Every December, my stress and anxiety kicked in high gear. Sometimes, I didn’t even want to put up my Christmas tree.
For most of my mommy friends, it was the stress of shopping for presents.
Not me….I enjoyed shopping year round. I loved searching and hunting for deals all the time. It was my frugal habits that helped me to save money. Apparently, for some people, this was being cheap. They looked down on my frugal behaviour and made fun of me.
“You aren’t buying exactly what people want!”
“You aren’t spending enough money!”
“You aren’t spending enough time looking for presents!”
Obviously, these criticisms came from people who actually didn’t really enjoy giving presents themselves or didn’t even bother giving any at all!
Learning From Women’s Magazines
I grew up with Reader’s Digest and Chatelaine magazine at home. My mom, herself, had read these magazines to learn about her new life when she first immigrated to Canada.
One of the best tips that I learned from all this reading was when to purchase certain items. For example, I would buy winter coats and shoes during the summer months. These items would go on sale or even on clearance as they made way for the new summer stock. Likewise, I would look for swimming suits and sandals during the winter months.
Another excellent tip that I picked up was to shop year round and have a collection of gifts in storage. I constantly had a list of people that I needed to buy gifts for in my head. There were more than 100 birthdays and Christmas presents that I had to prepare for each year.
In order to customize presents to people, I paid attention to what people were using in their homes, what they liked or was looking for when we went out shopping. I had a knack for finding the most amazing deals around.
According to those magazines, it’s not the smartest thing to go into a downward spiral just to buy gifts. That was why I didn’t ever have a budget.
Treasure hunting was my calling…. My presents might not be the most luxurious gifts that costed me hundreds or thousands of dollars. Instead, I hunted for the most practical items that the person would need.
Not everyone were appreciative of my practical ways. Some people actually gave me back my gifts because they didn’t think it was what they wanted. I would rather they donated or regifted the items to others who might actually value the thought.
My children rarely asked for specific gifts. Most importantly, I taught my children to be appreciative of all presents that others gave them.
Christmas Cheer Goes On
After listening to many criticisms each Christmas or holiday, I would take a deep breath and continue…. I got this!
Some might choose to not bother with this task, but not me! The reason was simple…. Most of my recipients were so grateful and told me personally that they loved my choices.
I loved that feeling! The feeling that I got them something that they actually wanted, but might not even thought of, gave me the power to keep going….