So I’ve been MIA for a few weeks now, life has just been crazy busy and my time to sit down and write was sacrificed in favour of various other social activities (which I suppose is to be expected in the lead up to Christmas), but made worse by the fact many events were delayed due to COVID-19.
One thing I’m not particlarly stressed about? Christmas gifting. Why? Because I’ve finished my Christmas shopping and everything is wrapped and tagged, ready to go all before the 1st of December. One of the benefits of starting to Christmas shop months ago has paid off. All I’ve got left to do is my baking, which I have planned and already purchased the non-perishable ingredients for. Organisation definitely equates to a less stressful Christmas experience.
Another tip of mine? It doesn’t hurt to have a spare gift or two on hand, you never know when you might get roped into a last minute secret santa or even have someone give you a gift unexpectedly. So, for peace of mind a nicely gift wrapped hand cream or fancy box of chocolates are worth spending an extra few dollars on. Particularly when it’s something that could be given next year as a birthday present if you don’t end up gifting your spares at Christmas. I have a strong dislike for being caught offguard and like being able to be a giver or exchange gifts rather than just be a receiver. For any last minute Christmas catchups, I always run out and buy a small personalised gift so I have something modest and personalised on hand and to date it’s always paid off. Planing and organisation are key.
Now, most of you I’m sure won’t have started thinking about next year yet. But, I’m very interested to hear if you have. I’ve already started making a list of everyone I have to buy birthday presents for and also Christmas presents for, and yes, I have started my Christmas shopping for 2021. I’m forever jotting down ideas for gifts (especially when someone mentions something) that I think might be well received and when I see something that’s perfect for someone that’s on sale or that I have a discount voucher for, I buy it! It’s a lot less stressfull this way and I also find I spend a lot less money that I would if I had to buy something at the last minute.
The only downside of this process is of course, having to store all this stuff which is the next point I want to touch on. For my hard core minimalist followers, storing all those gifts will be a bridge too far. But for my more frugal friends out there, this will be right up your alley. However, I’m sure a lot of you are thinking – as a minimalist why do I buy so much stuff? Well, just because I try to limit stuff in my home doesn’t mean my friends or family feel the same way. If people want stuff, I’m happy to give them stuff. I’m not going to force my ideas on them by buying them gifts that may not be well received. I have friends who like stuff, clutter and knick knacks and if that’s what they want then I’m happy to get that for them.
Further, you might also be wondering about how I receive Christmas gifts. Well, it’s true that I do get given ‘stuff’ and I’m okay with that. Generally people have put a lot of thought into something that they think I would like and I’m happy to receive it. I don’t make a big deal about my minimalist beliefs or anything like that, but I do have one rule. Christmas is a good excuse for a clear out. For every gift I’m given that’s a physical item, I have to get rid of two things in my home (that’s some really good motivation right there). So, if you have family and friends that like to give you gifts, receive them gratefully and reduce your in home clutter in other ways. I always appeciate a thoughtful gift regardless of the physical form it might take. Plus, it’s always a great way to have a clear out that I usually haven’t had in a while but am long overdue for!
How do you plan your Christmas shopping? Have you started thinking about next Christmas yet?