Productive people look for opportunities to do things intelligently, to a high degree of quality and while minimizing effort and expense. Family Christmas shopping can be done productively, with a plan in mind, or it can be done haphazardly and with little forethought. Productive shopping may require a little more advance planning, but the end result will be not only purchases that save you money, but also gifts that truly mean something to the recipient.
Rather than simply spending hours trolling the mall this December, make a date with your family to thoughtfully plan your holiday gift purchases. Spend time brainstorming your family list, including friends, teachers, coaches, clergy and others you would like to remember with a gift. Remember that gifts do not need to be expensive to be meaningful. Plan shopping trips that will maximize yield – purchasing intended items for intended recipients, not purchasing impulse items for yourself that look tempting due to discounted prices. Avoid the temptation to go "off list". Also, consider online shopping as an excellent productivity tool – bargains abound and free shipping is often a huge time savings tool to avoid those trips to the post office.