These days it seems that no sooner have the children returned to school at the end of the summer break than the shops start stocking Christmas biscuits and wrapping paper. Known by some as the ‘Christmas Creep’, many people mock our shops for stocking festive items whilst it’s still technically summer, and think they’re just trying to wheedle our cash out of our pockets early. But is it really a sales ploy or are they simply responding to market forces?
Believe it or not, plenty of people think that September is definitely not too early to start thinking about Christmas. According to a survey by Asda, one in four families are already budgeting and planning for Christmas when the kids go back to school. Not only that, but one in five said they started saving in January.
Whether you prefer to just do it all in December and face the consequences in the New Year, or are one of these highly prepared individuals, there are a number of good reasons to plan carefully for your Christmas. Here’s why.
Control your spending
How many times have you been left scratching your head in a crowded store on Christmas Eve because there’s that one person you still haven’t bought for? Situations like this lead to panic buying and ill-thought-out decisions. By planning early and thinking things through though, you’ll have the opportunity to not only buy gifts that people will actually like, but also to compare prices between retailers to ensure you get the best value for money.
Avoid the plastic
Lack of savings and planning can lead to many Brits to turn to the plastic for support in the festive season. Millions of people went into debt last Christmas due to lack of pay rises and rising purchase prices, and some may still be paying it off now. Being careful with your budget and not spending more than you can afford will mean you can start the New Year with a clean slate instead of suffering the Christmas hangover well into 2014.
Where are you going?
It’s not too early to discuss with your partner where you will spend Christmas Day. After all, it only takes for someone’s mum or granny to pop the question unexpectedly and before you know it you’ll be facing another Christmas with the folks when actually you wanted to get away. For Christmas holidays Gran Canaria and the other Canary Islands offer warm seas, sunny days and a truly relaxing experience, so why not ditch the extended family and treat yourselves to a truly laid-back Christmas Day?
All in all, planning for your Christmas a bit earlier will give you more time to think, more time to breathe and most importantly more time to enjoy your Christmas experience. Don’t be burdened by stress, overloaded with chores and frustrated by finances this year. Plan for Christmas 2013 now and you’ll get there one step at a time, hopefully with a big smile on your face.