As August is starting to feel Autumnal and my central heating has just clicked on, we look forward to September. The month will bring crisp mornings, leaves falling, back-to-school and Christmas prep? Well, yes. Summer’s end is the perfect time to think ahead to Christmas; start Christmas planning now, and you’ll reap all of the benefits come December.
I have to say I can’t see why people get quite so worked up about Christmas items being in the shops early. It isn’t like anyone is forcing them to celebrate Christmas in October or to forget about Halloween. I think it’s for preparers. Those who like to prepare far in advance and then actually rest, relax and enjoy Christmas with parties, festivities and excitement.
Enjoy it without running around in too crowded shopping centres looking for presents at the last minute. If you are like me (and let’s hope you aren’t, life is hard being very Type A) then getting started and finished early sounds like a great idea!
Here are four reasons why starting now makes sense:
A disorganised Christmas celebration can leave out the most meaningful expressions of the season: family traditions. Starting early with preparations ensures that seasonal traditions take centre stage. You’ll have ample time to purchase Panto tickets, make Christmas cakes, or take a drive to see the lights if you’re not rushing around last-minute.
Growing families and circumstances can signal a need to renegotiate gift exchanges. Perhaps a Secret Santa tradition has gone over-the-top in recent years. It may be time to readjust gift-giving practices in your extended family. Starting early makes it easier to renegotiate gift exchanges without drama. Waiting until Halloween to advise adult family members that your family won’t be participating in the annual gift exchange can of course backfire. Even if the decision to scale back gift-giving isn’t welcomed by all the participants, doing it now means there is plenty of time to deal with it with before Christmas arrives!
Yes, Christmas can be magical and can lead to magical thinking. Those who wait until the spirit moves them to plan often find their decisions swept away by Christmas, not made by their conscious choice. Whether they over-spend, over-schedule or over-indulge, they’re not in charge of their own celebration. Result: debt, stress and Christmas chaos.
Advance Christmas planning puts you in control. When setting a budget, travel plans, or scheduling your time, you’re more likely to have a realistic view of your limitations and your family’s values when considering Chrostmas from a safe distance. Best of all, planning Christmas early allows you to enjoy it fully.
Make it an All-Cash Christmas
For too many families, Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving, in the form of debts that linger for months into the new year. When buying decisions are swayed by last-minute impulses or the pressure of deadlines, it’s too easy to turn to a credit card to bankroll Christmas.
Setting a budget now makes it easier to achieve an all-cash Christmas, while planning early helps find the funds to celebrate in style. Better still, having gift lists and pantry needs organised in advance helps shoppers take advantage of special deals as they arise throughout the Autumn weeks. Starting now means you’ll spend less, get more, and keep the bills off the credit card balance!