If he had his way, the Greek God(zilla) would do all of his Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve; and if I had mine, all our presents would be shopped for, wrapped, and sitting prettily under the stairs by the end of October.
Since we have been together, we have agreed to meet somewhere in the middle.
The middle, by my interpretation, being in November. The middle by the Greek God(zilla)’s is December 15th.
I start by creating a Christmas spreadsheet on which I list every recipient and allocate a budget. I conduct hours of online research in the hope of surfing upon gift inspiration for each and every person, and then I increase my original budget times 2.
The Greek God(zilla) will complain about being sent a Christmas spreadsheet to review in November, but will enjoy the power that comes with slashing the budget in half.
I think it is fair to say that I am a planner, and even fairer to say that it drives the Greek God(zilla) nuts. He is more of a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy. I like to think that together, we strike a good balance whereby our friends and family are not expected to share their online calendars with us, but they do receive a card on their actual birthday.
Some people are easier to buy for than others.
My mum, for example, rotates the same gift ideas to us every year. I can bet that this year it will be my turn to buy either the touché éclat or a statement necklace.
My Dad is a bit trickier because he has such expensive taste. He will no doubt end up with a jumper, or wine.
The kids are easy enough to buy for, as I find children to be very forthcoming with suggestions. The only problem I have encountered with shopping for kid’s presents too early, is that they have a tendency to change their minds every other day. So, the Toy Story bed linen I bought for our son last Christmas was totally redundant come Boxing Day, when he watched Cars on the telly for the first time and all he wanted was Lightening McQueen.
Yiayia is easy. I have been making her a personalised calendar featuring all of her grandchildren since they were born. No matter what else we buy for her, the calendar is always the present she looks forward to opening the most.
I enjoy creating the calendar too, as not only does it encourage me to take more photos throughout the year, but I then get to file them in a little folder on my laptop titled ‘Calendar’, which feeds my planning habit too.
My sister is responsible for pulling together a version of the calendar for our mum, although one starring her own grandchildren obviously.
So that leaves just my own present to sort out. The Greek God(zilla) will ask me what I want on Christmas Eve. This is when I will pull out something boxed and wrapped from under the bed, purchased 2-months previously, and say “Well, you can give me the money for this if you like…”
Disclosure: this post was commissioned by photobox.co.uk but all words and gift ideas are my own