Making Holiday Shopping Easier

Friendly Wheels, Issue 34
December 2010

By: Shelley Peterman Schwarz (30 year Amigo owner)

Shelley P. SchwarzHaving multiple sclerosis (MS) for 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!)

GIVE GIFT CERTIFICATES: Try gift certificates from specialty stores or sporting good suppliers, for instance. Can't buy them online? Go to a shopping mall where they're good for any store. Most big-box stores also offer gift cards to put toward the cost of a higher-priced item.

PLAN AHEAD: Make a list, check the newspaper for sales, and plan your route. Call to locate the merchandise and compare prices. Many stores will hold merchandise for 24 hours. The best pickup times are generally early mornings and late evenings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

SECURE PARKING PRIVILEGES: Contact your state Department of Motor Vehicles about obtaining disabled parking privileges. I needed a signed statement from my physician verifying my need for a permit. If your health or ability to walk is an issue, you may qualify for a disabled parking permit that will allow you to park in specially designated stalls, usually near the entrance to the stores.alt

SHOP ONLINE: Select gifts based on people's hobbies, interests, or talents. Shopping online makes this easier because you can search by keywords.

USE A WEBCAM: A special web cam camera (for about $20) that works with the computer, and Skype (a free Internet program), allow 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 (providing they have the same set up on their computers).

AVOID THE POST OFFICE:  For sending gifts, make sure you have addresses with you so when the gift is purchased you can have the items mailed directly from the store. There will be a mailing charge, but the gift will be wrapped properly and sent without extra effort on your part.

WRAP IT UP: Make wrapping gifts easier - try these tips:

  • Use colorful boxes, bags, and canisters
  • Have children help decorate lunch or grocery bags using crayons, markers, and stickers
  • Wrap the gift in a pretty towel and tie it with thick yarn or ribbon
  • Use aluminum foil, eliminating the need to use scissors and cellophane tape
  • Hire a middle or high school student to help you

So plan ahead, look for shortcuts, and enjoy the holidays!  

Visit Shelley's site for more information to assist you in your daily living activities.

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