Unless you’re the type to start Christmas shopping at the beginning of the year, December can be a pretty stressful time. Despite your best intentions, there’s the inevitable mad rush for gifts on Christmas Eve. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Start as you mean to go on, with plenty of organised gift-buying.
1. Think Differently
- Set a budget: Avoid any awkward moments by chatting to family and friends now. Perhaps you would just like to buy your best friend a lovely gift, rather than trawl the shops for something for her teenage son? Having these conversations might not be your dream start to your Christmas planning, but establishing a budget will avoid embarrassment later on.
- Try a secret Santa if your family has extended. Either set a reasonable sum of, say R500 per person or go for fun, personality-type gifts under R100.
- Suggest a spa day with your best friend, mom, or sister instead of exchanging gifts. Post-Christmas you’ll appreciate the pamper time that little bit more.
- Don’t be afraid to call a halt to gift-buying, especially if you feel you don’t see or really know the recipients or their kids (or if it’s just too expensive). Just make sure you let them know your plans in plenty of time. Or suggest that you keep buying birthday gifts instead.
- Combine funds and buy one hero gift. If there’s an expensive thing or amazing experience, then ask the family to contribute.
2. Ask For Lists
- Rather than waste money, ask the family if there’s something in particular they want – it could be just one buy rather than lots of smaller things. Perhaps there’s a favourite brand they would like you to choose a gift from.
- If a child has chosen THE toy of the year, then snap it up quick.
- Ask to be emailed links to the items that people would like you to buy. It will save you so much time and effort!
- Be prepared to do some shopping around as certain shops will have exclusive items.
3. Give An Experience
Are you stuck for Christmas gift ideas for the person who has everything? Why not buy an experience? They’ve become increasingly popular over the years, and pretty much every hobby or activity can be bought as a “nice thing to do” later on in the year.
- If the receiver of your gift loves gin, they can learn how to distil their own bespoke gin in the heart of Cape Town. Based in Woodstock, near the Biscuit Mill, Distillers Union is a distilling co-operative that offers a two to three-hour gin-making experience. Find out more at distillersunion.co.za
- What about a wine and food pairing workshop? This amazing three-hour course in Johannesburg is for two. Perhaps your friend will pick you to tag along!
Compiled by Food and Decor Editor, Claire Badenhorst