If, like me, you’ve got that slightly rising panicked feeling about Christmas Dinner and what the last shop before Christmas Day will cost, stop now and have a little read of Day 17 of my Christmas With Caitríona series.
That last shop for us is probably my most stressful shop and this year I am cutting back on Christmas shopping. I’ll do it at some stage before the end of the week ahead, and then pick up the fresh fruit and vegetables, along with the meat on Christmas Eve. You would think that the shops won’t be open for nearly a week, as was the tradition years ago, but in truth the shops will barely close for longer than 36 hours all told and the local supermarket will reopen on St Stephen’s Day. The reason why I do a large shop before Christmas Day isn’t that I’m trying to stock up the cupboards, it’s so that I don’t have to go near a shop unless I absolutely have to. There is great escape in shutting the door on Christmas Eve and knowing that the next couple of days are for family only.
This trip to the supermarket before the main day though is the one where we are prone to the most amount of impulse buys. There are Christmas traditions in our house that revolve around food. For example it was always a treat for my siblings and I to have Sugarpuffs on Christmas morning; there were always tins of chocolates to be scoffed along with bags of King crisps in hubby’s house (always King at Christmas from a cardboard box); and tins of premium biscuits, nevermind bottles of lemonade and alcohol for visitors.
If I’m typing this and the pressure is rising in my chest then I can imagine it is for you too. So here are a few, short bullet points for you to try and bear in mind for the next couple of days so that you can try cutting back on Christmas Shopping.
- Make your list & check it twice (if it’s good enough for Santa, it’s good enough for you).
- Go without kids (no attacks of the gimme-gimme to spend more money).
- Know your budget.
- Only buy what you need.
- Be brutal, if there are items that you rarely eat or you always have in the cupboard for months afterward then scrap them and don’t buy.
- Make sure you have storage space so you’re not falling over a Turkey or the Ham hasn’t taken up all the fridge.
- Likewise make sure your oven can handle all this food you’re intending to cook.
- Many hands make light work. Sometimes one of my sisters and I do the big shop together and each push the trolley through the supermarket side by side. It makes the shop easier for us and we have a bit of a laugh too.
Above all, don’t panic!