Tips for the Holiday Shopping Season

Friendly Wheels, Issue 106
December 2016

With longtime Amigo owner, Shelley Peterman Schwarz.

Your guide to make shopping easier.


Having multiple sclerosis (MS) for more than 30 years has given me many opportunities to learn shortcuts that make my life easier. Here are a few of the tips and techniques I use to save time and energy so I am able to enjoy the holidays. (But don't add to your stress by thinking you have to try all of them!)



PLAN AHEAD. Before you begin your shopping endeavors, take time to plan it out. Start by making a list of everything you need to shop for. Make sure to write down backup ideas in case a gift is already sold out. Next, map out your shopping route. Manage your shopping time efficiently by researching where merchandise is located in each store.


USE A WEBCAM. Get a special web cam camera (for about $20) that works with the computer, and Skype (a free Internet program), allowing you to watch the gift opening from home even when you can't be with family members who live in other parts of the country. Facetime also works great for those who have Apple products.



SHOP ONLINE. To avoid holiday traffic, rude customers and long shopping lines, consider shopping online this holiday season. Shopping online is made easy for you to purchase all your gifts without having to leave your home. Popular websites such as Amazon, WalmartTarget and Best Buy allow you to search keywords to help you find the exact gift you're looking for.


MAILING YOUR GIFTS. Instead of using the post office, consider mailing your newly purchased gifts directly from the store or when shopping online. There will be a mailing charge, but the gift will be wrapped properly and sent without extra work on your end.


GIFT WRAPPING. To make gift wrapping easier, consider the following tips:

  • Get help from "gift wrap volunteers." During the holiday season, many shopping malls have areas set up with local students who volunteer to wrap gifts for shoppers
  • Involve the family. Have the kids and grandkids help decorate lunch or grocery bags using crayons, markers and stickers
  • Use boxes, bags and canisters. For oddly shaped gifts, put them in a box, bag or canister to make wrapping easier



Using these simple tips can help provide an easy shopping experience for people with disabilities or limited mobility. Make sure you prepare in advance and most of all -- enjoy the holidays!



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