shopping in the grocery store when you are hungry. When in doubt, don’t! Ask the Lord about purchases, especially large ones.
Do not go shopping so much that you do not enjoy life. If you rush so much you are angry with people, then it is no holiday.
Allow children time to just be kids…laugh at things, look at the sights, climb a tree, slide on a slide, play with a toy in the store. Life will go on, and if it were your friends you met at the store, you would have had time to stop and visit.
Pray. It never hurts to pray and ask the Lord to direct you, to help you think, plan, and order your holiday. God will guide you what to buy, what not to buy, how much food is needed, etc.
Do not buy on credit. Avoid catalogs and television shopping. Those mediums create lust and covetousness.
Go to church and read your Bible.
For the single person…go looking for ways to help others in order to cover your loneliness.