Sale Season

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For many years in the UK the sale season started on Boxing Day but in recent years the sale season has come early to the UK, with Black Friday triggering many pre-Christmas sales.

Spend

It used to be that people would use their Christmas money to snap up deals after Christmas and companies tried to encourage us to keep spending, even after all the money we had invested in Christmas. Now it seems that companies want us to spend more money before Christmas.

The thing I don’t like about pre-Christmas sales is that it encourages people to buy bigger gifts for others because they can get a certain item at a knock down price. Instead of buying something they want, it is all about getting them the highest value present whilst paying the least amount possible for it. The problem then comes is that if these pre-Christmas sales stop; the person you are buying for may still expect the same value gift as last year.

Do you really need it?

The other problem I have with sales is that it encourages us to buy things that we wouldn’t have dreamed of buying if they weren’t on sale. We think we are getting a bargain and making a great financial decision but in reality the best financial decision is to not buy it and keep your money in your wallet.

If you didn’t want a particular item before it was on sale you don’t need / want it now. You shouldn’t just want and buy things based on price. You should buy the things you want / need at the price you think they are worth. The price a shop puts on an item isn’t necessarily what you think it is worth or what it is worth to you. Always try and keep that figure in your head of what it is worth to you when you are going out to buy something, as just because it is on sale, it still might be more expensive than you think it is worth.

Turnover

Remember sales aren’t about the companies giving you a good offer; they are about the companies getting more money out of your pocket and shifting stock. The reason companies have sales is to get money out of you that they think they wouldn’t have if they didn’t have a sale, it is simply an exercise of them trying to increase their turnover and is not about them doing something nice for you.

I’m not against companies making money and I am not against people getting things at cheaper prices, I am just against the sale culture and how it feeds in to the material culture.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

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So now Halloween, Bonfire Night and Remembrance Sunday are over, thoughts in the UK start to be casted towards Christmas: A season where we all get a bit busier preparing for the biggest day on the calendar and excitement levels start to build.

It maybe only mid November but the war for the best Christmas TV advert has already begun with John Lewis and Sainsbury’s leading the way.

The City most local to me has had it’s Christmas Lights switch on and Christmas events are starting to appear in my diary. Christmas is officially in full swing in my world. I love the fact that it isn’t just one day and that the build up to the day can be so exciting. I know Christmas for some is a challenging time but I am a full on lover of Christmas.

The most important thing about Christmas to me is holding on to the meaning of the season and celebrating the birth of Jesus and all that the event meant for the world. Whilst keeping that at the forefront of my mind, I also enjoy other activities the season brings.

I love how Christmas is a good way of getting people together and to socialise. I feel friends and family tend to make more of an effort around the Christmas period to see each other and spend time with each other. The time spent together is normally spent eating, drinking and laughing together. I love the mood that Christmas puts people in. I really notice people going out of their way to be nicer to each other.

The other thing I like is being generous to others at Christmas. I feel that the season brings the generosity out of many of us. I enjoy thinking of and buying gifts for people. I am currently deliberating over the best gifts to get my wife and I love trying to come up with the best presents I can for her. Also this year I am doing a sponsored run to raise money for a family whose story really touched my heart. I am so looking forward to passing on the money that I raise and I really hope that it gives them some joy and hope at Christmas.

Spreading Christmas joy is so much fun. There is nothing like putting a smile on the faces on others and it is a lovely feeling to know you have helped make someone’s Christmas a bit extra special.

I hope you are all looking forward to Christmas and getting carried away in the right ways.

Happy Christmas

Around the world at this time people are greeting each other with the words “Happy Christmas” or “Merry Christmas.” From strangers in the street, to those nearest and dearest to them, people are going out of their way to greet each other with festive greetings. There is a feel good factor in areas and places where Christmas is celebrated, however at this time we need to make sure we don’t forget the people for whom it is an unhappy time.

This time of year can make people feel lonelier than they already may be feeling and can make people dwell on sadder times than happier times. Christmas is an emotional time which can bring up a lot of different memories for different people, so don’t always assume that it is a happy time for your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours.

Just by someone saying Happy or Merry Christmas doesn’t mean it will be a happy or merry one for him or her. Lets keep an eye out for these people and make sure they don’t get forgotten about this Christmas. Lets make sure they know that they are loved and thought about. If you feel led to, why not invite them over to your home during the season. If you are talking to them in the street or on the phone take those extra minutes to really see how they are and make sure they know that they are in your thoughts.

I for one really enjoy Christmas with my family and I know millions of others around the world do too. To me it is a really special time that I really appreciate. It is one of my highlights of the year. I think it is a time of year we should enjoy and celebrate as much as we can. You shouldn’t feel bad or be made to feel bad for enjoying the season. We just need to remember those less fortunate or those who can’t enjoy this time for whichever reason.

Lets do our best to help as many people as possible have the best Christmas they possibly can.

Before I go on this edition of the blog I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers and followers of this website for your support this year. I also hope that this time of year is the best it can be for you and that it is even better than any Christmas you have ever known before.