With the festive season beginning to pick up momentum people are starting to get serious about their Christmas shopping. But you don't have to worry, if you follow our simple tips, your Christmas gift shopping will be easy and stress-free this year...
1. Work out when your payday is
Some eager beavers will have been squireling away Christmas gifts since the January sales but most will point-blank refuse anything Christmassy until at least November. If you're the second type then it's important to remember your paydays. A lot of people get paid at the end of the month and this means that, at this moment in time, you might only have one more paycheck until after the big day. Budgeting is key when it comes to Christmas so make the most of your October and November paychecks while the money is still in the bank!
2. Find out Christmas delivery times/deadlines
If you're sending gifts in the post it's really important to find out Royal Mail's cut off dates for Christmas post. The last thing you want is to buy the perfect gift, only for it to arrive after the 25th! Most companies will abide by Royal Mail's dates, but we usually have our dates a day or so before the cut-off to avoid any heartbreak and it might be a good ideas for you to plan the same way.
Our cut off dates are:
Standard Post – Wednesday 20th December
First Class Post – Thursday 21st December
Next Working Day Delivery – Thursday 21st December
Saturday Guaranteed Delivery – Friday 22nd December
3. Check the use-by/returns date
If you're buying edible goodies for gifts this year then we cannot stress how important it is to check the use-by date on food and some drinks. Just because it's in Christmas packaging doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be edible on/after the 25th and a lot of early Christmas gifts bought from supermarkets can go out of date before the big day – see mince pies! Also, if you're buying clothes as gifts and you're not sure on the recipient's size, buy them in December as the last thing you want is for the garment to be the wrong size and the returns receipt to also be out of date!
4. Buy the toughest gifts first
When you begin Christmas shopping, start with the people who are hardest to buy for first. This will give you one less headache when it gets closer to the big day. If there is something you know the person doesn’t like or won’t use then add this, as a side-note, to your Christmas gift ideas list too as it will help you avoid buying items that might get re-gifted!
5. Avoid generic items
During the festive season a surprising amount of presents can be recycled or re-gifted. This is when a Christmas gift is received, not wanted/needed and then re-wrapped and passed on to another unsuspecting recipient – often people with January birthdays! If you want to stop this happening to the gifts you give then avoid the generic items like toiletries, perfumes and cosmetics. If you want your gift to be loved then personalising an item that you know will be used or liked is a much better idea than spending money on fancy toiletries they won't want.
6. Reduce travel time
Christmas is a hectic time of year. With so many people rushing around trying to buy gifts, almost all at the same time – the weekend or evenings – travelling from you home/work to the shops can be a nightmare with everyone thinking the same thing – I've got to do this before the shops shut – and then everyone wants to leave when they do – traffic hell. Save yourself the time, stress and that sticky feeling an overly hot retail store brings and simply do it from home. Almost everything can be ordered online these days, most of the time at less cost than in stores, and online shopping means you can curl up on the sofa with a nice hot cup of cocoa (or large glass of wine) while you browse the web.
7. Know when to stop
Sometimes you want to spoil the ones you love, especially children, but it's important to know when enough is enough. A lot of parents can go overboard when buying kick-knacks and gifts for stockings at Christmas time, or little 'extras'. However, children don't often get enough time to play with everything they are given for Christmas and it'll save you time and money if you pause to take note of what you've already got and seriously consider if you need to buy any more.
If you want to start looking at Christmas gifts now then check out ours - almost all of them can be personalised to make unique gifts so you know you'll be giving presents that are cherished this Christmas!