Yeah, I know. Christmas. In July. But here's the thing, it's a really good time to be getting organised for Christmas and since I'm finding a little more time at the moment (thank you gardening leave), it's been the perfect opportunity to avoid the 1st December scurry to sort presents and work out how to pay for it all.
I'm actually intending a short series of Christmas in July posts over the coming weeks. I hope that this will be helpful for you, as these are various tricks and ideas I've found really help avoid the frazzled feeling of Decembers passed. Please do leave your own suggestions in the comments- I'd love to hear how you manage a stress free festive period.
Lots of people I know set some cash aside each month in the year specifically for Christmas gifts and socialising. I can't recommend this enough- kissing goodbye to all of your November pay is likely to really limit your ability to enjoy any kind of social engagement in December or worse, I've read a worrying amount about people accruing debt to cover the cost of the festive period. Frightening. So even if you have started yet, it's not too late- even £10 per month from now until November would be £50 which might cover a night out or Christmas party or some of your Christmas gifts, perhaps a particular gift for someone special.
Another thing you can do to ease Christmas, and the one I wanted to chip in on today is sale shopping. Right now, my inbox is just bursting with companies desperate to tell me about their summer sale. I *may* ahem have placed a little ASOS sale order myself last week, and a very pretty pair of shoes *might* also have arrived today too.
sneaky sale order
But aside the gifts for you, had you stopped to think about that really cool iPad case that is half price and that would be perfect for your sister? The watch above is destined for a friend of mine.
Gift sets like these miniatures are often reduced to clear around now, and make great additions to hampers or Secret Santa gifts
What about the Christmas themed Yankee candles that everybody is neglecting, but that you mother-in-law might really like? And the body butter that happens to have a shower gel of the same flavour both in the sale- they might make a great gift set if nicely wrapped for a friend.
Half price or 1/3 off luxury skincare- great for you, great for gift for someone you know well
The idea of shopping the sales with gifts in mind is not new, and it's also dependent on storage- this time last year, it would have been super difficult for me to stash away gifts or wrapping or goodies, especially since I knew I was moving house in the September, but if you have a drawer that you know needs clearing out, go do it this weekend and make space for a stash to make your life easier come December.
A few things to keep in mind:
1. Keep a list of gifts bought and for whom/what you have them in mind- it's always good to have a spare or too, but don't overbuy or miss someone important!
2. Look for specifics- Buying for the sake of buying something doesn't achieve much. Start thinking on who you need to find gifts for and look for a specific item on a good deal
3. Use discount codes to find the best price. If it's a great deal on sale, could you find free delivery or is there a good cash back incentive available anywhere?