Let’s face it, unless you’re Santa Clause who magically gets his gifts from the North Pole, most of you will be doing some Christmas shopping this year. If you’re in anyway like me, this wonderful time is often a period of great anxiety. Between the procrastination and the desperate last-minute shopping, I always wind up feeling a little insane after the holidays. Lack of preparation is truly the recipe for over-spending, and unfortunately this was an old story that was all too familiar to me.
This year, I was determined to break the cycle. For the first time I actually created a “small” budget (small being the key word here) and adopted the conviction to stick to it. I justified in my head that most of the people in my circle had been on the “naughty” list all year and according to Santa I was under no obligation to be nice to them. I’m saying all this to say, feel free to leave some people off your Christmas list. You do not have to buy gifts for everyone in your contact.
To avoid the rush, I also hit the stores a lot earlier. I swapped buying expensive impersonal gifts for considerate, inexpensive ones. I bought low priced individual pieces and created beautiful gift baskets. With a little self- discipline, some common sense, and a whole lot of browsing it all paid off. Perfect gifts for the perfect persons without costing me an arm and a leg. That one family member, who shall remain nameless, who’s badly in need of a foot scrub or two, will be in for a real treat this Christmas.
Lastly, I was intentional about online shopping. I didn’t just go searching on Amazon for one stop shopping. I actually monitored legitimate social media platforms for great promotions on great brands. I even used this as an opportunity to support startup businesses of people I know.
So now my shopping is all done, and my gifts are wrapped and sitting under the tree looking like I spent a million bucks! “Did I stick to my budget?” Of course not…turns out that budget was a little unrealistic, but I sure had fun trying! Still, mission accomplished since I did spend a whole lot less and the lack of stress was an added bonus. Lesson learnt: Shopping for gifts get a whole lot better when the thought is coming from the heart and not the pocket!
Finally, remember Christmas is really the time to celebrate the birth of Christ… we need to celebrate him like it’s Christmas Day every day!
Some of the Places I Shopped: