I have always envied those people that when I ask, "How is your Christmas shopping coming along?" they reply, "Oh I'm finished, I started months ago" . Arghhhh why can't I be the one saying this?... hmmmm maybe next year... there is always next year. This year though, as with all other years, I have four weeks left to buy everything. So how am I going to do this? First, I go to my list that I have already prepared with all the names of the people I have to buy for. I divide this list into groups such as;
And any other groups you may have, like, the kids schools friends, work colleagues or Kris Kringles etc.
When I look at my list, I weigh up whether I really do need to go all out for everyone. For example, do I really need to buy something for every child in my daughter's class? I ask myself when did this become standard and do I really support it? I revert back to when I was at school and simply gave a Christmas card and candy cane to my close friends, not every snot nose lining up! There may be other people on your list that after second thoughts you decide a card and maybe a family photo will suffice. Great!! Easy right?
I think about how much I am willing to, or rather can afford to spend this Christmas. I divide this out amoungst my groups, with the most important of course being at the top of the list. Some limits thankfully for me are already set. So if I look at my arranagement it goes something like this;
$150 for my daughter (can't help but spoil her a bit)
$100 for my partner
$100 my partner will spend on me (you better be reading this bub!)
$40 per family adult and child (give or take) for close family - equates to around $400 in total
Kris Kringles for work collegues are usually $5 or $10 each - $50 there
$60 for my daughters classmates
$100 for clients
In total my required budget this Christmas would be $960.
Your list may be more frugal or lavish its obviously up tp you.
However, this year we have had a look and given we are taking a couple of weeks off to go away, we need to try and get our commitments down a bit. If it's not looking like your budget is going to work, it's time to get creative.
You don't have to spend $50 to make someone smile or feel special at Christmas which essentially is what it's all about. I find that the gifts that are most well received every year are the ones hand crafted or even hand baked goods. Maybe you are quite crafty and making gorgeous cushions, purses or jewellery is an easy task for you. Or maybe you're a wiz in the kitchen. Something little, with al ot of love can go a long way. And if you are neither crafty or hate baking then jump online to see when some local craft markets are on, I guarantee you that no matter where you are in the world there will be a Christmas Craft market approaching, whether it be a twilight or Sunday in the sun, there most definitely will be one near you, if you are willing to sniff them out. Using this strategy, my budget changes a little;
$150 for my daughter, reduces by $40
$400 family, reduces by $200
$60 for classmates reduces by $30
$100 for clients reduces by $40
$310 give or take...
My new budget is just over $500, which for me is great. A lot more manageable than close to $1000...
So my list is done, I know who I am buying for, how much I am spending for each person and some ideas around what to buy or make. I have scheduled time next weekend to make some gorgeous Christmas chocolates with the help of my mini me helper. I just need to make sure I have the bags and ribbon to go with them and I'm away.
This brings me to my next point. Schedule your shopping outings. Thanks to your list it really should not take too much time if your organised and know what you are getting and from where. Whether you prefer to shop online or hit the shops and markets it doesn't matter, just make sure you actually put the time aside. For example Thursday evening - late night shopping (2 hours). Sunday Big Dream market 11am (2 hours). Once these two days have lapsed go back to your list, who's left if anyone? If there are still a few names to tick off then schedule another day.
Ticking names off as you go is always a rewarding feeling so always keep your list with you and tick away! Hopefully my advice is helpful to you, I would love to hear from you about any ideas or thoughts. Happy shopping!