It’s already the start of the second week of November. Where have all those weeks gone by? Just barely 7 weeks and it is Christmas once again. Have you started with your Christmas shopping yet? I haven’t yet. I haven’t started decorating yet, too, since I find it a tad bit too early for Christmas decorations. We usually start decorating at the end of the month or the first weekend of December.
My schedule has been going haywire lately and I haven’t had the chance to visit the sale and bazaar events that I’ve been waiting for for months. 🙁 Today is the last day of the Mommy Mundo Bazaar in Glorietta and the Toy Kingdom sale in Megatrade Halls 1, 2 and 3 in SM Megamall. If you’ve got the time, you still have until 9PM today to go and join the rush. 🙂
Anyway, previously, I have not really been making a list of who to include in my gift list. It was always automatic: family, nephews and nieces, a few cousins, close friends, close work mates. I roam the malls and bazaars and if there is something that catches my fancy that fits someone from that list or even someone not included in my list, I buy it. Once I am down to the last two weeks before Christmas, that’s the time I list down what I bought and for whom and who I still need to buy a gift. I usually overshoot my budget, too. (I am not the only one, am I?)
Since budget is quite tight and time to shop is almost close to nil, I came up with a few guidelines that will make my Christmas shopping a little bit easier. So, here goes:
1) Make a list. Not only of the names of the people you want to give a gift to. Include the age and birthday, too. And if you already have an idea what to give a certain person, include it in the list. This will make it easier for you to once you hit the stores as you wouldn’t be wasting time looking for an idea for a gift.
2) Set a budget. I usually have a ballpark figure of what I would like to spend for gifts. Then I break it down further depending on how much I would like to spend for each of the persons in my list. It may seem a tedious task but what I used to do was that I write down a number but I don’t always stick to it. That’s how I go overboard.
Knowing what you want to give to a person will give you an idea of how much you need to spend. If it is going to eat a chunk of your budget, try to come up with something else that wouldn’t require you to spend so much. Since I have a limited budget for this year, I have actually cut down my shopping list. If your budget cannot afford to buy gifts for your friends, then don’t include them. They wouldn’t hate you for it anyway. 🙂
3) Shop whenever you can. It’s never too early to shop for gifts. Always bring your shopping list with you so whenever you hit the mall. And if you have the budget, you can already get a couple of the items and cross them off your list. You never know, by December time, you’re already halfway done or even almost done with your Christmas shopping. 🙂
4) Be creative. Wrapping papers, paper bags, boxes and all that are getting expensive because of the different designs and concepts that are now available. And it is really tempting to buy those cute bags for the little cute gifts that you bought without thinking about the expense. Little did you know, at the end of the day, it has made quite a dent in your expense list. Keep those cellphone boxes and other gadgets because they might come in handy during gift wrapping time. I usually keep paperbags of stuff that I buy, even the paperbags used for gifts given to me or my son.
And, since you’ve saved time shopping by shopping early, try to come up with creative ways of wrapping those gifts. Use extra art paper instead of throwing them away, and those cake ribbons come in handy, too, you know. 🙂 Or, instead of buying ribbons, have you ever tried using yarns instead? This kind of gift wrapping activity will also be a good idea for family bonding.
So far, these are the guidelines that I will be following this year. I already have my gift list and starting to list down the items that I would like to give them. I am currently working on the budget now but I have yet to start checking out the malls and the bazaars and other sale events.
I’m sure a lot of you out there have your own guidelines to follow and I am interested to know. Please do share your thoughts. 🙂