It's that magical time of year. The time when all practical considerations go out of the window. When we get caught up in the hysteria created by marketing teams to make us feel that we'll regret it if we pass up an amazing deal. I posted last spring about mindful shopping tips, but at this time of year, sometimes all rational thinking deserts us.
My thoughts: prepare as much as you can. If you have a list, stick to it. If you don't have a list, make one. Now. My list includes a leather jacket (has been on the list for years), a winter coat (I've had mine, which wasn't expensive to begin with, for about 6 years), a warm sweater with an interesting shape, the elusive lightweight bag, and replacements for my taupe suede booties and black suede wedge booties. If any of these show up with amazing deals this weekend, I'll know I'm buying because it's something I need, not because I'm seduced by the sale.
If you succumb to the excitement, keep your receipt and follow through on returning. (BTW, I returned the tank I got for 92% off from my last post. It didn't even fit well. I got sucked in by the deal.) Yes, I know it can be a hassle, but if you don't, not only do you lose money, but you're stuck with physical clutter. Either you return it now, or have to deal with it in a few years when you finally clean out your closet. Keep items that need returning in your car with the receipt taped to them and you'll be ready next time you're running errands.
Talk to friends and family about gifts. I feel grateful that my family has never gone crazy with gifts. We send an email every year asking what we should do for gifts. Some years we've set price limits. Some years we've sent specific wish lists. One year we did a white elephant gift exchange. This year, we decided to just give small gifts to the kids. The real fun is watching little ones open things anyway. When I'm going through clients' closets, it never fails to amaze me how many things are given as gifts that the recipient would never even consider wearing. I understand that not everyone's family is open to discussing a plan for gifts, and if that's the case, genuinely and gratefully accept what you're given. The pleasure is usually in the act of giving for the gifter. That moment is really the gift, and it often doesn't matter what happens afterwards (i.e. that item doesn't actually have to live in your closet).
Hope this helps you shop a bit more mindfully this week.
P.S. a mindful closet gift certificate is always a great idea!