The year so far has been anything but ordinary—lots of twists and turns, but still plenty to be thankful about. Throughout the year, we've seen many changes regarding how we go outside, work with our colleagues, and conduct events. With these changes, we've learned to be accustomed to them despite some of their inconveniences.
Based on what we've seen on the news and how things fared all the way to November, things won't be going back to the way things were for a long while, but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate Christmas.
While it doesn't seem like the holidays will be celebrated the way we did last year, it doesn't mean Christmas is canceled. It's the exact opposite: As we got used to doing everything differently this year, we can also apply it to our Holiday Shopping. To help you get started, we made a list of 5 ways to safely do your Holiday Shopping.
Going virtual and online isn't new, but this year, to say doing everything through the internet has been ramped up is an understatement. This year, we've seen huge waves of innovations and ease of use from the virtual and online industries, and shopping isn't an exception.
Shopping online can be second nature to many people nowadays, which is good news because this is the best way to avoid crowds while still doing your Holiday Shopping. While it is true that nothing beats getting to inspect the item you're about to buy or trying them out (especially for handbags and clothes), not having to be physically present with crowds of people yet still be able to do your shopping makes online Holiday Shopping a perfect alternative.
The Holidays are still weeks away, but you may want to shop as early as possible. This year has made it a huge problem for logistics, which can mean some of the items you want to buy may be fairly limited or could be at risk of running out of stock as we get closer to Christmas. Not to mention many stores have kept their stocks low because of the anticipated lower customer sales.
If you are shopping online, make sure the retailers you're going to be buying from can guarantee supplies for you and the people you will be buying gifts for.
If you're going to be ordering something from the other side of the country (or from another continent), it's best you start shipping them to you as early as possible. Plenty of travel restrictions have made some of the fastest private carriers slow down their delivery processes to ensure each item is handled safely.
This would also mean that you must order items that won't be damaged or "go bad" if there's a significant delay in shipments.
Many credit cards have this "wave" symbol on them, which means you can use it to avail of contactless payments. You've probably used it before: You simply hold or tap this card above a terminal to make your purchase. This avoids physical contact with the cashier or any payment terminals that go through many transactions daily.
If your card doesn't have it, you can ask your bank to send you one. Depending on where you live, it usually doesn't take longer than a week, even with travel or shipping restrictions.
Many retailers still limit the total number of people allowed inside their stores. Some take items outside the store, pretty much having a small "tent" or a pop-up store for those who cannot enter the main store yet.
Alternatively, some of their employees are ready to list down your orders (if you've browsed online) and are willing to get the items for you and have them picked up curbside.
This year, the holidays aren't looking as busy as the previous years, but it doesn't have to be boring or feel incomplete. There are many ways for us to do our shopping while also staying safe, with online shopping at the forefront. Regardless of whether you go 100% virtual or you still want that "shop inside the store" feeling, the important thing is you take all the necessary precautions for you and your loved ones.
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