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Christmas Shopping Perils

As my lovely wife is likely to point out I have not done any Christmas shopping as of yet, however, from experience I can put out a quick primer on some of the big mistakes that I have made over the year Christmas shopping (no not what to buy, although I have made plenty of mistakes with that too) but the Art of Christmas shopping is the topic.

  • If you are attempting to pay for everything with Cash, that is a good idea, it puts a HARD limit on how much you can buy on a single trip. If however you need cash, don’t use the WHITE or unbranded cash machines to get your money, because of the incredible user fees on them. Just because you are under pressure, don’t forget the basic principles of not throwing your money away!
  • I like to think I go Christmas BUYING not Christmas SHOPPING. Shopping has connotations of comparing and browsing and such, and there is no time for such fun and frivolity (unless I am buying something for my wife, in which case it isn’t BUYING it is PANIC’ing, because I rarely if ever know what that special gift should be).
  • Don’t Christmas PANIC (see previous bullet). As with any financial attempt PANIC is the worst motivator, because you are going to forget all of your planning, ideas and your common sense. If you feel like you are out of control, walk out of the store and come back when your brains are less frazzled.
  • If you have a Christmas Budget, stick to it. Going into Christmas Debt for the sake of buying your Aunt Hilda that coffee maker you think she needs, is really not the answer either.
  • What is wrong with Gift Cards? Yes, they are cold, yes they show you have no imagination and yes it shows you hate shopping, however, it does allow the recipient to BUY what THEY want (especially good for folks you can’t figure out what to buy for, but very bad form if you are buying your spouse one (unless it is a $10,000.00 Best Buy gift card then I think you are ok)). Remember also to NOT buy ones with expiration dates.
  • Do you have to buy things as gifts? If you have a friend who hates shoveling snow, maybe you can give them some shoveling services from you? You could make something (yes a little late for that, but then again). Sometimes the best gift is not necessarily the most expensive gift.

I, on the other hand have painted myself so far into a corner I am standing on tip toe, when it comes to Christmas Shopping. There is a pair of bunny rabbits that have been wandering around our house, maybe I could catch them and get some mittens made out of them? Now that says Christmas in a special way (that would assure me a special place in Spouse Hell).

Feel Free to Comment

  1. promod makes a great suggestion (aside from the hot chocolate, which is also not a shabby idea!). It is one thing I can do that gives me a relative amount of budget-sticking insurance each holiday season. I now do my Christmas shopping all year long, which means I can find good bargains all year, and also leads me to have less to buy in December… and it saves my sanity, as well, because I can steer clear of the terrible crowds and all that nonsense.

  2. You could start shopping earlier. That’s an idea for a New Year’s Resolution.

    The gift of shoveling can be a mixed blessing. With global warming, there’s less to shovel. But a heavy snowfall topped with freezing rain? I’ll pass. How about offering to make hot chocolate instead?

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