/ Shopping

Plan or panic: what’s your Christmas shopping style?

Panicked Santa

It seems as though the world’s divided into people who plan their Christmas shopping in advance and those who leave it to the last minute. What is it about Christmas that turns shopping into such a nightmare?

Back in early November I had an idea. I thought it was a pretty good one too. It turns out that it was still far too late to be able to shop for Christmas presents without getting stuck in crowds. Oxford Street was packed with ambling shoppers and my good intentions slipped away. I knew then that I would be doing the majority of my Christmas shopping online.

There must be people out there who are hardier shoppers than me and I salute them. I just don’t have the required levels of patience to brave the mild feeling of panic that seems to pervade most shops as the end of December approaches. I like to take my time when I’m shopping. I don’t like feeling as though I have to buy something whether I like it or not, simply because of the pressure of the festive deadline.

Christmas shopping all wrapped up early

I have a couple of friends who take a very different approach. They start their Christmas shopping in August. Every year, they make gift lists during the summer and keep referring to them as they attend car boot sales or browse Ebay. By the time it gets to December, their shopping is pretty much complete, bar a few small items. They have a budget for their gifts and they know what they need before they start.

Such forward planning is to be admired, but I just can’t bring myself to be that organised. I also think that Christmas shopping before winter doesn’t feel right. It’s a bit like cheating.

Instead I will put on some festive music, grab a mince pie and do the last of my Christmas shopping from the comfort of my sofa. I’ll spare a thought for the tough shoppers who will brave the high streets in pursuit of the perfect present. But the online delivery deadlines are fast approaching (Amazon’s free delivery ends today), so you better get your skates on.

Are you a pressie planner or are you prone to panic instead? Will you brave the crowds or shop online?


I’m theoretically a present planner; I bought all of my granddaughter’s presents throughout the year, as I saw them (starting in the spring). But in reality I’m a panicker, leaving the rest until this week. Not helped by being badly let down by one online retailer who delivered the wrong product and two days late, just when I thought that things were coming together.

I haven’t even put my decorations up or got my groceries in, despite having a list and having best intentions.

Still, I’m an optimist and everything will be fine. It just means that I have to brave the physical shops, when I was hoping on getting almost everything online.

My resolution for 2013 is to be better organised (was that a pig I just saw flying past?) 🙂