Some people absolutely hate it, and other people absolutely love it. I’m writing about the ultimate basics of Christmas shopping today, with just a couple of tried and tested tips to get you started. 

1. Who are you buying for?

Before you do anything related to buying Christmas presents, make a list of who you’re buying for this year. Maybe you’re celebrating Christmas with your family and you want to buy presents for them, or you want to treat your friends with a little gift – in any case, make a list of who you want to buy a Christmas present for this year. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to talk about money. 

2. What is your budget?

Buying Christmas presents can be tricky, especially when you’re on a budget. I think it’s important to realize that you should spend the amount of money on presents that you are comfortable with, and don’t go spending lots and lots of money because you think people are expecting big or expensive presents. In the end, what should really matter is the thought behind wanting to buy someone a present and not how much money you spent on it.

What I usually do, is to determine the budget that I’m comfortable with and then divide that by the amount of people I want to buy presents for. This way, you have a good idea of how much you can spend on somebody’s present, but don’t limit yourself to the budget. If you happen to find the perfect gift that’s maybe a little bit over budget, then I don’t let that stop me from buying that perfect present for somebody. But, do try to stick to your budget as much as possible and don’t go too crazy (unless you want to, of course…). 

3. What are you buying?

Once you’re sorted out who you’re buying for and what your budget is, it’s time to start thinking about the presents themselves. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself because you feel like you need to buy people the most perfect present ever, because you don’t. I think Christmas presents shouldn’t be about super perfect or super expensive gifts, but more about wanting to surprise people you love. If you happen to stumble upon The Perfect Present within your budget, then that’s amazing (I have to admit, I live for that stuff), but don’t stress about it. 

Instead, I suggest two ways of going about Christmas shopping. One, you can simply go into town, walk into a couple of stores, and just let the Christmas spirits guide you. It can be a great way to find more spontaneous gifts or to find presents that you never would have thought of yourself. But, it can be quite stressful to walk into a store during Christmas time and have absolutely no idea what you want to buy. That’s why I really the second strategy to buying Christmas presents, which is to have a little brainstorm session before actually going shopping. This doesn’t have to be elaborate at all (although feel free to use whatever color coding system your heart desires), but it’s just to give you an idea of what to look for when you’re going shopping. 

4. Where are you buying?

Where you’re buying your presents of course depends on what you plan on buying for them, but sometimes you need a little inspiration. Søstrene Grene is a great shop to buy your wrapping paper, but also to buy presents for someone who loves home and stationary items. If you’re buying for somebody who loves food and cooking, I would recommend Dille & Kamille. Then HEMA and Flying Tiger are always great if you want to buy little presents on a budget. Then I think book stores are always great if you’re looking to buy Christmas presents – not just for books, but also for stationary, magazines, board games, wrapping paper and Christmas cards, for example. 

But are you looking for some concrete ideas? Then keep an eye out for the upcoming Almost Famous Writer Christmas gift guides, which will be up very very soon. I’ve listed a lot of gifts, which are all budget-proof, and should spark your Christmas gift-giving imagination. 

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