Endless mince pies, steaming cups of mulled wine and twinkling trees… if only Christmas was that simple. Unfortunately, if you’re a parent, the pressure of making this ‘the best Christmas ever!’ for your family can turn a magical time into a stressful one. Organising Christmas dinner, festooning the house with decorations and gift shopping for all the family is enough to send even Santa over the edge…
But don’t fret! There’s no need to be a Scrooge. Our Christmas shopping tips will help you save time, money and above all, your sanity, allowing you to whiz down your Christmas to-do list faster than Old Saint Nick himself. So go ahead, grab a cup of gingerbread latte, sit back and read on…
Make a List
Make a list, check it twice, find out who’s…. you get it. Life is easier with lists – even Santa knows this. Make a note of everyone you need to buy a present for, concentrating first on immediate family and close friends.
Create a Budget
Who doesn’t overspend at Christmas? With all the shops tempting you with sparkly gifts and cute stocking fillers, it’s easy to blow your budget before you’re even halfway down your list. This year, it’s time to be a savvy spender. Create a spending limit and divide it amongst each person on your list. E.g. £100 on your daughter, £50 on your spouse, £20 on your nephew and so on. Your bank balance will thank you come January.
‘Tis the season to be organised. Start early and buy a few bits each week to spread the cost. By mid-December the majority of your present list will be ticked off, leaving you with plenty of time to spend with your loved ones and enjoy bottomless glasses of Baileys. Because, at the end of the day, that’s what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? (Spending time with family, not the Baileys…)
But Hold Out for the Sales too…
Buying early can help lighten the load come December, but hold out for some of the bigger, more expensive items and wait for the sales. If Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring you out in a sweat, most brands have sales or discounts before Christmas. Be sure to sign up to your favourite shop’s newsletters and keep your eye out for last minute promotions.
Buy Quality over Quantity
Ten presents may seem better than five, but buying your children lots of small toys can be a waste. Most kids are bombarded with gifts at Christmas and the smaller, less important presents are sure to be ignored. Larger gifts with longevity, such as a virtual reality headset, an awesome cabin bed or the latest pair of Nike Air Maxes are bound to be cherished for longer than a selection of small toys and accessories for example.