my MA course, I'm really behind with my Yule shopping this year. Today is also the last day for sending second class post to arrive by 24th December and I need to get my card writing finished too.
Yes, the festive season is a stressful time - particularly if you are as skint as most students are.
Some new research I was sent shows that the pressure of festive giving apparently leaves a quarter of people in the UK in financial trouble. Twenty-two percent of us feel pressured to buy more expensive gifts than we feel comfortable spending the money on.
The research (conducted by Peachy), surveyed 2002 people’s Christmas shopping habits and attitudes towards money; showing the differences between those of a different gender and age. Financial woes are expected to affect a quarter of Britons due to a costly and pressurising Christmas.
The research showed that men spend more money than women, but believe they spend too much. However, the majority of men (66%) felt relaxed when browsing and buying gifts for their loved ones, felt less pressured to buy a more expensive gift and found it less challenging to stick to a set budget compared to women who were significantly more stressed and less money conscious despite on average spending less of their wages on Christmas gifts than men.
Forty percent of 18 to 24-year-olds fretted about what others had bought them for Christmas and felt guilty if others had spent more on gifts than they had. About a quarter of those aged 18 to 24 admit to poor budgeting at Christmas time. Those 55 years old and over found Christmas shopping too hectic and only a third wished they could spend more on Christmas gifts.
To ease financial worries in the festive season, Katre Kaarenperk-Vanatoa from Peachy suggests: “Try to shop wisely by sticking to a budget and creating a gift list. Do not compare your gifts to others and remember that it is sentiment that counts not the price. Sometimes, handmade gifts are more greatly appreciated than expensive gadgets.”
I completely agree about making handmade gifts if you have the time. People appreciate the effort you put in and won't try to put a monetary value on it. There's a whole page on my blog with craft ideas.
One suggestion might be to make people individual Yule tree ornaments, such as my angel made from upcycled materials or cute charms from corks.Another idea might be to turn jam jars into colourful tealight holders or you could bake gingerbread - hopefully better than mine, which were meant to be angels but were probably upside-down reindeer heads!