By Digital Apprentice Sophie Coombs
Christmas is a time of tradition, like spending Boxing Day with certain friends or visiting the same restaurant every year on Christmas Eve. While my family, friends and I all share similar traditions to everyone else (although I’m sure a few will have to be adapted to 2020) I have a few Christmas traditions - or rules, should I say - of my own.
I often find that we overspend and overthink the material side of Christmas in the run up to the big day. We stress over whether we’ve bought enough for someone, spent enough on someone else and thought enough about another’s gift. Setting rules for yourself when it comes to Christmas shopping makes a huge difference to the quality of your gifts and makes the experience far more enjoyable.
Here’s how I make Christmas stress-free and wallet-friendly:
The four gift rule
The four gift rule does what it says on the tin; you can’t buy more than four presents for somebody.
I’ve found that I am terrible at sticking to budgets, so limiting myself to four gifts for someone has prevented me from overspending. The four gift rule also prevents the purchasing of unnecessary stocking fillers and ‘tat’, meaning the gifts I buy are actually meaningful and won’t be stored under the bed for all eternity!
Support independent businesses
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that independent businesses need us more than ever. To complement my four gift rule, I try to make sure at least three of those gifts have been purchased from an independent business.
It may mean you have to be a little more organised as small businesses have to prepare early (which isn’t a problem for me as I get those Christmas feelings in August!) but it is so worthwhile seeing your loved one open a gift that is made with love. Not to mention knowing that you are helping someone achieve their dreams and that the gfit will have had so much more thought put into it.
Those small businesses have worked so hard through both lockdowns with many moving to online sales for the first time, so they deserve every penny of our support.
Reduce your waste
I am by no means a waste-free guru but it is so important to me that we all do our bit to cut down.
- If you are buying wrapping paper, make sure it is recyclable.
- Use old scarves to wrap presents (just make sure they’re clean!) that can then be re-loved or given away.
- Buy present tags that can be used as tree decorations in Christmases to come (there are plenty on Etsy).
- Reuse gift bags that you’ve received in the past.
- Be mindful of how many Christmas cards you’re sending; while they’re a lovely sentiment, a personalised e-card gives the same touch minus the paper! With that said, isolation awareness is so important and for many a card through the post may put a smile on their face for the first time that day.
Do you have any Christmas rules that make the festive season less stressful and more magical? We’d love to hear about them!
From all of J&PR, we hope you have a wonderful Christmas.