is it really November already?

Christmas gifts.

Time to start thinking about Christmas gifts.

You may have noticed that I enjoy shopping.  A lot.

Christmas is not only a time I can catch up with a lot of friends and relatives, but I also get to shop for a good cause.  Guilt free shopping – what could be better?

The challenge becomes – what to buy for people…how much can I afford to spend, how much is appropriate to spend and how much would be appreciated without being embarrassing.

Once the budget is sorted, finding the appropriate present presents the next big challenge.

When I lived closer to civilization I would dedicate a full day to Christmas Shopping.
Arrive at the required shopping centre early in the day and don’t leave until my list is complete.

Toronto Eaton Centre, Toronto, Canada

Image via Wikipedia

Of course I would always end up buying lots of other bits and pieces closer to Christmas to bulk out the presents.

Now that the shopping centre option is a little more difficult I am spending a lot of time shopping online. In the past I might spend an hour or so walking between stores to compare ranges and prices, now I spend hours browsing websites for the same result.
(Less exercise and much less impulse purchasing.)

Can pick up some bargains, but the postage is a killer at times.
Then there are sites that have fantastic items at great prices but won’t ship them to Australia.
Or worse, the sites that will ship some things, but not the items you actually want.

RoadTrip

Image by abhisawa via Flickr

So – I will keep shopping online with the occasional trip to Melbourne for some hands on shopping, try not to blow my whole budget on chocolate and remember that most of the presents need to fit in the car for a 12hr + roadtrip.  Awesome.

I am going to end with a few thoughts on what NOT to buy people for Christmas:
1. Pets, or anything that requires a lot of work on their part
2. Clothing – unless you have their identical twin try on the item
3. Cleaning items – enough said
4. Something you want and hope they won’t so you will end up with it.  Seriously…

Obviously these rules do not apply if you have been given strict instructions, a list of options and potentially a model number.

In the end I just try to find something that I think they will like and hope it all works out in the end.

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