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Christmas Christmas spending, budgets and finances
Don't let Christmas card red Turn into credit card dread 
Lyn Bell

Christmas shopping all year round


Christmas Shopping All Year Round

by Lyn Bell 
There are some great advantages to Christmas shopping all year round. Advantages like avoiding the stress of last minute shopping, not accumulating exorbitant credit card debts during the holiday season, helping with the monthly budget and being able to enjoy the Christmas spirit all year.

One of the biggest benefits of year round Christmas shopping is avoiding having to do the bulk of your Christmas shopping at the last minute. It also means having less Christmas shopping to do in the typically hectic period leading up to Christmas Eve when malls and shopping centres are usually crowded beyond belief. Although there are some people who enjoy shopping during this hectic and chaotic time, most people find it stressful and only do it because they have procrastinated. Making a conscious effort to Christmas shop all year round helps to eliminate a great deal of this stress. It also helps you to purchase more meaningful gifts for everyone on your Christmas list when you do not have to rush around purchasing gifts at the last minute. You may find a gift you think is absolutely perfect for someone special during the year and all you have to do is purchase it and save it for the Christmas season. Better still, you may even get it on a sale. Now that's good for the budget! 

People who do their Christmas shopping all year round are not only less stressed around the holiday season but they also have more free time to participate in other activities - perhaps some baking for Christmas or helping an elderly relative to do their shopping. 

 Another downside of last minute Christmas shopping is the amount of bills that accumulate. For those who rushed to get their Christmas shopping done in the month of December the New Year can bring on a new set of financial problems - repaying the debts incurred while Christmas shopping can be quite daunting. Those who wisely did their Christmas shopping throughout the year do not have this problem. And by allowing a certain amount of monthly income in your budget for the purpose of Christmas shopping you may not even notice the financial strains typically associated with last minute Christmas shopping. 

 Although last minute shoppers may budget for their Christmas shopping by putting money into a special savings account, it can be difficult to stick to a budget when you are doing your shopping at the last minute. This is because you may spend more than you anticipated on each person on your list because you cannot find anything else to buy that seems appropriate. When time is short, it is common to just purchase the more expensive item rather than to keep looking. 

 Finally, Christmas shopping all year round is a great idea because it helps people to stay in the Christmas spirit throughout the year. While many of us get caught up in the spirit of giving during the holidays, those who are always Christmas shopping may enjoy these feelings of generosity throughout the year.

 Giving is a wonderful experience and although you may not actually be giving the gifts until Christmas purchasing them during the year can be very fulfilling, especially if you got yourself a bargain. Enjoy your Christmas, experience less stress and save yourself the horror of opening your credit card bill in January and February by being an all year round Christmas shopper.

Gifts For Christmas That Won't Break the Bank

Christmas Coloring Book



Download this free for a child or for the inner child in you! This is my gift to you.

There are 75 Christmas coloring pages in the eBook, featuring Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas wreaths and scenes for every age group.

Use the pictures to:
  • make place-mats for the Christmas table
  • keep the kids happy and occupied
  • give as a gift with coloring pencils. 
  • /files/471168/uploaded/christmascoloringbook.pdf

Gift Ideas That Don't Cost the Earth!

Gifts of Time
I personally like this option a lot because it truly embraces the holiday spirit, not materialism. Offer a handmade “coupon” that promises the recipient can exchange it for something special, like an afternoon fishing or learning a family recipe. This is what you give to someone who already has everything because time cannot be purchased. Instead of offering to spend time together, give new parents a coupon that offers a free night of babysitting, or chore coupons to help out with dishes and laundry. Gifts like these cost relatively little, but are highly valued because time is so precious.

Used Gifts
Many parents don’t consider buying used when it comes to gifts because it doesn’t feel right to give a used gift, and that is understandable because our culture values NEW. On the other hand, buying used may give the chance to gift an “expensive” gift that would otherwise be out of your price range. The smaller the child, the easier it is because they haven’t learned the societal beliefs about “new” and “used” toys. Check eBay and Craigslist for gently-used, big ticket toys like swing sets, play stations, and ride-on toys. In all likelihood, your small child probably won’t notice that the gift is used.

Homemade Gifts
Homemade gifts are wonderful to give to the people who have everything, especially if you have a particular talent or hobby. Knitting, crocheting, and fabric crafts enable you to give away unique gifts without breaking the bank. From the home chef, cookies, canned goods, and even herb-infused oils are delicious ways to share your talent with friends and family. Even if you don’t have a specific hobby or talent, you can search the internet for ideas on creating easy homemade Christmas gifts. Homemade Christmas gifts are also a great way to get your kids involved by having them help out.

There are some things to consider before committing to homemade gifts this year. First, homemade gifts are not always cheaper than a store-bought gift so be sure to budget for the cost of materials, which can sky rocket if the project is quite large. Also, making multiple gifts may take a great deal of time. Be sure you have enough time to create homemade gifts to avoid getting overly stressed by the time Christmas rolls around.

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