Every year, I end up having to do some last-minute Christmas shopping. If you're pressed to finish gift-buying for everyone on your list (like me), but want to do so in a festive way, Westfield Shopping Centers have you covered!
All three Westfield centers in Tampa Bay -- Citrus, Brandon, and Countryside -- are among my favorite places to shop, especially around this time of year. My mom and I usually plan shopping outings together at all three of these locations, and have been known to take full advantage of their extended holiday hours. Yes, we take the phrase "shop 'til you drop" quite literally.
Westfield's holiday hours make it convenient to complete your shopping. Their hours are 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday. They're even open on Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Here are five shopping tips to help ease the stress of last-minute gift buying and yes, make it fun:
1. One-Stop Shopping Can Make All the Difference
I frequently shop at Westfield Countryside because of the variety of stores, holiday deals and of course, I love the indoor skating rink in the center of the mall.
If you're in a rush to finish your holiday shopping, try to minimize the number of places you go. I recently went to Westfield Countryside where I found gifts for everyone on my list -- even the most difficult ones to shop for. It also helps that the mall features a few of my favorite stores as well: Sephora, Macy's, and Victoria's Secret (just to name a few).
I found beautiful special edition gift sets at Sephora for the beauty-lovers on my list, a pair of deeply discounted over-the-knee boots at Macy's (I'm talking over 50% off), and adorable Christmas pajamas at Victoria's Secret. My sister, mom and I buy matching sets every year!
I also stopped into Handmade by Fizz, which features all-natural bath products. I couldn't resist buying a few of their bath bombs -- they'll make perfect stocking stuffers!
2. Make a List and Check it Twice
If you have a gift list, you’ll know exactly what you need to buy for every friend, coworker and loved one. It can help you brainstorm ideas, prioritize your shopping, and help you budget your gift-buying fund. I always like to jot down several ideas for each person so I'm not stumped if I can't find exactly what I'm looking for. I also tend to get easily distracted at the mall so having a list keeps me and my budget on track!
3. Coordinate Other Holiday Activities
Every year, Westfield Countryside has holiday ice shows, which have always been a tradition to watch in my family. Growing up, I skated in these myself and they always bring back so many wonderful memories. What a fun holiday treat while you're shopping! You my be inspired to throw on a pair of skates and take a spin on the ice too. For skating rink information, click here.
Of course, Santa will be making special appearances at each Westfield location in Tampa Bay until December 24. If you have little ones in the family who want to visit with Santa, here's his schedule:
Citrus: Santa visiting hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 9 pm, and Sunday, 12 pm – 6 pm, located in Macy’s Court at his Holiday Workshop!
Brandon: Santa visiting hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 9 pm, and Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm, with scheduled breaks to feed the reindeer. Located at his Holiday Wonderland between Panera and Red Robin.
Countryside: Santa visiting hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am – 9 pm, and Sunday, 12 pm – 6 pm, located in front of Sears, on the lower level, at his Holiday Sleigh, with scheduled breaks to feed the reindeer.
Tip: You can get a FAST pass to skip the line by purchasing photo packages in advance online.
4. Make it a Holiday Event
From the time I was little, my mom always made Christmas shopping fun. Our shopping sprees may have changed throughout the years, but us Stacey Ladies always like to make an event out of it. And yes, that usually involves taking a shopping break at Starbucks (thankfully, there's one inside each of our Westfield malls).
After our recent excursion at Westfield Countryside, we'd worked up an appetite and decided to grab dinner at P.F. Chang's, which is one of several tasty restaurants at the mall. It was such a nice way to cap off a fun and festive day! There's also a movie theater right inside the mall, so you may want to save time for that too.
5. Pay attention to Your Receipts
Don't ditch your receipts before looking at them -- they often contain valuable coupons that you can use during a future shopping trip. I saved 20% off my purchase at a major retailer using a coupon I received the week prior.
Hope these tips can add a little more joy into your holiday shopping! As an added bonus, I've teamed up with Westfield to give one lucky reader a $100 gift card. Follow these three simple steps to enter: Leave a comment on this post, tag three friends in my latest Insta post and like my Instagram page.