Friday, May 4, 2012

The Personal Touch: A Cost Effective Christmas

According to Andy Williams, it is the most wonderful time of the year. The mulled wine is flowing, the edible delights are bountiful and family are reunited once again by the exchanging of gifts. Yet, as much as we all eagerly anticipate the coming of Christmas, there is no denying that it is one of the most stressful times of the year. We all strive to maintain the tradition of goodwill, peace on earth and kindness but with large gatherings, be it family, work colleagues at the annual Christmas party, children's nativities and carol services, we can all end up feeling pretty stretched. And this stretched feeling extends to our wallets. In the lead up to Christmas consumers statistically spend more than they would usually do, in any other month of the year. Whether it is the endless list of Christmas gifts, the outfits for office parties or the trolley load of supermarket goods, you can be sure to expect a dismal reading when January's credit card statement arrives. That day when you sit at your kitchen table staring despairingly at the inventory of festive purchases, wondering why you over do it every single year. Surely there must be a way to have a cost effective Christmas!

Mercifully, there is hope for us mere mortals! This year, with careful fore-planning and a little initiative you can indeed obtain the so desired cost effective Christmas. So let us look at the main credit card offender: Christmas gifts. These cannot be avoided and we all wish to please our loved ones with the perfect present. The good news is, these gifts can come cheap! All it requires is some extra thought and effort to end up with an original gift that will warm the cockles of any receivers heart, even old Scrooge!

The easiest and cheapest way to find one of these unique gifts is to think PERSONAL. A gift which appeals to someone's personality and demonstrates your understanding of that is always sure to be a winner. When seeking personalised Christmas gifts, you have a wide range of choice. How about a personalised box of chocolates, printed with your own Christmas greeting? Perhaps a bottle of personalised champagne! Personalised teddy bears are a great gift for the little ones, from readymade bears with personalised t-shirts to custom made bears where you can select each detail yourself right down to the stuffing! This way not only are you involved in the making of the gift, you can also control the cost! Personalised or custom made gifts for him or her, include calendars, champagne flutes, photo frames, canvas prints, photo books, key rings, snow globes, the list is endless!

In the case of those with a sweet tooth think hampers; where you can again choose the items within, regulating the cost yourself and selecting your loved ones favourite sweets and delicacies. Or for the older generation, look out for retro sweets from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Gifts like these which show your thought and input will put smiles on the faces of any receivers. Seasonal printed candy canes are cute stocking fillers for all ages, and look good on the Christmas tree!

When you give yourself enough time to really think about each person you need to buy for, you're sure to find a personal and unique gift to suit each and every one on your list. All these gifts are reasonably priced and under your complete control. Remember the key element is you! You will find that the most personal and touching gift will be the most memorable and treasured for years to come. Happy Hunting!

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