How do you feel when people ask if you’re ready for the holidays?  Do you feel accomplished when you can respond with yes or do you panic a little when the answer is no?  It’s a common question that people ask and perhaps it’s more indicative of small talk, but sometimes it can have a significant impact on how you feel about the holiday season.  It can even stir nervousness and guilt as if you’re doing something wrong by not being the pristine homemaker with everything in order before the month of December starts. There are some super elf mamas out there who can have it all tidy and sparkling, but there are also others like me who oftentimes roll into Christmas like a juggling act with wrapped presents and covered casseroles on Christmas Eve.

Do you know what felt really good this year? Saying, “Yes, I am ready for Christmas!” I am still not judging myself and I’m allowing the me’s from all the past holidays to still feel good about them since I can’t change them anyway. But, being about to answer yes took so much pressure off the season.

What made the difference? I mean, I always get my tree and decorate it the day after Thanksgiving, so that is always done on time (except when I moved during December last year, but that was perfect as it was). My shopping mindset changed my holiday experience.  My little sister and I were having a conversation about gifts and she said that she wished that people would just get her things from her Amazon list, even small things that had been on it for years.  Starting in mid-November, that’s exactly what I did. I considered a moderate budget, shopped online, and had gifts delivered to my downtown third-floor loft with minimal effort. I wrapped gifts as soon as the tree was up and continued to wrap them as they were delivered over the holiday season.

Simplify was the word of the season this year. I did go a little nuts baking on Christmas Eve, but otherwise, I kept it simple.  I stayed in my budget.  I didn’t stress myself out amidst the masses of shoppers and traffic on the streets.

There is the dilemma of shop small, shop local to consider.  I normally try to support local artisans and small businesses whenever and however I can.  I do feel good contributing to others success.  This year, for several reasons, I needed for Christmas to be simple and I was able to support that effort by shopping primarily online.

Do you know what else made shopping online easier? Great ads. Branded Facebook and Instagram ads.  Eye-catching digital banner ads.  Email advertising with clearly identified promos and sales.  Yep, it’s all key to successful online sales.  This year, I noticed it more than ever before.  You don’t have to be a mega player like Amazon to catch the attention of online shoppers.  You have to be strategic and consistent.

The High Road Agency can help you plan, create, and execute effective marketing campaigns for any season.  Shopping trends have been changing for a long time, so perhaps it’s time to get smart about how you advertise your brand.