You might be thinking, “Surely it’s way too early to be worrying about Christmas presents” – don’t be fooled! The tinsel and baubles are already making their way into the department stores and before you know it, you’ll find yourself in aisle 6 with the rest of the nation hoping to snatch the last board game on the shelf.

Christmas is a wonderful yet crazy time of year, and to truly enjoy it you should start getting organised. Especially when it comes to gift-buying.

You might think you know what your kids, family members and close friends might want for Christmas and yet most of us find ourselves panicked as the 25th creeps closer.

Here are our top tips for beating the Christmas rush.

Pace yourself

Don’t leave all your purchases for the week or two before Christmas. Make yourself a list (like Santa) and keep track of who you’re buying for. It’ll prevent you from accidentally leaving someone out or miscalculating the boxes of chocolate!

Start ticking off the gifts and make purchases slowly while you find yourself in a shopping centre over the next few weeks. It’ll also aid the amount of splurges and costly expenses that are seemingly inevitable in the short period before Christmas.

Collect catalogues

Catalogues are the paper version of Pinterest. You see something, you can circle it and add it to the “buy” list. Without putting too much thought into it, you can generally get a good gift idea by simply flipping through the pages.

So start collecting! Grab a catalogue as you walk out of a store and add it to a dedicated pile at home. Allocate some time to sort through it with a texter, highlighter or post-it notes on hand (sounds OTT but it’ll help, promise!).

Flip to a section that you know would be of interest to the person you’re buying for and the world is your oyster. This is particularly useful if you do not have the same interests as that person.

When you’re done, you’ll know exactly which stores you’re headed to when doing the Christmas shopping and voilà – no stress!

Don’t underestimate catalogues.

Browse and shop online

There’s nothing like sitting on your couch at any hour and having the entire online shopping world at your fingertips. Browsing online is great because you can add to your cart or your wishlist before purchasing.

After you’re satisfied with your selection, all you have to do is make your purchase and then try not to stare out your window for the delivery.

Here’s the most important thing to remember when making online purchases for Christmas: order your presents well before Christmas Day. Even if the estimated shipping is one or two days before Christmas, it’s not worth the risk! Don’t forget that the rest of the world is at their ordering peak at this time of year too, and it is not uncommon for there to be over-orders and delays.

Give yourself the peace of mind in knowing that your purchases will be delivered with plenty of time to spare instead. At Bing Lee, we recommend placing your order 7 days before Christmas at the latest.

Separate gifts and decorations

It can get a little crowded in the house around Christmas, and if you’re planning on putting up all the Christmas garlands and the tree AND buying all your gifts and wrapping them… well, that’s kind of festive mayhem.

Allocate days to get through your elvish tasks so that you’re not tangled up between ropes of Christmas lights and strings of ribbon. Set aside a weekend to prepare the house with the family. Get the kids in on the fun and make it an enjoyable bonding time!

Christmas wrapping is best left for when the Christmas tree is already up so that you can pop the present beneath it right away and they’re ready to go!

Posted by:Natalie Milad

Natalie Milad is a content and blog writer who studied journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney. Since her graduation in 2016, she has written many lifestyle articles for various Australian businesses, including the homewares and furniture retailer Zanui. Natalie has experience in script writing, news reading and interviewing. Her days not writing are usually filled with DIY projects, floury benchtops and constantly renovating her home. Today, Natalie writes her articles for the Bing Lee Blog. She gives user reviews, lifestyle tips and product research on all the latest technology.