I love this time of year! For me it’s about the spirit of Christmas, that feeling of peace and good will to all, and that of spending precious time with family and friends. It’s a time where I pause and reflect on the 12 months gone by, remember those no longer with us and count my lucky stars. Christmas time is when I decide what will change or not and silently think about my personal plans for the New Year.
It’s also when I get to do some creative shopping, organise food, a tree and music – all on a strict budget!
Organisation is something I excel at so I generally manage to buy whatever I need for the holiday season as well as Christmas Day, from October onwards.
What about those that leave things to the last minute? Okay I confess! Sometimes life gets in the way so I do that last minute thing too! But when I spring into action, I really get going.
My ‘to do list’ gets written then with calculations done and rumination over, I’ll hurriedly race out the door…and so the hunt begins.
Is lack of time your demon? If it is I’ve listed below 5 basic steps that may help with last minute shopping:
1. If you buy for others make a list of everyone and include the amount you’re going to spend on each before going shopping;
2. The night before you start your last minute shopping spree, set your intention on not only finding the year’s greatest bargains, but also the most interesting and unique;
3. Determine which shopping precinct is the best match for your shopping list;
4. Go alone. You’ll be less distracted; and
5. Get all the shopping done in one hit – it’s possible and once it’s done, it’s done. Reward yourself with some Eggnog though I could be kidding.
Budget a problem?
1. Let family and friends know that this year you’re not buying for others, instead you’re contributing to your favourite charity. Maybe they’ll follow suit.
2. If you are buying for others determine a ceiling amount and stick to it. Ask family and friends if they could reciprocate and do the same.
3. Start your shopping this week if you haven’t already done so. You can get away with gifts $20 or less – become creative - there’s heaps out there to choose from. October is the month I begin stocking up on biscuits, lollies, frozen foods, and gift buying.
4. If Christmas dinner is at your place this year, enlist the aid of other family members (or friends) and delegate tasks. Also ask each person to bring a dish – bread rolls, pudding etc.
5. Still on Christmas dinner, if you’re short on tableware instead of buying extra, ask family members if you could borrow what they’re not using.
6. No tree? It’s amazing what one can do with tinsel, a pot plant, shrub, or tree branches. Add white cushion stuffing beneath your creation include a few mandarins or oranges as well as nuts in a green or red bowl. Include pine cones if you can get them.
7. Reassess your personal Christmas card list. I’ve eliminated many names and only send to immediate family members.
For me Christmas is a celebration of life – our life. It’s a time where showing kindness, reaching out to others and giving to the needy and homeless seems more prevalent than at other times. The festive season is also where I get to spend precious time with family and friends. This is what I relate the Christmas spirit to.
I’ve spent many fabulous Christmases with my family over the years and have had my share of strict budgets. It’s never a fancy tree or presents I remember, it’s the company, the laughter, and joy found within the spirit of Christmas that makes a difference.
Enjoy your festive season wherever you and whatever you do - Peace on Earth and goodwill to all!
Michaela is a Transformational Coach, certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), writer and Metaphysician who is totally committed to helping others create positive and action oriented changes to their lives.
Michaela Scherr Transformational Coach
Michaela is the author of several e-books, as well as publisher of a monthly newsletter called From My Desk.
Married to David, Michaela has two children and a grandchild and currently lives in Brisbane Australia.