So the holiday season is nearly upon us and tis the season to be Jolly! Or is it!?
I’m not sure about you guys,
but sometimes I feel the spirit of Christmas has been a little lost in the present/money mania of the festive period (bah humbug!).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love buying my loved ones gifts and seeing their happy little faces. There’s nothing better than the gift of giving and I thrive giving people thoughtful things to treasure.
However, I have found over the past few years, I have become a self confessed Christmas panicker! Be it time, money or both, I always seem to have just about enough!
The joy of Christmas seemed to have become overshadowed with the anxiety of expense and making sure I can fit everything in. This is always compounded I admit by work commitments, travel commitments and of course time and money management. But like most of us, there is always something else to pay for and I have always definitely struggled to buy Christmas presents before December, it just doesn’t feel, well, Christmassy!
But not this year! Aha! This year I have been absolutely determined to get my Christmas Pudding into gear and get myself sorted, so here’s my take on what will hopefully be a well organised Christmas, with more festive cheer and less holiday stress!
Being that this is my day job, this is my number one rule and something I swear by! One of my husbands many nicknames for me is ‘squirrel’because I like to forage away my nuts (dosh!) into lots of places! It’s true, I do, and I like to have various different accounts for different things which require different levels of savings and the time required to save.
So one of these is – you’ve guessed it – a Christmas account. Every month I put away a small amount to save for Christmas presents. No matter how small this is it doesn’t matter, it will always help towards the final Christmas bill! I have known people to have spent so much money on Christmas, that they are still paying for it the following Christmas! No, no and no again!
Think ahead of time and build yourself a float, you’ll definitely thank yourself for it when the holiday season comes around. It’s astounding how much more happier you are to be spending money you have actually got.
Lists are your friend!
Manage what you have to do and organise yourself.
Write a list of who you have to buy for and assign a budget to each person – and stick to it! Once you start writing everything down, you’ll track what you’re spending too. How many of us have always lost count of how many pressies we’ve bought for people!?
Check out the sales, they happen all year round now and grab yourself a bargain, Black Friday is especially good!
As you’re assigning yourself a budget per person, sales are great because you can maximise what you can get for your money.
Make sure you listen too! If you get someone just one present but it’s something they really wanted, they’ll be really chuffed! After all, it’s quality not quantity!
So, breaking my no Christmas before December rule, scrap this and buy all year round! It saves time, spreads out your cash flow and if you see something you know someone will love, grab it! There will always be another priority for cash but it’ll help you in the long run.
If December 25th is stressing you out, downscale! There is absolutely nothing wrong with 1 present or even no presents and just enjoying being with those you love and enjoying it (queue cheese!). If you’re scaling down, be honest with your friends and family, they may be thankful that you have suggested it because they may be struggling too.
Use your time wisely
Life is busy for us all, so use your time in the right way. Allocate an hour each night to wrap presents or write cards in your lunch hour, it all chips away at how much you have to do.
I have spent many a Christmas Eve as a last minute wrapper.com when I want to be doing is drinking Proccesco, eating a tin of Celebrations and watching Home Alone! And yes, I do this every year!
Over the years I’ve even had to make myself a list of things I’d like myself so I don’t forget! Most of the time I give my husband a list and I always love what he gets me, but the last 4 years we have instead bought each other a holiday over the Christmas period!
And you know what, they are the best presents I have ever had! By the time you add up presents, food, alcohol etc we spend the same on a mini break!
It’s brilliant and we we get to travel, one of our favourite pastimes!
So there you have it, my top tips! And if you need any more convincing, I am proof this works!
It’s 10th December, I have all my presents bought and wrapped and 80% of my cards written! Yasss!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Have a wonderful time, eat drink and be Merry, and no tears under the mistletoe from all the Christmas stress, only kisses!
I can hear the theme tune to Home Alone calling….
Love, Happiness & Sunshine
Debs Xo 💗