The metro has become so congested that many are now apprehensive to venture out aside from the daily commute to work. But Christmas is calling and the bonus money needs to be spent. You can avoid the holiday mayhem by shopping all year round or at least shopping early. But if you’re reading this, it’s safe to say that it’s a little late for that. Fret not because there are other ways to avoid the mall madness and the tangled traffic and still get your Christmas shopping done.

Buy brownies and bagoong

Everyone has at least one friend who sells homemade brownies or even bottled bagoong. Order more than two dozen of whatever she’s selling and you’re done. Plus you’ll make a friend happy even though she did all the work for you. She will more than likely wrap your order with gift tags too, then deliver it to you or your recipient. If you want something more substantial for your boss, fill up a basket with all sorts of homemade goodies. Christmas gift shopping has never been this easy. And it’s a win-win for everyone, because who doesn’t like brownies?

Commission the creative

If you want to give something more lasting and more special, then ask your artist friend to paint a mural for your parents’ living room or a sculpture for your girlfriend’s new office. The beauty of commissioning art for your loved one is that you know for sure that it’s one of a kind, especially created for the receiver. Make sure you give the artist ample time to work on your request.

Give love on Christmas day

Donate to charity in the name of your loved one then hand them the receipt or a certificate that states that they had just given to a good cause. We’re pretty sure there won’t be any lines to the Make a Wish Foundation or Operation Smile. You may also want to buy handmade products from Virlanie Foundation, UNICEF Philippines, and WWF Philippines to give as presents. This way, not only are you gifting your family and friends, you’re also spreading the love to those in need.

Get online

You may have to start a little earlier for this, keeping into account the delivery time. If you shop earlier online, not only are you avoiding the Christmas craze, you’ll also be done with the shopping come December. If you’re starting just now, some sites offer same day or next day delivery with a little added cost, but if it means avoiding the holiday rush, then it is well worth the extra pesos. Just remember to shop at reputed sites like Zalora, Lazada, and Shopee, and always look for the “https://” on your URL when shopping to make sure that you are shopping on a site that encrypts information and therefore, protects your sensitive date. Also, opt to use your credit card over your debit card to keep your money safe.

Shop all year round

Right after the presents have been opened and the unwanted gifts stored to be re-gifted, it’s time to go shopping again. After Christmas merchandise that hasn’t been sold during the holidays is usually put out on sale. Be on the look out throughout the year for bargains and special promos for items that you think your loved ones will appreciate. Come Christmas, you’ll be done checking your list and checking it twice. If you can’t do all year round, then just remember that the start of the “-ber” months is a signal that the shopping season has begun.