The holiday season is about family and good cheer. Peace, love and battling through lines at the post office to make sure your special gifts arrive on time. With all the stress that comes along with the holidays, shipping box after box during peak season is enough to make anyone go postal. As well as broke. While you can certainly ready every parcel and drop them off all at once, the price to send presents can often cost more than the present itself. When standard ground shipping times are 2-6 weeks and expedited service are triple in price, the burden of figuring out how to get gifts from A to B can be daunting. Here are a few tips and ideas to lighten or eliminate that stress from your holiday spirit while keeping you upbeat and cheerful.
If you know that you will eventually have to decide exactly how to get gifts to your family over the holiday season, try looking at your list before heading out to the stores. Often times the present you are looking for can be found on the internet at a reduced price and with minimum to no shipping costs. This way you can choose the mailing address to be directly sent to the recipient. Depending on which website or service you order gifts through, many companies will offer to wrap the item before sending them, saving you time at the store, in the post office, and wrapping dozens of presents! Remember that if you choose to send presents online, the holidays are peak season for post offices as well as the business that you order from, so allow at least three weeks to be sure it arrives on time. Also, if the company will send a note in the delivery box at no additional cost, make sure to leave instructions: “Don’t open until Christmas Day!!”
Buy Local (Their Local)
Another way to get the perfect present delivered directly to someones doorstep is to choose a gift that can be hand delivered within the city. While most of these companies won’t work on Christmas Day, hand delivered chocolates and edible arrangements a few days prior never upset anyone. Photography sessions, a relaxing day at the spa or credit to a favorite book store or coffee shop are all different twists on presents that will help save on shipping costs in the long run as well. Depending on the specific interests of your loved one, choosing an activity that they can enjoy once the holiday season has slowed down is a perfect way to show them you care. Secretly, this also elminitates the burden of mailing gifts to people on opposite sides of the world, while still allowing you to send a unique gift that is as thoughtful and caring as it is convenient to you.
If you are flying to meet with your family during the holiday season, there are a few things to consider when deciding to ship or carry-on your gifts. Depending on the size and amount of presents in comparison to your personal travel items, it may be cheaper to check an extra oversized bag when flying, rather than ship boxes individually. Remember to pack the boxes extra tight, since the people who handle your luggage are honestly called “throwers,” but don’t expect much different handling than would be expected by the post office, either. What we’re really trying to say it, if it’s breakable, insure it. If it’s expensive, insure it. And if it has sentimental value? That’s right. Always insure it.
It can be easy to lose sight of the holiday spirit when stress is lurking around every department store and post office. While there are certain aspects of Christmas that will never lose their ability royally irritate that spirit, there are a few ways to cut down on the strain induced by an overload of crowds, shopping and minute details. By figuring out what causes the most stress in your life and eliminating those causes, you will be free to enjoy the holidays as they are truly meant to be experienced. Whether those stresses are deadlines on shipping presents, tackling the airports or single-handedly battling through crowds, there is always an alternative method to the madness. Consider these few helpful tips over a tall glass of eggnog and feel the stress begin to melt away.