I know you must think I'm crazy to be thinking of Christmas already and you probably really do not want to be thinking about it just yet, but here at The syders, we do plan for the festive period all year long. It's March and I already have a basket that is filling up nicely with gifts that are put away for December. I even have a basket that has gifts neatly wrapped in brown paper ready to be posted later in the year.
I love Christmas and I like to be organised. I loathe last minute shopping and queueing up, so every year I aim to try not to shop during December. I don't always achieve it but I rarely have to face the huge crowds of shoppers with everyone rushing around like lunatics, instead I get to spend my December enjoying the build up to Christmas by baking, crafting, crocheting, sewing and watching festive films in front of a cosy fire.
Why do it to yourself? Why put yourself out there, stressed out, in the freezing cold weather, traipsing across your local shopping centre, laden with heavy bags, getting pushed and shoved in every direction. It just isn't necessary when you can buy all year instead, at a leisurely pace.
Early Christmas shopping has lots of benefits and the main reason we do it, is because we have a large family and it saves us quite a lot of money, because we have longer to shop for bargains and more time to spread the cost. It means we can buy gifts that people actually want rather than just buying whatever is left on the shelves.
- List every person you want to buy for in a special Christmas note pad. Next to their name write how much you want to spend on them and do not go over that amount. By shopping early you can often find a gift for someone for a lot less in price than if you leave it until the last minute.
- Buy Christmas cards, wrapping paper and decorations in January as they are often massively reduced directly after Christmas.
- Scan online sales on a regular basis. I always manage to pick up some great deals from the sales and my favourites are Cath Kidston, New Look and Top Man. In fact, just this week I picked up a gorgeous Christmas cardi for Hubby, from Top Man which was reduced from £59.99 to £15.00 (similar to the one on the right).
- Create handmade gifts by learning to crochet a simple scarf, making felt decorations, baking mini Christmas cakes, or making chutneys, jams, candles and soaps.
- Make space in your kitchen for a Christmas cupboard and during your weekly shop, chuck on something to put in the cupboard (check it will be in date for Xmas though). Things like biscuits, tins, pickles, condiments, sweets, stuffing mixes, cake mixes anything that has a long shelf life is perfect for the Christmas food cupboard. It really does save a lot towards your big shop at the end of the year.
So, do you have any early Christmas shopping tips to share? Do you buy early or end up leaving it until the last minute?