As much as I would like to believe that I have brought my children up to appreciate the non-commercial side of Christmas, such as spending time together as a family and celebrating the simple things, if you ask them what they like best about the festive season, they will unfailingly say: PRESENTS!!!
It can be difficult finding a happy balance between providing a Christmas day bonanza that excites and delights whilst remaining true to my values within a comfortable budget that does not leave me feeling financially over stretched. Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I get it very wrong.
Every year I try to be relaxed about the whole Christmas shopping experience and not fall into the trap of buying things nobody really wants with money that could be put to far better use, just for the sake of it - because it's Christmas. Every year I have an eleventh hour melt down and buy all manner of rubbish!
I can't say that this Christmas will be different but as always, I will try and starting early may be the best way of achieving my goal and avoiding 'panic buying'.
I'm still undecided about the sort of presents I will be looking to give. I am very much in the ideas gathering stage - which I think is probably my favourite part of the whole process. I am looking forward to reading (and writing) blog reviews to get me in the mood and give me inspiration.
In the next few days I will be reviewing Fur Real Cookie My Playful Pup (which first impressions have left me thinking is a little pricey) and Paper Jamz Pro Guitar (which I fully expect to release my Inner Rock Star).
Watch this space and let's begin the (long!) Xmas Countdown.