Let’s face it – we’ve all put off picking up Christmas gifts for our loved ones ’til the last minute, forcing us to suffer through being unprepared for the chaos that comes with holiday shopping. We’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you overcome mall madness and snag the perfect presents!

Make a budget and stick to it!

This may seem obvious but having a budget and sticking to it will save your wallet some stress. The holidays are about giving and family, you should not be stressing about money during this special time. If you struggle with making a budget click here

Have a plan!

Decide, to the best of your ability, what you want to get for each special person on your list. Having a plan will save you from walking around in circles trying to find the right gift. If some people on your list are hard to shop for check out uncommon goods for some great gift ideas.

Get started as early as possible!

This time of year is the busiest time for the mall. If you can it is best to get to the mall early in the day before the large rush of people, this will save you from having to wait in long lines. Click here to find Market Mall hours that best fit your schedule.

Ask Employees for their help!

Store employees are there for a reason, they want to help you. If you can’t find the item you’re looking for ask an employee. You can save yourself time and effort simply by asking for help.

Try Independent Boutiques!

The mall can be extremely overwhelming this time of year, to avoid the hustle and bustle of the mall look into independent boutique stores. These boutiques often have one of a kind gifts that everyone on your list will love. Kensington is full of special boutiques, click here to find the one for you.


Ask for a Gift Receipt!

It is always safest to ask for a gift receipt when shopping for someone else. Make sure to ask for a gift receipt at the beginning of the purchase, most retail computers require that the employee enter the gift receipt before payment. Asking at the beginning will save the employee and yourself time.

Use the Gift Wrapping Stations!

Most malls in Calgary have a few gift wrapping stations, for a small donation volunteers will wrap all your gifts so you won’t have to sneak them into the house. All proceeds go to Cystic Fibrosis Canada. To learn about the foundation and to find wrapping stations click here

Consider Ordering Online!

Most retail stores have their merchandise available online as well as in-store. If you want to avoid circling the mall to find a parking spot, consider ordering online, it is safe, convenient and secure. Amazon is a great option for finding online gifts.

Call ahead!

If you are looking for one specific item call the store ahead of time and have them put it on hold for you. This saves you getting all the way there just to realize they don’t have what you are looking for. To find the store phone numbers go to the Chinook Mall directory.

Load your phone with apps!

Many retail stores now have smartphone apps that can save you money and offer you special deals.

Check your emails!

We all have that one account we give to stores and never really think about it. Use that email. All of these stores you’ve given your email to have probably sent you special discounts for being on their mailing list, use the discounts.