Some of my friends are complaining about all the stress and the expense just doing some Christmas shopping. One friend shared with me her dilemma with her credit card bills come January. She’s got a long list of names of family, friends, and colleagues that she thought about giving fewer gifts so she’d have enough cash to buy everything for Christmas dinner.
I thought, “Should Christmas be like this, full of stress and worries about credit card bills and budgeting fears?” It shouldn’t be like that! The holiday is meant to be enjoyed, especially with your love ones!
Let me share with you what I learned a few years ago to plan for the season and buy Christmas gifts with a lot less stress.
First of all, be honest with yourself. Sit down and draw up a budget that you are very comfortable with for your holidays. Make sure that you have already set a portion of your income aside for your savings, charity, and daily or monthly bills and expenses before allowing for Christmas.
Make a Christmas list in advance. Keep that list at hand to check on the gifts in advance and possibly look for opportunity to shop sales. Another advantage of having a list in advance is a relief from stress! You can avoid buying double for one person and forgetting to buy gifts for another.
I had that experience few years ago, when I had to shop for gifts a few days before Christmas. I thought of all the people who I wanted to send gifts, but I end up exhausted and unhappy because I still missed some gifts, especially for my loved ones. It was really a terrible and stressful day!
Check it twice! Is it necessary to give gifts to all the people on your list? Yes, it is a wonderful feeling when we share and give something at Christmas. But, you can be budget-conscious and give priority to the people very close and important to you.
Most of us are so busy these days that online shopping (through trusted outlets) can be ideal. Lots of brick and mortar stores even run special online only promotions that can save you even more money.
Some of us feel that we should buy expensive gifts. But remember, the value of the gift is what’s in the heart of the giver. Regardless how grand or small, what really matters is the joy of giving. But if you have time, why not try to customize or personally make your gifts like crafts or baked goodies. Why? Because it takes time and effort to do one! Certainly anyone would feel special upon receiving it!
Gifts don’t have to be things! People feel the most valued and loved if we can also share our time with them! So one of the best Christmas gifts you can give is your time and your presence. Wishing you a lovely and peaceful holiday!