For many people, saying the word Christmas at this time of year is like saying a dirty word, however I find that starting my Christmas shopping as early as possible helps me with at least one thing closer to Christmas- my stress levels.
And yes, I actually started my Christmas shopping back in January this year during the sales. Shopping during the sale periods for the following Christmas is one of the great benefits to starting early. It can be a great time to find quality items on sale or purchase reduced wrapping paper and cards. However, I find for myself personally that it isn’t always about the financial savings that are the most important to me. Rather, it’s about the unnecessary stress I can save myself down the track. Whilst everyone else is making the mad dash to the shops in the few days prior to Christmas, by this time all my shopping is wrapped, bagged and ready to go.
I start by making a list of all the people I need to buy/bake for (I tend to do a bit of Christmas baking as well especially for people who I know love bakes goods but are hard to buy for. You can check out my thoughts on last years baking here). I then use sale periods, and the first few months of the year to try and map out what I think everyone might like or try to pick up on things they mention. Well, I already have my list and my ideas and the shopping has begun!
I’ve also tested out a new baking recipe this weekend just gone (something I’ve never done before but wanting to add to my gifts this year), but I wanted to give myself a chance to play around with the recipe, or scrap it and find something else if it didn’t work. But, luckily it did! And to keep it frugal, I tested it out at half quantities in case it was a total disaster so I wasn’t just throwing money away.
Consequently, the thought that Christmas is only a few months away doesn’t have me panicked but rather I feel proud that I’m organised, not stressed and spreading out the expense so everything doesn’t have to be purchased all at once. I also have tendency to buy a few small, inexpensive gifts to have on hand just in case. You never know when someone might gift you something unexpectedly or if you might end up being involved in a last minute Secret Santa and having a few small things on hand in the past has really saved my bacon (and my stress levels)!!.
So, for those of you yet to even let Christmas cross your minds- make a list, start planning, start saving, put items on lay buy and get shopping.
How early do you start planning your Christmas?