Well I am a bit of a control freak but I dont say that negatively as I like it.  I am okay with it and I like being ahead of the game and feeling organised.  It works well for me .

The other part knows that unless I am organised I could not afford Christmas at the last minute so I need to be organised.

With both of the above I am currently Christmas shopping for the little one and have got the rest of the friends and family sorted mainly.

OK OK I realise you might just hate me right now and I come across as all smug but it honestly isnt like this .  I grew up always having to hear about money as my parents didnt have a lot.  They worked hard and we got what they could afford. Some times were much harder than others but as a child I knew money was short and important.

I left home early around my 20s and I bought my first house myself and managed my own money. When it came to Christmas I was so blessed with lots of friends that my bank balance felt it and I would spend the next year having to get on top of finances again.  I realised that just didnt work for me and I started early in the second half of the year collecting bargains as I went .  My friends started having Children before I did and before I knew it I was back to square one with having childrens gifts added on.  I was independant so there was no saying I couldnt afford it. I love giving gifts and try so hard to give good gifts too .

Fast Forward a few years more and I started collecting some of the great bargains in the january sales and the sales throughout the whole year.  I found a big cupboard space and packed them all in . I then sorted out at christmas what I had and who it would suit.  More years later and along came April and her very own Santa list .

I now start on january and buy throughout the year. It is now not about if I see if but I look out for the sales and think about the present cupboard first(its now a sealed large box in the shed lol ) I get amazing bargains, which means people get some great gifts that some times I wouldnt be able to afford all at once when December hit.   I look for really good kids gifts for April too and put them away .

With Aprils gifts I dont always buy new. I have done this with some of the things and I am guaranteed its the new stuff she isnt interested in and its my ebay second hand toys that she does.  Plus if there is something I buy second hand and she is not interested in it then I dont feel as bad as if I had bought new.

I love bargaining on ebay to see what is available (always go for best quality of course ) and the cost.  It can be a game.

Here are my tips for being better prepared for Christmas (and birthdays too )

  • Find a place that you can keep presents, this could be a drawer, box, under bed , cupboard ….. its ok to start small .
  • Look at all the bargain parts of the stores . Sales, whoops products
    , supermarket (they always have discounted stuff ) and buy if they seem a good bargain and a gift you have someone in mind for. Some things are a good bargain you put it away and sort out the recipient later
  • Look on ebay and gumtree for your own children , some awesome stuff and great prices.  Books , toys, electronics.  Lots of bargains can be had. Also good for ideas.
  • Look for when certain sales are on . CLothes shop sales, supermarket sales , jewellery shop sales and toys . You might not always buy from them and sometimes I wait until the last day of the sale to see what is reduced further.
  • Always make a list at Christmas time to see who gets what and makes the planning better.

Lastly have fun.  I enjoy this and its my way but not always someone elses .  I then have December free to enjoy all the festivity .