Christmas can be a trying time of year if you’re one of the many people who find the elves, fairy lights and music nauseating rather than magical. What makes it worse is that you’re expected to buy presents for other people with your own hard-earned cash. Bah Humbug! This can’t be avoided, but that’s no reason to pay through the nose, so we’ve put together a quick guide to show you how to have a cheap and cheerful Christmas.
Now this really is a no brainer and it’s an option that kills two birds with one stone. Firstly, you will generally get a far better deal online than you will in store. Online only retailors such as ASOS and Amazon save huge amounts of money by operating solely on an E-commerce basis and a lot of those savings get passed onto you. Secondly if you are on the grinchy side as well as looking to plug that hole in your pocket then it’s fantastic because you don’t have to get caught up in the stampede that is Christmas shopping.
Buy in sale
The trick here is to buy presents that look like they might have had a lot of thought have gone into them or cost a lot of money, where neither is true. The best option naturally is going to be shopping in sales, ‘if it’s not half price it won’t suffice’ should be your motto for buying mediocre gifts. If you’re really savvy you can do early Christmas shopping and take advantage of the Black Friday sales, this will mean dealing with hordes of people, but if money’s on your mind you stand to save a fair bit.
Wait till after Christmas
This is a cheeky one and an option that people rarely think of. It’s highly likely that there will be some members of your family that you won’t get around to seeing until Christmas is finished. You can get some fantastic deals after Christmas where companies want to get rid of their stock before the new year starts. If you really want to push the boat out you can apologise to your family that you found them something good, but it must have got lost in the Christmas mail. You then pop out and grab them something on the 28th.
Get a nice card
This ploy acts as a deflector if you could only muster sub-par presents. We’ve always heard the expression ‘it’s the thought that counts’ and now it’s the time to put it to the test. If you buy a nice card with a witty comment and spend 20 minutes hand writing a great message, the fact that you got your spouse of 10 years a last minute box of chocolates from a service station will be all but forgotten!
Have a no present arrangement
If there’s someone in your present buying circle who always seems to get you rubbish presents, and you reciprocate, change the system. Just mention in an off-hand fashion that it would be easier if you and this person didn’t get presents for each other this year and they will no doubt jump at the opportunity. Make sure you renew this contract yearly, as you don’t want to get into an awkward one-way present scenario next Christmas
Go away for Christmas
If you’re in a situation where your expected to spend well over a few hundred pounds a year on Christmas presents but seem to come back with nothing but a few pairs of socks and a bit of chocolate to show for it then why bother? Book a holiday a couple of weeks before Christmas, comes back the week after and if anyone asks where their present is say it’s in the post. By the time it comes to January they’re too embarrassed to ask and you’re home and dry.