Gift giving made easy this Christmas

I’m not big on Christmas – I don’t have a tree and Christmas carols were ruined for me after working in a department store. I don’t like the tacky nature of decorations and the sheer volume of stuff that fills the shops. But I do like the food….and gift giving.

I managed to do about 80% of my Christmas shopping yesterday afternoon – all locally from up the street. I’m lucky to live in walking distance to a high street of eclectic shops making it easy for me to buy nearly everything for those on my list. The rest I’ll probably do online to avoid the crush of big shopping centres.

I appreciate why many don’t like gift giving at Christmas – the stress, the expense, the time wasted, the waste created… but I like to give, and let’s be honest, I also like to receive gifts.

Christmas is the one time I truly splash out – I don’t really give presents during the year, only for milestone birthdays or weddings.

This year my family and I have given each other a list of ideas to help make the process easier. Some think this is pointless and it’d be easier to just give money instead but I like it. I pick a few items from the lists but also throw in a few surprises.

I find Christmas a great time to get those things you wouldn’t normally buy yourself. Things like perfume, lip gloss or lipstick, jewellery, books, gym bags, or stationary.

For couples it’s a great time to stock up on bath towels, beach towels, and new sheets.

I also like to add some edible gifts such as homemade biscuits or granola, spice mixes (easy to make yourself), a bag of fancy coffee or some preserves.

Experiences are also a winner, especially for those who don’t like things cluttering up their home. Try a voucher for a workshop, cooking class, a restaurant, outdoor cinema, or year’s pass to the movies.

Have parents or grandparents that have everything? Give them a ‘voucher’ for a day out to the beach, or the hills – wherever they’d like to go for a drive and a meal.

To top it off why not add in a donation to the charity of your choice such as The Smith Family, Oxfam or the Asylum Seekers Centre.

Don’t let gift giving overwhelm you – shop locally where you can or online, and think outside the box to keep things on the cheap and easy side.

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