When is it too early to start preparing for christmas. to prepare and buy presents? How does your family be ready?
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Or so the song goes, however when you have a gift list the size of your arm, what seems like a small army to feed, family to try to accommodate for and all the usual decorations to worry about. The most wonderful time of the year, can soon feel like the most stressful time of the year. It can cost an awful lot of money if you're not careful with your finances and time management can also become a problem in itself, especially if your short of it at the best of times!
It's easy to lose site of the true meaning of Christmas as the season is now so heavily commercialized, the closer it gets to the big day, the more pressure and expectation seems to be thrust upon us. This can then detach us further from the warm fuzzy feeling we would prefer to experience, that same excitement we used to feel as children.
The good news is that it does not have to be like this at all, with a little good planning and considered preparation, especially in the pursuit of gift giving, it need not be a hassle.
When and where does one begin?
Some crazy individuals will leave Christmas shopping till Christmas eve, this is just a disaster waiting to happen, you can trust me on this, or ask anyone who's tried it.
By this time the best presents are gone and everything that is left is at its highest price. The shops and streets will be jam packed with individuals in a real flap, lengthy ques will be a frequent occurrence, this subsequently leads to panic buying. Resulting in purchasing a load over priced rubbish, that no one will want and you will scratch your head baffled at your goods when you get home, wondering what ever possessed you to waste your hard earned money on this pile of junk.
Avoid the disappointment and rush, by promising yourself right now that you will never leave your Christmas shop that close to the day, ever!
Now we have touched a little on what not to do, lets have a look at a few things you can do, to make life a little easier.
Start as you mean to go on.
In my opinion and experience it's never to early to start thinking about Christmas. The sooner you start organizing and buying presents, the better. I start in January. I buy cards and wrapping paper in the sales, you would not believe just how much money you can save.
One year I bought a 6ft Christmas tree in February, yes I got some very funny looks walking around with it and taking it on the bus, but I didn't care. It's original price was nearly £40, I bought it in the sales that February for just £6.19 and I have used it every year since, my wonderful bargain tree is now one less thing I have to worry about.
Similarly wrapping paper I have picked up for as little as 10p a roll and cards can be found at some stores for less then 50p a box. I also save up with a Christmas savings club each year, with payments made little and often that I don't miss and at the end of the year I get some lovely vouchers ready to use as well as food delivered to my door, with time to spare.
Numerous gifts can be picked up throughout the year in the sales too. Larger gifts as well as stocking fillers, all slowly and surely add up to a nice bundle of great gifts for your loved ones.
List and budget.
- Make a list of all the people you want to buy for as early on in the year as you can and if they happen to mention something they like, make a note of it next to their name. It's also a good idea to make a list of everything you purchase throughout the year, as it's easy to lose track.
- Budgeting is important too, have a set amount of money in mind and stick to it. Spend only what you can afford and you won't go far wrong.