With Christmas only just over a month away, many of you like me, may have already started your Christmas shopping. Some of you will be running around on Christmas Eve, still shopping for ideas.
With the exception of my food shopping, I have completed mine! I start almost as soon as New Years Day has passed! Yes, it might be early for some, but there are many reasons why I do it early.
1). I really can’t stand shopping in crowded shops, queuing at checkouts, or finding parking spaces!
2). I like to make sure I have everyone’s present early, so if for any reason I’ve forgotten someone, I still have time to buy it! (not that that actually happens!)
3). I can get it all wrapped and under the tree from the beginning of December, so it looks more festive under the tree.
4). December is such a busy time, to have to make sure I have time to shop, something else would have to give! That would be too much pressure!
5). By buying presents over the months, I can ensure I spread the cost.
6). I can buy presents when on offer, so I can either save more, or buy more for someone.
There are also downsides though!
1). I forget what I have bought, and duplicate presents.
2). You have to store them somewhere.
3). You see more things you like for someone, so you end up buying them more presents!
I absolutely love shopping for others. I make a list of who I have to buy for. During the year, I make notes of what they like doing, sizes, dreams etc. I then try and match the presents so they mean something to them.
I’m not a fan of giving money to people, as I don’t feel that there is any thought gone into it. Also, if they are like me, it is so easy to just spend it on something like food shopping, just because its in your purse.
I will however buy a voucher for a specific shop, if I know they really like to buy things like music.
Children are great to buy for. I know I always spend a lot more on my nieces than I plan to every year. I always buy them something they have asked for, then lots of other things I have seen throughout the year that I think they might need, or enjoy.
Older family members are more difficult as they tend to have everything. By buying early, I have time to think about what they might need, more than a last minute rushed buy.
Even Fido and Lola get presents. I will still hide them from them, so its a surprise to them too!
Its not only Christmas that I like buying things for people. I’m a very generous person by nature, and will treat people to things throughout the year. I am not however good at telling people what I would like or being treated.
I dread every year that question! ‘What would you like Maria’! That could be Christmas or my birthday. I really hate giving people ideas. I don’t like imposing a set cost onto them. I don’t want them to have to go out of their way to get something, and also, I love surprises.
My hubby is terrible. I can say it on here as he knows how I feel. Every year he asks, and every year, I ask him to surprise me! He never does. I have to tell him exactly what I want. Many times, I have even bought it and he has given me the money back. It takes the joy out of receiving presents for me.
We are all different. He likes to know what he is having. He doesn’t like surprises as I do.
So how do I get around this? I put together a list of things as I think of them. Amazon is great. You can easily set up a ‘Wish List’. You can select items at varying price levels. This can be emailed to family and friends if they ask the dreaded question. They can choose off there or not. You don’t know. If they buy something else, it really doesn’t matter.
On Christmas Day, hopefully there will be a surprise under the tree. That’s the excitement and pleasure of receiving gifts.
For me, it isn’t the amount of money someone has spent on me, it is the thought that has gone into the gift.
I know many people find Christmas stressful. The cost of presents has gone up year on year. What children ask for these days, compared to most of us at that age, has significantly changed. Instead of asking people for specific things, maybe ask them for a list? Think out of the box and buy something thoughtful.
Don’t feel pressured to spend money you don’t have. It is the thought that counts. If you have really thought about the present, and you know it is something that they will use or like, the price tag doesn’t matter. And if the person receiving it doesn’t agree, then ask yourself why you are still buying for them.
If money is tight, try making your presents. It could be homemade fudge, toffee, biscuits or cakes to knitted jumpers, scarves and hats.