The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Festive season shopping got you frazzled?

If Christmas shopping fills you with dread and you’re left wanting to curl up under a blanket at the mere thought of braving the Arndale in December, we have the ultimate guide to avoiding shopping list related stress this year

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As the first long semester of university begins to wind down and deadlines become a thing of the past, lots of us are beginning to think about Christmas shopping. For many, there are lots of things we’d rather be doing than dragging ourselves around the shops on a cold winter evening. However, by using these simple tips and tricks you can eliminate the unnecessary stress of gift buying and find the perfect presents for all your loved ones without breaking a sweat.

Take advantage of online shopping

Getting your act together early enough and making full use of the boundless opportunities to order pretty much anything online means you can sort out all your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your very own duvet nest. Throw in a hot chocolate and Netflix and you’ve got yourself a relatively stress-free shopping experience. Plus there is the added advantage of deals which are harder to find on the high street  — with lots of online retailers continuing their Black Friday offers well past the actual day. Many sites also offer free or minimal delivery charges which means you can avoid battling your way onto the 142 laden with bags. NotOnTheHighStreet offers a range of gifts with a difference that are sure to have your relatives oohing and ahhing when the big day arrives.

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Photo: Katie Dutton @Flickr

Get organised with a high tech shopping list

Scribbling your gift ideas down on the back of an old envelope just doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to take the stress out of a shopping trip. Handy apps such as Trello which is available for free on the App Store allows you to organise your shopping lists and categorise by person or shop in order to make your trip quicker and easier. There is the added satisfaction of being able to tick of each item as you buy it and get one step closer to that celebratory post-shopping trip to the pub.

Photo: drupal.org

Photo: drupal.org

Have fun! It is Christmas, after all…

Manchester is one of the easiest places to get that festive feeling as the city is taken over each year by the famous Christmas Markets which are running this year from the 10th November to the 20th December. The numerous stalls are overflowing with cute and unique gifts for anyone you could think of, whilst the twinkling lights and seasonal attractions make it a fun place to visit with friends. The added bonus of alcoholic hot chocolates, and delicious, traditional street food are sure to make it easier to part with the cash you’ll be spending on presents.

Christmas Market

Photo: Megan Byrne