Christmas by numbers

HERE I stand with nine days until Christmas, twelve people to buy gifts for and a $500 budget.

It could be seen as a stressful situation but I have a strategy.

I save all my Christmas shopping for December 23. I hate shopping, I’m terrible at making decisions, spending money raises my anxiety levels and crowds are not my cup of tea so I put off Christmas shopping until the last possible minute.


I am competitive though. Give me a deadline and a budget and I will meet it.

Saving my present buying for December 23 is much more leisurely and enjoyable than you would expect. I browse before lunch, deliberate as I eat and then go make my purchases. After a short coffee break, I take my purchases back to the car and repeat the process over the dinner period. Of course, I have until midnight in case things go haywire but when the clock strikes twelve it is all over.

I laid out my Christmas shopping theory to a friend over the weekend and she was horrified. Am I really that unusual?

As a woman and a mother, the answer is apparently yes. A quick survey of my friends revealed that a number of them shop the after-Christmas sales, many others swear by laybying toys at the mid year sales and two particular friends have all of her gifts bought, wrapped and under the Christmas Tree by December 1st. Overachievers!

In a desperate attempt to justify my tardy Christmas shopping habits I did some research.

The Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) predicts that the average Australian family will spend a total of $1,060 on Christmas festivities this year. Leaving my shopping to the last minute means I know exactly how much I spend for the year – justified.

The ANRA expects twice as many men as women will do most of their Christmas shopping between now and Christmas. While women are statistically more organised at Christmas, the numbers aren’t that impressive. The ANRA reported that still only one in four women shop throughout the year compared to 16 per cent of men – justified.

For those of you who have left your Christmas shopping to the last minute like me, don’t stress. Extended shopping hours begin this week so you can easily get to the mall after work and Australia Post’s final posting dates for regular mail to make it from the Gold Coast to Sydney or Melbourne is Thursday.

You have plenty of time.

[signoff icon=”icon-thumbs-up”]The Meddler

Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words, please supply contact details including a phone number. The Meddler reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please send to [/signoff]