I thought I'd go a different way with this blog, as a mum doing the school run I hear people making comments about Christmas shopping and when they start. This is an age old topic that comes around every year, everyone has a view on it. We spent some time thinking about the various types of shoppers and who tends to do what, when!
In reverse order, you've generally got the men who tend to leave their shopping until Christmas Eve, they'll even sometimes have a few beers before even starting it. God knows what they are thinking and whether their recipients get anything of any meaningful value. They clearly love the ritual and do it year in year out. In some ways I admire the free spirit approach here and it probably works during your twenties.
Then you've got the people who only really start Christmas shopping in the xmas month of December, fair enough you or they don't want to get festive to early and god forbid they start shopping any earlier, it's certainly not as bad as leaving it to Xmas Eve like our first example which cannot be done with online shopping and relies heavily on the shop having things in stock which lets face it there will be many bare shelves in many stores, so at least starting on December 1st you've got some chance of items being delivered in time and some things still being in stock. This group of shoppers will still face some challenges with online shopping where it is our beloved postal services busiest time of year. Many parcels will go missing as well as arriving broken which leaves very little time to replace and could force you into the last minute category of rushing out on December 24th to join the crazy men on their annual ritual. Again something we try to avoid.
This is the category we fall into in starting our Christmas shopping before December with no real Start date but has on average starting month of July, half way through the year. The main rationale and thinking behind shopping this early is because:
a) We can spread out the cost of shopping over many months not feeling the pinch in one single month
b) We see various toy lines and items going out of stock or end of life which then makes them hard to find or double the price when the demand rises. This is especially true of Lego, so buying it while it is current and in stock is a tip from the top! we recently saw a Lego Jurassic world toy for over £300 which when it was 'new' and 'current' was only £85.
c) It also gives us plenty of opportunity to shop further a field ordering in from places such as China and America to get the real gem presents that you cannot get here in the UK.
We love Christmas in this household, we make it really special for everyone in our family and starting our Christmas shopping early is another part of the experience to get it just right.
The final category of shopper we've missed off are the ones that start in January which is where we are likely to end up in the coming years, it gives you opportunity to do all the things above as well as picking up the reduced seasonal bargains that from the year just passed which is extremely commendable to anyone that organised.
So as you can see, in summary there is no right or wrong in when you should start your Christmas shopping, there is a style for everyone and an associated thrill whether that's last minute and out till midnight wrapping up till 3am waking up with wonky wrapping dodgy presents and a hangover, to super prepared wrapped throughout the year and a nice relaxed few days leading up to Christmas focusing on other things like food preparation and festive music, not to mention huge quantities of mince pies!
I know it is only September, but for us the last few months of the year leading up to Christmas are our busiest time of the year, the great shows we attend such as Dorset Steam fair and Frome cheese show (Which is this weekend) start to wind down and online orders start to take over. We see people requesting all sorts of our Christmas goodies for their loved ones being requested. As such we've started work on a Christmas collection which will start to appear in our online stores. I say stores as we've now expanded our reach and platforms to include Amazon and Ebay, we already had our own site and Etsy presence so adding in the two bigger well known shop fronts we anticipate even further traction to cope with all the customer types listed above (of course not the last minute Christmas eve'ers).
Similarly we've also started making completely new Christmas product lines personalised or not, previously we made some cool personalised Christmas sacks for children, we've got Christmas decorations for trees and bunting style for walls. If you've got any suggestions for specific Christmas gifts that can be hand made please comment below to let me/us know what you'd like to see in these stores.
Wishing you all the best for your Christmas shopping which ever category you find yourself in! I know everyone has an opinion on this and you must respect everyone else's position on this so be merry and don't pop anyones bubble when it comes to Christmas.
All the best