With Halloween out the way and fireworks now safely burnt out it is that time of year when everything goes into overdrive.
I groan when I see supermarkets put up Christmas decorations or try and sell Christmas mince pies that go out of date before Christmas. I’m probably not alone in that so we can all let out a collective groan and then put on our big Christmas smiles. I received a press release this week that stated that people in Scotland will spend £1.84 billion on Christmas presents this year, buying 61.3 million gifts for the big day. We are also apparently more likely to shop the ‘traditional way’, whatever that means.
Christmas is a fun time of year for me depending on the family and friends I interact with. If that person loathes Christmas, then I am unbearably happy around them and likely to drive them to the brink of hibernation. If another person loves Christmas, I find joy in pretending to be Scrooge and telling them that I hate Christmas.
In truth I have no strong feelings either way. I love the food and general happiness but Christmas day can be one of the busiest days of the year if you have to drive around visiting all of your family members. Family politics can get out of hand this time of year, with people already planning where to go and who to visit, who will be round for dinner and who will be visiting later in the evening.
To get back to the whimsical tale of Christmas shopping habits...people in Wales are more likely to do more research before buying a Christmas present, and Scotland’s preferred method of buying presents is online. Apparently 41% will do so online and “more than two in five (42%) are still to decide whether to do their gift research and shopping online or on the high street, with deals (62%), convenience (50%) and time (35%) the biggest deciding factors.
“Two thirds (66%) will finance Christmas gift purchases from their monthly income, while nearly half (46%) will dip into savings. Only 9% of people will use credit to foot the bill.”
I’m one of ‘those’ people who do their shopping last minute. I pride myself, (well it is more of a smugness), that I believe I can confidently strut through stores on Christmas Eve and get everyone’s gift in an hour. Probably two hours if I stop for lunch, but I’m more of a festive sandwich or festive bake man this time of year.
Just like a gravy covered boxing day sandwich, I think I might be getting softer as I grow older. This year I find myself really looking forward to Christmas. I’m still groaning and cracking jokes (pun intended) when I see Christmas decorations up this early but I’m not going to continually groan about it.
I think it might be because a lot of my friends now have little ones and I’ve seen how happy they get when they receive their presents on the big day. All the pictures and videos on social media of them getting their presents is enough to make the grinch smile!
The joy of Christmas was lost on me as a young adult, I was more concerned with going out and having fun than enjoying Christmas. Going back to presents, I’m going to try and be a bit more organised this year as I won’t have the option for the Christmas Eve dash. What are your tips for buying Christmas presents? Get in touch the usual way.