Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, however, how many of us have completed our Christmas Financial Carnage (aka Christmas Shopping) and how many of us have an Advent Budget to follow either? My opinion is not that many of us are that well organized to have done either, but I am willing to hear comments to the contrary.
Christmas is only about 1 month and 8 days away, and for some of us it is coming like the Polar Express. This is a normal reaction to the unknown or worse the unplanned, but does tend to detract from the festive feel to this time of year. I do tend to admire (and loath at the same time) those that have their entire holiday planned and have all of their shopping done, because I don’t think I will ever reach that level of Zen, in terms of planning, in my life.
As my wife does point out there are many aspects to planning for the holidays:
- Deciding on a budget, and then figuring out how much you will end up ignoring it. What is interesting is that no matter how big a slush fund you think you have for over spending, it is never big enough (I think this is actually more of a wedding thing, but it works for Christmas too).
- Who will you be buying presents for, and what you will do when you find out that they had bought you something? Do you have a few emergency gifts, for just in case issues?
- For those husbands reading, please don’t fall for the, “… you don’t have to buy me anything this year…” trick by your wife, you will pay for it in so many ways later. Yes, I fell for that.
- Who will do the shopping? If one spouse does all the shopping, it can create some tension in the family. The spouse who didn’t do any shopping who then asks, “What did we buy <so and so> for Christmas?” is doomed (and I do mean doomed).
- Are you having a party? Remember to budget for that (unless you make it a BYOB, then invite friends with similar tastes, so at least you have good left overs). Remember the person that brought liverwurst to your party last year, do you want left over liverwurst dip?
- Are you decorating? That can get expensive, especially if you want an inflatable, lit Santa riding a Helicopter, you may run up a big electric bill as well.
- Are you travelling? That can cause no end of expenses, and fun. Trust me, doing a triangular journey from one set of Grandparents to the other, to home can take a lot of fun out of the holiday and money out of your wallet.
Any other festive fun that will bleed you financially (and emotionally) dry that I might have missed?
Oh and enjoy your festive merry holiday preparations (ho, ho, ho).