The end of the year is fast rolling around, and you’re all busy planning how you want to spend the rest of your leave days. Then you suddenly remember! Oh no, the office is having a Christmas party in December and you need to get gifts, and not just for the boss.
Alternatively, you may be a mom and you have to get gifts for all your family and friends for the Yuletide season. Whatever it is, you’re going to have to buy stuff before it is too late and everything is gone from the store shelves. However, when you look at your bank account, you realize you’re only a hair’s breadth away from bankruptcy.
Here’s how to make sure you get good gifts without reducing yourself to poverty.
Related: 12 Ways of Christmas Shopping
Don’t wait until the last minute to get gifts. This applies to any situation and not just Christmas. Some products actually get jacked up in price the nearer the celebration, and Christmas is no different. If you start to shop when no one else is shopping, you’ll probably be able to find Christmassy products (like reindeer ears or snow globes) left over from last Christmas that the shops are trying to clear for huge discounts.
How early is early? Well, you should really start anywhere in the middle of the year, preferably by July or August. If you’re buying early, avoid purchasing items that might expire before Christmas. You don’t want your mother-in-law getting a stomach upset from moldy cookies.
Buy In Bulk
This part is a bit tricky because you don’t want to look cheap. For example, you wouldn’t want to buy 20 T-shirts that all have the same design, or else all your friends and family will figure out exactly what you’re up to. Pick products that have small variations in design, such as Emoji cushions with different expressions or teabags of different flavors.
Do A DIY
Handmade gifts are a great way to show your sincerity this festive season. Just a small pack of chocolate chip cookies will do the trick. The downside is that homemade gifts take a lot of time and effort, which we may not have. However, if you do choose to make the gifts yourself, getting the ingredients, components and tools in bulk will save you some money. Apart from Christmas cookies or cupcakes, you can also make bath scrubs from sugar, DIY lip balms, self decorated toasters, soaps, candles and much more.
Repurpose Unused Items
Recycling things in the house as gifts might sound like something a cheapskate would do. However, it’s a really great way to clear the clutter from your house. It’s also in line with the zero waste principal that says you should try not to waste anything and to share is you have something in excess. The only guideline here is that you shouldn’t give away things that are faded, broken or dysfunctional. If something is still in good use, you can always spruce it up and give it as a gift.
For example, if you have a perfectly good ceramic bowl, you can always fill it with chocolates and wrap it up in a box. If you have unused tea cups, fill it with scented wax and make a candle. If you have extra wooden spatulas lying around the kitchen, paint the handles in non-toxic pastel paints and add a Christmas message.
Let Nature Help
Not all gifts need to be bought. Sometimes, you can collect things from the outdoors and give them as gifts too. Just be sure not to trespass and take things from off-limit areas. Places like the beach are great for collecting smooth pebbles and seashells which you can paint and give away as paperweights. Dried flowers and leaves can be turned into bookmarks, while branches can be cleaned and turned into picture frames.
Make Use of Online Sales
The magic of online shopping nowadays is that you can do your shopping from the comfort of home, while also being able to compare prices and choose the best offers. The last sales before Christmas are the Black Friday and Cyber Monday which take place after America’s Thanksgiving Day towards the end of November. Both these days are important in the Christmas shopping calendar as these are the days when online stores like Lazada and Qoo10 have storewide sales on almost everything. Your discounts can be increased further when you use Cashback coupon codes whenever you make a purchase.
Buying gifts can give you quite a headache. This is exactly why you shouldn’t lose sleep over it. As long as you’re coming up with something in a sincere manner, you’ll definitely be appreciated by those who truly love and care for you.
Note: All images from Unsplash.com
This article was contributed by Michelle Chee, a writer from ShopBack.