Warning: this blog contains the C word… Christmas! I’m one of those annoying people who likes to prepare for Christmas really early. I think it’s because I used to be super poor (when I was an student/actor) and I have a really big family. If I wanted to get my friends and family anything more than a hug and a smile for Christmas, I had to start buying the presents months in advance. I think that’s just stuck with me.
Christmas is such an expensive time. It’s a bit like weddings – as soon as the idea of Christmas is on the cards, things that usually don’t cost a lot of money rocket in price, and the shops get uber busy.
I actually do most of my Christmas shopping online, and if I order it too close to December I feel very worried it won’t arrive on time.
I’m quite introverted and get frightened in crowds, so shopping on a Saturday in December is always pretty traumatic. I actually do most of my Christmas shopping online, and if I order it too close to December I feel very worried that it won’t arrive on time. My partner designed some t shirts a couple of years ago as presents and ordered them to be printed on 15th December… He nearly spent Christmas as a single man! The calmest Christmas for me is one where the presents are bought and wrapped before the first of December!!!
Not only does starting Christmas shopping early mean I can catch various sales that happen before the festive season, but it also means that I spread the cost over four/five months rather than spending a lot in the first two weeks of December.
In my family we all use Amazon wishlists, and I often message them early on to make sure the lists are up to date. They groan and take the mickey but it’s worth it to pick up some early gifts.
I start to plan my Christmas around the first of September. To be honest, I usually pick up some bits and pieces before that, if I see them. I picked up a few bath sets in the January sales last year that I have kicking around for Christmas this year. I start off by making a list of everyone we will need to buy for. My parents are divorced and have remarried, so I have two sets of parents, as well as my partner’s parents. Between us, we have four siblings (three with partners) and four nieces and nephews. I have a couple of friends and their kids that I buy for too. I then jot down how much I can afford to spend on each one, to get my Christmas budget.
Then I start on the presents list. Some family members are easy to buy for – my mum and step-dad, for example, like theatre vouchers so I can pick those up nice and early. If my other family members have told me what they want early on, the vouchers can be left until closer to December, as you can always get vouchers! In my family we all use Amazon wishlists, and I often message them early on to make sure the lists are up to date. They groan and take the mickey a bit, but it’s worth it to pick up some early gifts (possibly in an early September sale!).
I find kids difficult to buy for because their tastes change and they tend to have a lot of people buying for them – there’s a danger of buying something they’ve gone off.
Some people are more difficult to by for – particularly family members with more expensive taste, or those who never know what they want. I find kids difficult to buy for because their tastes change and they tend to have a lot of people buying for them – there’s a danger of buying something they’ve gone off. Yes, I was one of those aunties who bought loom band supplies in August and the kids had gone off them well before Christmas rolled around! Sometimes you can drop the odd clanger by buying something the person is no longer into, but for the most part I’m quite successful in picking up gifts throughout the year that people love.
So, grab your pen and paper/listing app/word document, and start your Christmas planning now. It will leave more time in December for important things, like drinking mulled wine and watching Die Hard!