Now we all know that Christmas is all about giving, don't we.
The joy on family and friends faces when they open their presents.
I know a lot of people who wouldn't dream of spending any of their hard earned cash on themselves whilst out Christmas shopping, I must admit I find it a great temptation.
There you are, pocket full of money, sorry, credit cards, and struggling to find presents that others may, or in most cases, may not want.
The worst bit is you could spend the whole lot on yourself buying the things you want but are probably not going to get from others.
Every shop you pass has a massive discount sale, again, more problems.
If you dare to buy something from the sale to give to someone else, your conscience tells you they are bound to know where you got it and even worse, how much you paid for it.
But, if you buy it for yourself you can convince yourself you got a bargain for something you really need.
What a dilemma.
Now, there are certain rules you can follow that ensure you get others presents they might like and also leave enough money to treat yourself as well.
The first and most important rule is make a plan.
The worst thing you can do is go charging off to the shops, mingle with the rest of the population within a ten mile radius, get pushed, shoved, kicked poked in the eye with umbrellas, (it's bound to raining cats and dogs the day you decide to go) and then not have a clue as to what you are going to buy.
You can't even see the counters for people, never mind browse for something that dear Aunt Florie, who's 103.
deaf, partially blind and in a wheelchair, might like and cherish for the rest of her days.
Hence the plan.
Decide what you are going to buy before you get to the cattle market, I mean shops.
Think about it, Dear Aunt Florie would probably love a nice Christmassy scented candle, an indoor potted plant, a nice warm cardigan or maybe a new hot water bottle.
Whatever you decide stick it on the list, together with a rough price you intend to spend on her.
Do the same with all your presents, choose the gift.
allocate the set amount of money.
This is where the major choices and decisions come in.
How much do I want to allocate to presents for others, and how much do I need for my pressy? Do I have to cut down on the other gifts or do I settle for a smaller gift for myself? As you can see, nothing is easy.
Once you made your decisions, stick to them.
Next you need to continue with your plan by planning a route.
Start by going to shop where you are buying the smallest present, (definitely not yours), and then gradually working your way through to the largest,(probably yours).
This way ensures you are not carrying large presents from beginning to end.
Of course, if you find you have bought a few bargains cheaper than you expected, and you have some cash left, or the credit card is still being accepted, you may have to go to all the trouble of carrying the whole lot around with you while you get kicked, pushed and shoved around the shops to find that much deserved, extra gift for yourself.
Happy shopping and a Very Happy Christmas.