Gift giving is a lovely tradition, and many people enjoy tracking down the perfect gift, the present they know will make their loved one smile.

But Christmas can be expensive. How many times have you had to break your budget to be able to get the gifts you want, or enough gifts for everyone? Each year it feels like new people get added to your Christmas list – there’s never quite enough money or time in December is there? Even cards cost a lot when you think about all the ones you need to post out.

May I suggest that we need to pop into town, and online, to get some gift ideas now, and to buy one or two? By buying now, you get to pick up some pre-Christmas bargains and you’re spreading the cost of Christmas – otherwise you end up paying for Christmas all out of one wage packet!

Some people are talented and can save money by making cards and gifts, but many of us are not so patient or crafty! I know I couldn’t make anything that I’d be proud enough to give as a gift – whereas Jules could indeed make cards and gifts to a professional standard. Would making stuff save you money, or would you end up spending more on the materials?

Save money, reduce the hassle

Get online, visit Amazon, Firebox, ThinkGeek, Giftology and Play and buy some stuff early. If you leave it all to December you’ll end up buying everything out of one wage packet and that could hurt your finances.

Buy half your cards now, and some stamps. You can buy more, if you need, in December.

It’s not my place to lecture about the use of credit cards – I do use them for big purchases, very occasionally, but I don’t mind telling you that I’ve been made miserable by credit card bills and I totally totally avoid using them if I can – I do not believe they are worth the overall cost – their interest rates are sky high!

Personally I would rather receive something small (cheap!) unique and novel (something I’ve never seen) than an expensive helicopter toy or a deluxe board game. I can buy the usual highstreet things myself anytime, the most fun thing about Christmas for me is getting cool little things that make me go “Wow, I wish I’d thought of that!”.

So, if you’re celebrating Christmas (not everyone does!), Hanukkah, Yule or the winter solstice with gift giving, get out there now before the streets become too crowded, and save yourself the cost and hassle of shopping in December.

{Wedge}

Photo credit: Jill Clardy

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