Christmas in the Philippines may officially start in September, but many Pinoys won’t start their holiday shopping until the end of November. By then, it’s a frantic rush of packed crowds, dwindling supplies, and the unsettling sense of not being able to complete your checklist before Christmas Eve. This season, beat the holiday shopping madness with these six tips.

Make a List

It’s easier to shop for gifts when you know exactly what you’ll get. 

Perhaps the biggest stress in gift-giving is choosing what those gifts will be. Before you start buying presents, plan them first. Jot down the names of those you want to give gifts to, and come up with a list of things they might like and the estimated prices of each.

Plan a Budget

Nothing’s more stressful than not knowing how much you’re spending—then seeing exactly how much you spent.

When planning a budget, you can either allot an amount and look for gifts within that price range, or decide on a present then wait for a sale or promo.  The first is great for generic situations like giving gifts for the office, while the second is better for more personal tokens, like presents to your loved ones.

Go Online

No lines. No stress.

Sales, discounts, and promos abound during the holiday season, so be sure to take advantage of these when shopping online. The right deals will not only save you the herculean task of facing down thousands of other holiday shoppers, but they can also save you more cash in rebates and cash-backs—especially if you snag a free shipping deal!

Start Early

Pro-tip: many companies limit their stocks by the end of the year, so once an item sells out, it’s gone for good.

Starting earlier will give you more flexibility in your gift-giving plans. There’s less pressure to get an item or risk missing it, and there’s more time to save up for bigger presents. With a wider range of selections, you can consider each gift choice more carefully.

Skip Peak Hours

Mornings and weekdays are your best friends.

When last-minute trips to the mall are unavoidable (they’re not), go when most people are likely at work, or before the day is in full swing. This means a trip during the weekdays (if you can spare them) or early in the morning just as the mall has opened. Fair warning: less crowded doesn’t mean not crowded!

Get Gift Cards

The true one-size-fits-all.

Gift cards are a win-win. You don’t get stressed picking them, and your recipient can get an item they’ll actually like and want. Plus, because of the Gift Check Act of 2017, your receiver can use the gift cards any time they want, be it tomorrow or ten years down the road.

The holidays are always an exciting time. A little planning eases your worries, and lets you focus on what truly matters. Make a list of your recipients and their gifts, plan your budget, shop online, early, or during down times, and consider gifts that are as versatile as they are functional like gift cards.

Holiday shopping is a breeze when you can do it right in your own backyard. Filinvest’s mixed-use developments seamlessly integrate residences, offices, leisure spaces, and commercial areas, letting you live, work, and play to the fullest. At Filinvest, you can head downstairs for a night out straight after work; pop by your house for a quick homemade lunch; or even get some shopping done between TV marathons.

Activa is Filinvest’s up and coming mixed-use development, strategically located at the heart of Cubao, with a transit-oriented design that gives you easy comings and goings all across the metro, putting progress, play, and productivity at the palm of your hand.