If we’re not careful Christmas will take over the year, and for what? One day of arguments, tantrums and debt the size of the ripped off wrapping paper. The phrase, ‘it gets earlier every year,’ is uttered every year and we all know someone with a Bah-Humbug hat. Despite all this there is something about Christmas that sparkles.
There seem to be two camps when it comes to Christmas shopping – leave it until December and it’s never too early. There are of course advantages to both but does one safe you more money?
Leave Christmas until December
With January sales starting mid December there might be something in the leaving it until December. All the major retailers know how important Christmas sales are and do all they can to push them. There are many predictors of when it is best to buy certain presents. They look at the trends of previous years and claim to predict when in December is best to buy different items, suggesting that there are bargains to be had right through the run up to Christmas.
Another advantage of waiting until December is you know what the person wants. This is particularly true for children. If yours are anything like mine they are fickle little beings. I showed my daughter the Argos catalogue once and asked her what she would like for her birthday. She asked for something on every page. Ok she was three but she does change her mind so much that it’s hard to predict in July what she’s going to want in December.
It’s never too early
With stores and websites already releasing their top 10 Christmas presents it’s hard not to start thinking about what your little one might want this year. As none of these items are below £50 (a bit out of my price range) if I want to get my children what they want I need to search the sales. Luckily for me summer sales are a great place to get bargains as is the new (for over here) Black Friday sales. Although I’m in two minds about stealing another countries traditions (if you can call it that), I do love a bargain! If you are only getting what you would have bought anyway then it’s worth buying early.
Being organised and buying Christmas cards and wrapping paper at the beginning of January can save you £££s. Cards, which seem to be more expensive every year, are slashed in price. You can buy tubes of wrapping paper for pennies. In my experience it’s these bits that forget to be budgeted for and so become hidden costs.
Spreading the cost of Christmas throughout the year suits me better than saving. Getting presents every now and again means I can spend throughout the year rather than completely relying on the December pay day.
The biggest argument I’ve heard for not starting your Christmas shopping too early is that it’s too commercialised. This one drives me crackers! If you’re going to buy presents you might as well get the best deal you can. It can even help make the season itself less commercialised. By spreading the buying throughout the year you are free to enjoy the joys of the season without the stress of buying on a budget.
Which side of the fence?
I personally have already started my Christmas shopping. I don’t have a list of things I want to get but I do have a list of people. If I find something I know they will like and it’s on sale, I buy it. In particular I look out for stocking fillers. I find I can save more on presents if I buy them in summer sales, black Friday, cyber Monday and any other sale I can get my hands on. So how early is too early? In my opinion it’s never too early if there is a bargain to have!