Shopping during the Christmas season can be a very difficult and even deadly task, so before you set out make sure that you are armed with a few basic tips on how to minimize the time you spend in the store, or standing in line.
The first time-saving thing you can do is to go out and buy the gifts you want as soon as possible, instead of postponing this action until a week or so before Christmas. This will guarantee fewer lines to stand in and less people in the stores, plus the opportunity to move fast and efficiently.
You could also compile a list of the things you want to buy, and write down what item you'll purchase for what member of your family. This way, you will minimize the time spent in shops, and you will also remember what you've already bought much easier.
Having an already-established budget is also crucial, as is going directly to the store that you know surely has the exact items you are looking for. Crowds moving aimlessly from store to store are the ones that create the most commotion inside malls, and account for the longest lines. Moreover, most of these people don't know what they are looking for, and rarely buy an item, even if they are in line before you.
Conversely, you could try on-line shopping, as this is guaranteed to eliminate all queues and crowds. However, keep in mind that most websites are very busy during this time of the year, and that buying the gifts two or three weeks in advance is probably the best idea. Most shipping companies have their hands full at this time, and parcels will arrive with a 3-5-day delay from their normal shipping times.
Following these basic advices could tremendously ease your shopping experience for the season, and help you get the desired gifts to your loved ones on time, and not 2 or 3 days after Christmas.