... and not-so-big bucks

CityPress - - News - YVONNE GRIMBEEK yvonne.grimbeek@city­press.co.za

I do not like Christmas. I do not like be­ing stran­gled by tacky tin­sel and leered at by plas­tic San­tas in ev­ery shop­ping centre.

Nei­ther do I like how shops start put­ting up dec­o­ra­tions in Oc­to­ber. I don’t like all the tat dressed up as the must-have Christmas gift for the man or woman or child in your life. It is cheap and nasty, and it is only there be­cause we all go slightly mad at this time of year.

So, I try not to shop in malls from mid-Novem­ber un­til after the new year. That’s when I go mad.

Post-Christmas sales are bril­liant, and I like the idea of scor­ing off the greed of re­tail out­lets. I mean, do we have to give each other gifts on De­cem­ber 25? Why not on Jan­uary 2? It’s cheaper and it is a great way of see­ing in 2017.

How­ever, if you in­sist on go­ing shop­ping now, here are a few of my tips:

Make a list of the peo­ple you re­ally want to give a gift to.

What would they like to re­ceive? If you can­not think of any­thing, they prob­a­bly shouldn’t be on the list.

How many of the peo­ple on your list would rather spend some time with you than get yet an­other bath prod­uct – be­cause that’s what we all end up buy­ing?

Rather give them a hand-writ­ten voucher for some qual­ity time with you or a home-made cake or meal.

Ask your part­ner and chil­dren what they would like, and dis­cuss it with them. You may be sur­prised to find that a fam­ily out­ing to the movies or a pic­nic is a gift val­ued far more highly than plas­tic junk from the stores.

Avoid the malls. In­stead, sup­port the small busi­nesses in your neigh­bour­hood. Their prod­ucts are of­ten bet­ter – and bet­ter look­ing – than the stuff in the shops. The bonus here is per­sonal at­ten­tion and as­sis­tance. I don’t see why we should be tram­pled un­der­foot at over­priced, noisy malls when we can sup­port the neigh­bour­hood econ­omy.

Fi­nally, if we want to be true to the spirit of the fes­tive sea­son, why not do­nate to a good cause in a friend’s name? Plant a tree on their be­half, or vol­un­teer at a re­tire­ment or a chil­dren’s home. Have a happy fes­tive sea­son any­way!

Grimbeek is City Press’ deputy manag­ing ed­i­tor and in-house shop­ping ex­pert. She shops. A LOT.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.