UNITED STATES—The turkey trimmings from Thanksgiving have all been carved and handed out, now it’s time to prepare for the next big holiday: Christmas. So what does that mean? It’s time to shop people, the shopping season is upon us and I will admit it can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Why? We get a bit overwhelmed with the notion of attempting to purchase the perfect gift for people that it creates unnecessary stress that one should never endure if you ask me.

For starters, I’m a firm believer of keeping things simple. In the past, I would indeed overstress and worry about getting the perfect gift; however, as I have matured with age, I frankly don’t care that much anymore. I’m going to buy what I THINK is the best gift for the people on my Christmas list. If you don’t like what I purchased, I’m not losing sleep over it. There are so many people I know who barely tell me Merry Christmas, yet alone get me a gift. So why stress myself, when I don’t have to stress myself. Yeah people I don’t have to, and neither do you so, don’t do it.

I used to be a firm believer that the best time to do all of your Christmas shopping was the day after Thanksgiving aka Black Friday. Last week I already gave some great tips about how to prepare for Black Friday. This is especially for those Americans who have never ventured out on this chaotic, mad-driven and quite frankly one of the most joyous times of year if you ask me. I still believe Black Friday is the best time to do most of your Christmas shopping, but at the same time it’s NEVER a bad idea to purchase your gifts in advance. A lot of Americans will be thoroughly surprised at the level of deals that you can find in the weeks and months before Christmas arrives.

I honestly believe Black Friday is a day for YOU; yes YOU (I’M POINTING TO THE PERSON READING THIS) to get all those items that you’ve been wanting to buy. Why? You can get things at exceptional rates. For example, Black Friday is a terrific time to purchase appliances (refrigerators, stoves, ovens, washing machines and dyers), bedding (comforters, sheets, and pillows), toys, movies, home items, etc. Listen to this rule, because this might be the most important thing I ever tell you, if it’s not more than 50 percent off, it’s NOT A DEAL! There is a reason you need to understand such terminology, because the retailers will attempt to make you think you’re getting an exceptional deal, when in honesty, this is like the regular price for the item they just upsold it.

It’s all about deals for me when it comes to Christmas shopping, the more money I can save the more items I am inclined to buy as time progressed. Just this past week, I planned to hold off on doing any Christmas shopping, but I happened to stumble across a few deals that were between 60 to 80 percent off, so I knocked a few more people off my Christmas list that I was having difficulty finding the perfect item. And guess what, I didn’t break the bank America. You don’t have to go overboard to catch a great deal, hit the outlet shops; great items, at great prices, saving you more money than if you were to purchase the same, if not similar item at the shopping mall.

I’ll be honest; the outlet has become my best pal. The mall I venture to, but the outlet I head to even more, way more. That is something to absolutely consider as Black Friday approaches. You can get deals at the malls, but massive deals at larger discounts at the outlet. Now my last piece of advice might be the most important. Shop with friends and family! Yes, it’s great to shop solo, but when with friends and family you get the opportunity to laugh and joke and just enjoy the company of others. Also, when you shop with others you have a security blanket. People looking out for your best interest and making sure you don’t make any unexpected mistakes.

Last but not least, don’t allow those who are in a negative state of mind or who might want to have you join in their misery to be in your aura. Shopping is supposed to be fun, so if you have someone you think who is going to be a Negative Nancy and bring down your energy, tell them NO or let them stay at home. You don’t want your vibe destroyed by someone else’s bad vibes. On your mark, get set, SHOP!