I am a writer who writes what's on her mind. I enjoy telling stories about myself and exploring intriguing topics and ideas.
I'm a Filipino, and in my country, we take Christmas seriously. In fact, we take it so seriously that every mall you go to has already been preparing for Christmas since the middle of August.
We love Christmas in the Philippines. It's the time for families to get together and have a belly-busting Noche Buena. We attend night masses on the days leading up to Baby Jesus' birthday. And don't get me started on those star lanterns teachers force their students to do during art class.
But we can't forget everyone's favorite part about the holidays: Gifts!
Everybody loves to receive a gift during Christmas. I personally enjoy giving presents as much as receiving one. And while 52% of Filipinos had cut their Christmas budget last year (and most likely for this year too), many people still make it a point to get something for their friends and families.
During the Christmas season, malls are packed to the brim with last-minute shoppers. Whether it's buying food, clothes, toys, or gadgets, you can expect a long line at the cashier. Heck, even the line in the bathroom is long!
But This Year, I Wanted to Do Things Differently
It's my first year of being a freelance writer. And with the money I saved, I thought it was only right to buy Christmas presents for those I love. I was so excited that I didn't even wait for late November or early December.
Together with my mom, we bought almost all the gifts we planned to give from late September to early October.
"But Athena, isn't that a little too early?" Yes, I had that thought too when I was doing my shopping. The same goes for my mom. But as we walked down the corridor of the shopping center— bundles of gifts in our hands— we both came to a realization:
This wasn't a bad idea!
Shopping two months early for Christmas has a lot of perks that I never thought to consider until now. And while I know I'm not the only early shopper out there, I think it can make for a fun article to share my experience while having my pre-holiday buying spree.
Here are three reasons why I'm always going to shop two months earlier. (And why you should try it too.)
I Still Get to Enjoy Different Deals and Discounts
Most people wait until December because it's the time when most malls hold big sales. It makes plenty of sense to wait for the holiday season before pulling out cash because that's when stores will bring out the red SALE signs.
But December isn't the only time when malls are going to have sales. Many malls go on sale to celebrate a special event, like local festivities. Sometimes, they have sales 'just because.'
You don't even have to wait for sales. Malls regularly put discounts on items that are considered 'old stock.' Many of them are a great bargain, just as long as you know what to look for.
Personally, I'm not too keen on shopping during sale days. But I still grab any opportunity if I see a markdown on an item I want. I get to save my cash and spare myself a snack or two.
All the Items I Want are in Stock
Christmas shopping feels like a race on who can get the best item first. It's frustrating to see that Out of Stock sign for your dream dress or book. That usually happens when you're trying to compete with other buyers on Christmas day. Late buyers have to settle with leftover crummy items.
But when you're buying early, you get the chance to have everything in stock. Sure, they might not have a discount yet. But if it's something that you are dying to have, why wait? Spending a little extra on a hot item means you won't regret it once all its stocks are gone.
Gone are the days of having to scavange every shop to find that specific gift because almost every store is out of it. And I no longer have to worry about not fulfilling my family's wishlist.
I Never Have to Stress About Big Crowds and Long Lines
This is the one I love the most.
I hate it when malls get too crowded. There are too many people squeezing in shops. The lines are long and slow. There are no chairs in the restaurants. And it takes forever to find an empty bathroom stall!
I like visiting the mall during Christmas. The lights, the music, and the ambiance are phenomenal. But I want to go to the mall as a visitor and not a shopper during this time. Because trying to buy all my gifts during the holiday is stressful.
I skip all of those things if I buy my gifts earlier. I no longer have to worry about the crowd. I can just sit back, relax, and people-watch as Christmas carols play in the background.
Shopping early gives me more time to enjoy my buying experience instead of rushing to beat some invisible deadline. And since I no longer have to think of the gifts, I can spend more time relaxing with those I love the most.
Early Christmas Shopping is My New Holiday Strategy
I'm going to make it a yearly tradition to start my shopping trips in September and October. It's simply more convenient and relaxing.
Shopping early means that I have more free time to worry about other things, such as the grand feast or the Christmas tree. But most important of all, I have more time to be with my family while we share a very Merry Christmas.