If you’re anything like me, you finished your Christmas shopping last month. My presents are wrapped, and cards written, just waiting for the Big Day.
I realise, however, that some people don’t do all of their present-buying in October, and I know that some of my friends are struggling with the amount of “compulsory” December spending.
In my office alone there are two Christmas lunches (£25 and £14), and an ice-skating trip (£18) as well as a general Secret Santa (£10) and a bargain one for just our cohort (£1).
That’s £68, before we even get a drink.
Then there are presents for family and friends. This year I’ve cut down on gifts for other people; I’ve bought things for my parents, my little sister and my godson, but nothing for the extended family. None of my friends are getting presents either. What a tight-fisted shopaholic, hey?
Well, I’m not expecting presents from those I don’t buy for. It’s a mutual agreement.
I stopped giving and sending out Christmas cards a while ago, too. It seems like a generational shift. None of my friends post me cards, but I still get them from aunties and uncles, godparents and long-time-no-see family friends.
These days the price of a stamp is surely prohibitive for most people. A pack of 10 Oxfam Christmas cards is £3.99. Even if you sent everything second class, at 50p a go, the stamps for those cards will cost you a fiver. So that’s £9 for cards to ten people. Supposing I sent a card to each of my Facebook “friends” that would set me back £221.
As for gifts, my advice is to set your budget before you shop. Don’t go rushing out to the shops on Christmas Eve, desperate to find something. The sales assistants know you’re desperate.
A couple of my favourite sites for Christmas prezzies:
Unless you’re shopping with me in mind, in which case: