Jingle bells, spending swells
There’s no logs on the fire but one New Plymouth mum already has the gifts for her tree – 47 sleeps before Christmas.
In fact Courtney Belgrave sometimes has her Christmas shopping all wrapped up as early as June or July – although she’s been known to add little extras.
‘‘People just get extra presents as we go along, closer to the time, because I love Christmas,’’ she says. ‘‘But I try to avoid going into town close to Christmas because it’s just chaos.
‘‘Even just going supermarket shopping, I just try and avoid it and buy groceries online.’’
She makes her list of people to buy presents for and sticks to it, ticking them off as she buys their gift.
‘‘I just think people just try and wait for sales but the sales are better before Christmas so you might as well get it at Labour weekend. If you spread it out it’s not so hard on everyone.’’
Her advice to those who shop on the night before Christmas: don’t.
Retailers also recommend shoppers start as early as possible because the Christmas month is getting busier and busier.
Last December Kiwis spent
$5.9 billion in card transactions, according to Paymark, up 6.6 per cent from the year before.
‘‘The last half an hour on Christmas Eve, the people who are coming in are confused and exhausted and not sure what they want,’’ said Poppies bookstore manager Ruth Bruhin.
Getting it done early took the stress away from both the shop staff and the customer, she said.
‘‘It also gives us a chance to secure things that go out of stock at suppliers and won’t be available again until February.’’
Shops have had their decorations up for at least a month, and New Plymouth’s Babylove store has been bringing in extra stock early.
‘‘Parents especially have been coming in and saying they want to get organised early this year,’’ co-owner Bev Carley said.
‘‘People were wanting gifts wrapped for Christmas from early October.’’
Sales are up compared to the last six years, she said.
‘‘I’m expecting hectic – we’ve had to take on more staff.’’
Urenui mum Samantha Bevins is expecting her third baby in mid-December so she needs to be organised.
‘‘I collect things throughout the year,’’ she said.
She recommends shopping local, and ordering online can be a lifesaver with young kids in the picture, and they often have free delivery if you spend a certain amount.
‘‘My advice to other young mums – don’t overthink the presents. Try and keep them simple.
‘‘You don’t have to spend lots of money for the kids to have fun at Christmas time.’’
New Plymouth’s Courtney Belgrave has finished all of her Christmas shopping for this year.