Gift Shopping For Large Families
I wrapped a whole heap of Christmas gifts last night, and it's only November. A mother of 9 revealed that she starts in January, and you know what, so do I.
I used to commence my Christmas gift shopping in October, but as the family grew year by year and I saw myself become an Auntie 10 times over, October just wasn't cutting it any longer, so I inched it back to July.
Trying to buy and wrap something like 20 gifts over a two month period of time between October and December was insanely stressful and expensive to boot because this is peak gift buying season, there are few sales. That's just the gift shopping, other stresses included food shopping, menu planning and cooking for Christmas guests. Then you have to clean it all up afterwards. Also, don't forget the beautiful decorations you spend hours stringing up in December (or earlier if you're naughty).
A July starting point afforded me far more time but it still wasn't enough time to cancel out the stress of Christmas gift shopping, and Christmas in general. I love Christmas, it's my absolutely favourite time of year but it was gradually becoming marred by stress and excessive holiday workload.
That mother of 9 has got it right, and now finally so have I. In January this year I hit the sales hard, I bought at least 10 gifts off the bat at a ridiculously low prices. Starting out early doesn't just save you energy and stress, it saves you money too.
Suddenly you can afford the gifts you really want to buy people because the sale prices improve your spending power, instead of paying full whack for everything - stuff you don't even like that much half the time, but it's all you can afford.
You start out on January with the sales, and you spend the rest of the year slowly scouring the shops for bargains and popping them into a Christmas box ready for wrapping later in the year. I wish I'd thought of doing this a decade ago. I've wasted thousands not doing so, as have saved at least 30% with this method but have far better gifts.
Now just because I have 20 people to buy for and spend all year doing it, this is not about finding more time to worship at the alter of excess. The Daily Mail's mother of 9 says she keeps herself to a strict budget of £3,000, I would not describe that as remotely strict in the slightest personally. I keep it to well within £500 for 20 people including my own (2) children, and that's before I started saving money by starting out in January.
For me Christmas is about spending time with your family and enjoying their company and the Christmas festivies. Of course a little gift is lovely too and we all enjoy that, but for me it's not about spending tons of money because I want to avoid the blight on this planet that is 'excess'.
Every day our land fill grows and the earth crumbles under the weight of our excessive manufacturing, resultant waste and carbon spewing. We've all got to reign it right in and reduce our consumption of products, and non sustainable fuels.
Being SUPER organised and starting your Christmas shopping in January is essential for people who have large families. I have wrapped nearly all of my gifts and now only have about five left to buy and wrap - this means I have an entire month after that to decorate my home, menu plan and enjoy time with my guests without feeling absolutely ragged from the stressful two months that preceded the holiday season.
I hope you have a great holiday this year, and if you have a stressful one, do yourself a favour and make a commitment to start buying and planning in January instead.