EVERYONE loves receiving gifts at Christmas, but the giving part can be a bit more stressful.
First you have to decide what you're giving to who, then you have to battle with the crowds - and that's all before the wrapping marathon. No wonder Santa needs 364 days of the year to recover...
Luckily, there is an easy way out. Follow our guide to making present shopping a breeze...
WRITE IT DOWN
It always starts off OK, but Christmas shopping can get very confusing. It's easy to lose track of which present was for grandma, and which was meant for your husband's cousin's daughter.
So instead of doubling up on pressies or wandering aimlessly down the crowded high street on Christmas Eve, write yourself a list.
GET A PERSONAL SHOPPER
All the celebs have one so it's about time you got a personal shopper of your own. Next time your mum says she's heading into town, ask her to pick up a few things for you.
Or if you're next-door neighbour is hitting the shops, get her to grab something while she's there. Delegation is key.
BE WEB SAVVY
How do you think Madonna manages to get her Christmas shopping done without getting mobbed in Harrods?
She probably goes online and uses their home delivery service. But if it's good enough for Her Madge-esty, then it's good enough for us.
Make life easy and have all your Christmas pressies delivered to your door. Lots of websites and shops now offer the service, and sometimes delivery is free.
You know all those 'buy one, get one free' deals? Well, you don't necessarily need two of them but that kind of bargain is too good to resist.
So why not share the cost with a friend instead? You can go halves on the cost and get one each of everything.
RECYCLE AND REUSE
Dust off those unwanted gifts from last year and give them a new home. But whatever you do, don't recycle your present to the person who gave it to you first.
Play it safe and instead of giving your aunt back the smelly talc she gave you, give her the mauve scarf you never wear from your mother-in-law. It's also best to avoid doing this with edible pressies - unless they have a very long sell-by date.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
Follow these five top tips for a relaxing shopping experience:
Give yourself a break. Take time out to have a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. You need the energy.
Hit the shops with a friend who loves a good laugh. When that shop assistant snaps at you, you'll be able to see the funny side.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath, you'll feel much better. Just make sure you don't do it on a busy high street or you might fall over.
Don't be too ambitious. Limit yourself to a two-hour trip and do as much as you can.
Remember - it's Christmas! Hum a few carols and you'll feel much better.
See full story in the Leader