To Buy Or Not To Buy

I know some of you have got your Christmas shopping sorted by now but there must be many like me who've hardly started. Whilst I realise getting the shopping over and done with before December can reduce stress I don't like Christmas preparations being too prolonged.

With my my minimalist mindset I'm considering buying less this year and for less people. It's not really about saving money (although I do need to) it's about not wanting to create waste. I want to buy my nearest and dearest quality rather than quantity and gifts that are consumables, needs (such as clothes) or experiences. I would count books in as an experience. I have in the past bought presents for a wide circle of people but not this year. 

I have read some wise words on this topic this week by Martin Lewis (a leading financial expert here in the UK). His site Money Saving Expert is the place to go to if you're considering buying almost anything from car insurance to cheap perfume. He's saved me a bob or two.

Lewis writes about the "ever-growing creep of gifts to extended family, colleagues, children's teachers and more". He also writes: 

Is it time to ban Christmas presents? Across the country people are growling at the enforced obligation to waste money on tat they can't afford, for people who won't use it. Festive gift-giving has lost its point, risks doing more harm than good, mis-teaches our children about values and kills the joy of anticipation of what should be a joyous time.
Food for thought... The joy of Christmas is not about gifts. Let's not let Christmas lose its meaning to commercialism.

What are your views?

For the full article here's the link.

Happy middle of the week xo




  1. Great post Claire! Thanks also for the link to Martin Lewis who has set out very clearly what has gone wrong with gift-giving and how to fix it. The poster guide is a classic too! We have been reducing our gift giving circle for a few years now and almost everyone has welcomed the idea. Also I was pleased to have instigated a change in my last year of teaching: we replaced the Secret Santa with a group donation to a children's charity.
    Thanks for the info about Kevin Bridges another Billy Connolly?) - I'll watch out for him. Megan x

  2. Great idea - Secret Santas are fun but wasteful unless you buy consumables. Btw Billy Connolly turned 70 last weekend - can you believe it? :)

  3. That poster guide is brilliant! I love to buy or make gifts for people. We are on a tight budget to have to save for ages and then stick to a strict amount of money per person. I am making a few gifts this year which is enjoyable but pretty time consuming. I am starting to panic slightly that things will not be ready in time. x

  4. I love the flowchart. We are very low key when it comes to Christmas. We only buy meaningful/useful gifts for our immediate relatives namely our parents and my stepson. This year we'll be travelling far to celebrate the holidays with my sister so we have a couple more small gifts to buy for her and her family. I really prefer to focus on being with loved ones, enjoying good food and playing cards and other games.

  5. I'd love to ban presents but it's a difficult subject to handle with our extended family who have a very different mindset to us.

    I've got my buying list down to 20 (5 are small work colleague gifts) so it's not too bad.

  6. I agree with you entirely. So many people go into debt any buy more expensive presents they can not afford. It is more important for us to enjoy this special time with the family and celebrate how we did when we were children. I too have picked up such useful hints from Money Saving expert.
    Sarah x


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