One of my very favourite things to do during the festive season is to wrap gifts. If fact, my family members often make fun of me because I’m often very ‘strict’ about making the gifts look pretty & festive – each gift (no matter how small) must at least have some sort of ribbon or bow. And if there is a Christmas theme (say blue & white or gold), then all gifts need to be wrapped in the theme. A bit ambitious if your brother makes fun of you endlessly, but I keep trying anyway.
Before you can wrap those gifts you have to buy / make them, which brings me to the gist of this post…
Sanity-saving & budget-friendly tips on gifting
1. Steer clear of malls
I can still recall driving around Sandton City one year early in December trying to find parking for 45 minutes. No exaggeration.
So, if you have not done your shopping yet, then my very first tip is to stay away from malls! I do love shopping & the festive cheer in the air with Christmas carols playing is amazing, but the reality is that from now on there will be crowds (often unfriendly ones), parking issues & totally overwhelmed shop assistants. If you really need to get into a store though, I recommend leaving your entourage at home. Take a weekday) morning off if you can & arrive just before the stores open. Have your shopping list ready, stay focussed & make sure you are done by lunchtime before the crowds arrive.
Sometimes I find that taking advantage of extended shopping hours (aka nighttime shopping) works really well too. Not many people seem to want to do their shopping at 7pm, so go for it!
There are so many Christmas markets around these days, so maybe pop around to one of these for your shopping. The same applies to markets though: get there very early in the morning or during the week if you can.
2. Consider a Secret Santa
Why not save time, money & effort & opt for something like a Secret Santa Xmas? This means: each person pulls one name out of a hat & buys for one person for a pre-determined amount. That way you will have time & energy to think of something really special. Or do a hand-made or second hand (hand-me-down) Christmas? Or something like ‘kiddies only gifts’ & cards for the adults?
3. Do your gift shopping online
Personally, I don’t find online shopping very satisfying, but we’re talking about surviving the madness, not retail therapy. I’m thinking Spree, Superbalist, Takealot & Yuppiechef to name but a few. No queues, no crowds & delivery to your door.
4. Conssider giving edible gifts only
I’m very pro consumable gifts – they give instant gratification & won’t stand around collecting dust, so why don’t you pour a glass of bubbly or G&T (or eggnog or hot chocolate if that’s what you are having on your side of the world), turn up the Christmas music & bake something.
Or order one of these magnificent food hampers from Melissa’s. My sis-in-law got these for us last year & they were such a hit.
5. Give to those who really need it
Sure, this is not for everybody, but how about collecting all the money that your family or group of friends were going to spend & rather give to a charity or good cause? Celebrate the fact that you are privileged enough to do just that.
Have any other useful tips & ideas? Please leave a comment & share.
Happy gift hunting & wrapping!
Ps. Have you read this?
Featured image: source & German starlet with gifts.