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Ease season's shopping

by Shelly Awaya. News editor


Early December is a time when students and faculty are busy wrapping up the fall semester and gearing up for finals. Most of us put off until after finals the time-consuming tasks of Christmas gift shopping and card mailing.


For those who, like me, scramble at the last minute to gather presents and scribble notes on cards and mail them, here’s a tip list that may make the crunch time before Christmas a bit more manageable.

* Start a list of people for whom you will buy gifts. Start it today, add to it as needed in the weeks before you start to shop.

*Shop online to avoid the crowds and long lines. Some Web sites currently offer free shipping on minimum purchases, and they’ll send the gifts directly to the recipients. (Some will gift wrap for an additional charge.)

* If you must go to the mall, most have holiday hours and some offer valet parking for a couple of dollars. Cheap for the time saved not circling the parking lot.

* If people on your list are hard to shop for, purchase gift cards or certificates for their favorite store or restaurant. (You don’t have to wrap anything!)

* If you are looking for something special, shop the craft fairs that pop up around holiday season, or visit the Swap Meet!

* Food gifts are certain to be popular: Chex mix, cookies, cakes, and other culinary creations will satisfy most taste buds.

*If the deadline to mail Christmas cards to ensure Christmas delivery has past, e-mail one instead. Some Web sites offer a limited selection of free holiday cards. (You can save on the cost of the card and postage too.)

These are just a few tips to help take the stress out of Christmas so that you can enjoy spending time with family and friends during the holiday season. Good luck and happy shopping!

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