No, it’s not too early!
Here in the UK, nearly all of the major shopping chains have their Christmas gear out already and have since mid-September. After children return to school from the summer break, the aisles of every grocery store are packed with Christmas goodies. You can find everything from Christmas puddings, stocking fillers, crackers, wrapping paper – anything that you could conceivably think of that would come in handy for Christmas.
Shops do this in September – THREE MONTHS BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
Surely they must do it for a reason?
Well, because people as anal as myself like to get our Christmas shopping done early so we don’t have to worry about it in December.
I am not a huge fan of busy shopping malls, especially with so many people cramped into such a small and enclosed space. Being in busy and noisy environments make me feel claustrophobic and panicky, not to mention the fact that people hack, cough and splutter all over you as they walk past. Maybe I am just anti-social, or maybe I just don’t like to be close enough to a stranger to smell what they had for breakfast on their breath…
Doing my Christmas shopping in October means that I can browse stores that are relatively quiet and free of squawking children/teenagers/adults who clearly want to be stuck in a hectic shopping mall as much as I do. There is also still plenty of stock and choice on the shelves so that I don’t have to worry that I need to knock out the old man next to me in order to get the last gift set from the shelf (even if it is ripped/damaged/broken) No, concussing a pensioner on Christmas Eve is definitely not in keeping with the spirit of Christmas.
I’ve also noticed something rather cheeky that stores do the closer we creep to Christmas: they ever so quietly put the prices of items up the nearer we get to Christmas Eve, knowing that desperate folks will be willing to pay anything to ensure that they’ve got their loved one a Christmas present and not have to spend the entire festive period in the doghouse.
I have a schedule when it comes to Christmas, one that usually starts in October:
- October – buy Christmas presents
- November – buy Christmas meat selection (for Christmas Day dinner) and freeze until December. Wrap Christmas presents
- December – deliver/post said Christmas presents
Christmas always seems to be stressful time for some folks and I wonder whether it is just lack of planning or some deep-seated need to torture oneself that makes them leave everything until the last minute. Hell, I always start planning for Christmas a year in advance by putting £5 a week away in a savings account. It may not seem like much, but over twelve months it soon adds up and cushions some of the financial blow that Christmas often makes on all of us.
And we all overspend at Christmas, don’t we? Well, that’s why I write a list of everyone I need to buy for and what they might like before I even step foot in the mall. Then I go to the stores that do special offers like ‘3 for 2’ and try to get the majority of presents there (where’s the sense in paying for the third item if you don’t have to?)
Some might think it anal, while some may admire my way of planning the festive season. Either way, I know I won’t be one of those people running around the stores on Christmas Eve looking like I am just about to have a coronary. No, I shall be in the pub with my feet up, enjoying a festive tipple and watching everyone else run around like headless chickens as they scramble for last-minute presents.
Because it is the season to be jolly, after all!
Are you a last minute Christmas shopper or a planner like me? Please feel free to share your thoughts below: