Several people have recently found my blog by Googling “frugal Christmas gifts”. Be afraid; people have already started getting organised!
I know, I know, you probably think it's too early. Well after I nearly passed out from exhaustion last Christmas working two jobs, looking for the perfect PhD project and trying to handmake all my own gifts, I am DEFINITELY getting organised early this year.
The other day The Boyfriend and I were walking through The Range and I spotted something my sister might like for Christmas. When I mentioned it, he went on a long rant about how it was FAR too early to even CONTEMPLATE Christmas, which meant I took great joy in walking round the corner and pointing out all the Christmas craft things they are already selling! IN YOUR FACE!! :D
Since you've got time on your side, why not do some very quick planning? I'm not asking you to think of what you're going to give everyone, but grab a bit of paper or an Excel spreadsheet and getting scribbling:
- Write a list of all the people you want to give gifts to, in some order of importance.
- See how much you have saved already, if you have been putting money aside, or examine your budget for the next few months to see how much you could save for Christmas gifts. (Don't forget that if you need decorations/Christmas dinner/other expenses that you'll need to work out how much of your saved money to allocate to gifts vs. other Christmassy expenses!)
- Now see how much you can AFFORD to give. Don't try to base your gift budget on what you WANT to give. Don't go into debt for Christmas or you'll add more stress to what you want to be a happy time of year. If your budget is small, think about bumping a few people off the bottom of the list (write them a thoughtful Christmas card perhaps), or think about homemade gifts instead.
Now you know vaguely what your budget will be like, you can start keeping an eye open. Whenever I think of a possible gift idea for someone, I write myself a little note on my phone. (Let's not lie, I text myself. I don't think my phone can even write notes!)
If you want to get even more organised, A Thrifty Mrs has got loads more ideas for ways you can start organising and stocking up for the big day!
Anyone else started planning? (Don't tell anyone, but I've already got a couple of little gifts for my family. Haha!)