1. Take Time to Plan Ahead
Feeling rushed at the end of the holiday season can make you rush, overspend, and make poor choices.
Make a list of everyone ahead of time so you know what you are dealing with and whom you are buying for, and you aren't just randomly grabbing things when you are in the store.
2. Make a Budget, and Stick to That Budget
Either bring a prepaid debit or gift card to the store or just bring cash you can spend.
Without the credit cards, you can't start spending blindly.
3. Holiday Shop At Times When You Do Not Feel Depleted
If you are at your best in the morning, then go in the morning.
If you feel depleted, you are more likely to make impulse grabs and get sloppy.
4. Opt to Not Go Into Stores
If being in the store leads you to make more of the impulse grab-and-go purchases, then don't do it.
Use online shopping or some other means of shopping that helps manage those temptations.
5. Think of New Ways of Gift Giving
With the recent Sandy hurricane devastation a lot of charities are looking for help. Instead of giving people gifts, ask them about their favorite charity and make a donation in their name to that charity.
If you enjoy the process of shopping, then contact local organizations that are soliciting donations and find out what they need, set a budget, and then shop for those items.