The alternative Christmas Guide | 2020 has not been a normal year, with Christmas shopping approaching, we may have to do things differently.
I think most years I’ve pulled together a Christmas shopping guide, but somehow this year, I felt it wasn’t right to do the same old, same old.
Instead I am sharing how I will be approaching my Christmas shopping this year; with the vast majority possibly having to be bought online… which is not my normal way of tackling it! So I hope you enjoy this blogpost…
THE ALTERNATIVE CHRISTMAS GUIDE
Let’s start with getting into the Christmas spirit – not easy with the current mood of the Nation.
Approach every element as if it will be a normal Christmas, and then think of a plan b.
What I mean by this, is prepare your list, prepare what you plan to buy – are you (like me) waiting to see if we can head out to the shops in early December to start our Christmas shopping. I plan too. If I can shop on the highstreet from my favourite stores, then that’s how I plan to approach my Christmas shopping.
If I can’t… because we are advised to stay away – then my plan b will be to buy the same items, but from their online store.
Who are you buying for?
You don’t have to buy for the same people, year on year. If your life has moved on from some friends or their family has just got so mega big then buy one present for them to share rather than individual items. Don’t feel the pressure to do what you’ve always done.
Write a list of who you would like to buy for and then rank them in importance (make sure your Mum is quite high on the list, just in case she spots it when she pops in for coffee!) – I’m kidding Mum!
How much can you afford to spend?
This is a very different question to how much you would like to spend. If you have £100 and four people, do you want to spend £25 on each person, or should one person have a gift of £55 and the rest £15 each.
Work out a realistic budget and then allocate funds per person on your list.
Don’t even think about how much they plan to spend on you, it’s completely irrelevant – they may or may not have been impacted financially by COVID; avoid getting into a budget war with siblings or friends – if they care, then they don’t care (if you get what I mean!)
Start your search online
Whether you plan to head to the shops or not – start your search online. Unless you are only into Amazon, perhaps widen your search with your favourite brands! And if you are struggling for gift ideas then head to Department stores where they will have multiple brands.
Now the trick is to search by gender and if it’s a really good online site you then opt to select the Price MAX function or range you want the search to give you – By doing this, it stops you spending more than you plan to. Write the ideas you love by the names of those on your list – you now know you can buy what you would like for the budget you would like to spend.
Continue searching and exploring until you have more gift ideas than you need – all within the price ranges you would like them to be in.
When and where to buy
I am personally waiting to see if we can head out from 3rd December, and if we can, I will be doing all my shopping that weekend. If we can’t, then I would highly recommend that you buy online as soon as you can.
If you can afford it I would also (not that I usually do this) pay for premium delivery service, so that your order is prioritised over other standard orders; that way you stand a better chance of getting what you need in time.
Be careful buying gift cards this year – if a business or brand was to suddenly have financial issues they may not be able to honour their commitments – I’ve been stung in the past. Check at the point of purchase with that brand how they protect you if you do buy them.
The gift of time
If you have been made reductant, if times are financially hard, your friends and family will totally understand and if you don’t give any gifts that’s absolutely fine – you have not failed. Time is the most precious thing we all own, it’s free but it’s also extremely valuable. I am sure by spending more time with them (even if it’s virtual zoom calls), you will have given them so much more than a box of chocolates!
If you are feeling low about Christmas, worrying about how you will financially cope and you can’t talk to family or friends – Please consider reaching out to the Samaritans you can call them FREE on on 116 123 and get the support you need.