Running a business is tough – regardless of the time of year. There are thousands of things to think about and even more to accomplish. Add in the holiday season and the stress can compound; shoppers come out in droves and companies hunker down for the biggest rush of the year. 

“The business totally changes in the fourth quarter of the year,” says Brittney Matlock, co-founder and CEO of Plenty Mercantile. “The pace picks up at the end of October and becomes even more fun.” 

Plenty, described as a sustainable, eco-friendly retail store, has three locations in the OKC/Edmond area. Offerings include everything from candy to home goods, bath and body products, puzzles and books.

“All of our products are always responsibly sourced and have a positive impact or environmentally friendly component,” says Matlock.

Within the holiday timeframe, deals, discounts and specials are almost always on the table. Plenty’s website also boasts a full holiday collection page with ornaments, books, wreaths, candles and plenty of Santa-themed goodies. 

Lance Cheney, president of Tulsa-based Richard Neel Interiors, says the holidays look a bit different at the store than they used to. 

 “I am old-school Christmas, which doesn’t really exist anymore,” he says. “I used to budget $15,000-$30,000 annually for Christmas inventory; today $5,000 seems like too much.” 

Richard Neel, a home furnishing and interior design store, deals in new, vintage, antique and one-of-a kind home accessories – from photography to furniture, art and other products. And despite taming things a bit, Cheney says the store’s offerings continue to be festive this time of year. 

“We are doing a natural theme of preserved greens, like boxwood, magnolia and berries, as well as a large assortment of tabletop LED Christmas lights,” he says. Along with bookcases or side tables, there are plenty of accessories on hand to spice up your home or office for celebrations. 

Ease the Stress

Even if Oklahomans aren’t running a business, the holiday season can be stressful for buyers if they don’t plan ahead. Gift buying is, generally, a major component to the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. 

First of all, determine how much you can (or want to) spend. Budgeting out the amount you’ll need for gifts, as well as travel, food and events, can help set your mind at ease. 

Secondly, pare down your gift-giving list; don’t feel obligated to get something for every person you know. Your circle of potential gift recipients might be vast, but sometimes, simply meeting a friend for coffee is more than enough. Setting a spending limit for gift exchanges is also a great compromise. 

Online shopping helps with gift buying, but don’t wait until the last minute to get it finished. Keep an eye out (or set alerts) for any deals. 

Lastly, get creative with your presents. It truly is the sentiment that counts around the season – like a drink with a friend, a batch of homemade cookies or a hand-painted ornament.