Hello there all you festive folks, by the time you read this we are assuming most have you will have unwrapped presents and should already be filling your faces with treats and a just a little bit of Christmas spirit. Considering the Christmas festivities usually only span 2 or 3 days for most, it is still considered to be a bit of an ordeal for some. So we are here to help you along with getting over the festive tornado that is Christmas.
So presents are open, the festivity is flowing and we are all having a jolly time. Diets go out of the window and many of us gents regress back to being little boys. It happens to the best of us, we get excited and over eat and over drink. But let us tell you that that is OK, it’s Christmas so go and have as amazing time as is physically possible.
The festive season seems to have become a military operation in terms of preparation and organisation. One thing that I like to do around this time of year is have a clear out. Get rid of any old clothes, books, DVDs, computer games or anything that takes up space. You are going to want to ready yourself for the presents you will get and the purchases you will make with your Christmas vouchers & money.
This is generally something we do before Christmas but with how busy we can get we don’t have time, so the days between Christmas day and New Year is always a great time to get clutter free. Obviously there is Ebay and Amazon, but the only problem with this is you have to deal with people, and it can get messy if ever a dispute should arise or you have to post a lot of parcels.
What I personally like to do is find a website that will take everything off you and collect it for you as well. There have been a number of times I have used sites like WeBuyBooks, Zapper and Ziffit for those times when I really just want to get rid of unwanted items. The cash payout isn’t amazing but if you want to get rid of things quickly with as little hassle as possible then this is a great method.
Unless your family and friends have this down to a fine art, then we have all at some point or another received a bad present. I’m talking about things such as bad clothes; if you’re anything like me and the majority of us at MFM then we don’t like anyone buying us clothes unless it involves direct supervision. I don’t like anyone buying me clothes unless it is something I have specifically requested. We have all been in a situation where we have opened a really bad gift in front of the entire family and had to act like we love it, when really we loathe it. We wish we could gift you all with an Oscar because this kind of acting is only reserved for such an occasion.
So what do you do when you don’t like an item of clothing? Could we be as blunt as too say ask for the receipt? Yes in fact we could, you see you don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings here if you are careful on what you say and how you say it. Normally, intelligent Christmas consumers will keep a receipt or at least ask for a gift receipt upon purchasing an item. So check out a couple of my full proof excuses as to why you need to return something.
- Wait a day or two and ring the relative in question up and ask for the receipt explaining that it is the wrong size and you need to exchange it for another one. Then all you have to say is that they didn’t have of that style left in stock so you either bought something else or got a gift receipt. The reason for waiting a couple of days is to make it look like you have tried or worn the item.
- Again wait a couple of days and upon requesting a receipt, state that a seam has come loose or *insert faulty reason / excuse here*. This is a great way because no one wants you to have a faulty gift.
- If they won’t give you the receipt, at least ask where the item is from because you ‘love it so much that you need to see if they have any other styles you may like’. Most stores will exchange items over the Christmas period for another item or store credit. But this is something you will have to check for yourself depending on which store you go to.
- Simply tell them you don’t like it and that they don’t know you as an individual and how offended you are that they thought you would like such a vile present. Please, whatever you do, don’t do this I was just trying to be funny.
Another particular item in the gift department that is a difficult one to deal with is cosmetics and fragrances. A scent in particular, I feel is an intimate thing and very personal to the wearer so this should only ever be bought by the person in question or a clued up significant other.
That being said if you do get gifted a particular fragrance you have two options, either try it out because you never know it might work for you; or I’m afraid you may have to be honest here and tell them you don’t like it. You could always say that you can’t wear this particular brand of fragrance because you are allergic to something in the ingredients, so can you change it for something you can wear?
As men we are often gifted with the inevitable grooming or cosmetic gift set clearly bought from the 3 for 2’s from boots. Again this may be a difficult one to get right because if your anything like us fussy lot here at MFM you have a particular brand or product you like. For me it’s any Lynx product that I loathe in particular, and no matter how many times I clarify that I don’t like this product, it always somehow magically appears in Christmas day. So I either give them to my other half who isn’t as fussy as me, or re-gift them. The re-gifting thing sounds worse than it actually is because let’s face it, what relative would honestly keep tabs on your cosmetic usage. And I’m guessing that the person who bought you this kind of thing is someone you don’t see often anyway. So don’t worry, don’t waste it, make sure someone gets use out of the bad present that you were so unfortunately gifted.
There is only one particular time when a gift that is given to you when that person has no idea what to get you; and that is money or vouchers. This kind of gift is essentially free money and a free excuse to shop guilt free. However we do realise that he urge to shop during the sales will increase tenfold and you may find yourself purchasing many items that will sit forever in the wardrobe of abandoned garments.
Many of the sales have started now but the best time to utilise them is Boxing Day and the days that follow. Many items will get reduced then or the reductions will become even cheaper. Plus you won’t have the stress of what to buy for who hanging over your head, you focus can primarily be on yourself. Sometimes it is OK to be a little bit selfish.
On a personal note, I have a lot of experience shopping the sales and have come to learn many things during my time as a seasoned sale shopper, so read on my a few of my handy tips to cope with sale shopping and fellow sale shoppers.
- Pace yourself – You don’t need to spend everything in one shop, make a day of it with a significant other. Take your time, go for some lunch and really make it an experience.
- Do you really need it? – It might be reduced from £65 to £15 but the sales are the time when you shouldn’t really think about the price. It sounds crazy but it works, we have all bought something just because of the price and never worn it. So you need to ask yourself a few questions, ‘do I really like it?’, ‘will I actually wear it?’ Also I like to think that if I can’t think of three items I own that a potential purchase will go with, then I put it back immediately.
- Investment Pieces – The great things about the sales is that even bigger brands reduce their items too. So if there is a particularly expensive or high quality piece that you originally couldn’t bring yourself to part with the cash for, then now is the time to go for it. While the reductions may not be as drastic as lower market retailers, the prices do come down to what you would pay for a full price item in some of the higher end fashion retailers. Like I said before it’s about taking your time, and really being considerate as to what you buy. Here’s a selection of investment pieces we recommend:
- Shopping Etiquette – This is something that I have had to teach myself slowly because I used to be such a stressful shopper during the sales. There have been many occasions when I have exchanged a few minor verbal onslaughts with crazy middle aged women with trolleys full of advent calendars. What we realise over time is that we are all out to do the same thing, shop and have a nice day. Approach everyone and everything with kindness and maintain your decorum and dignity. If someone bumps into you, when they apologise just smile and let them know it’s ok. It’s the season to be jolly according to traditional Christmas songs so ignore the cliché and spread a little bit of that Christmas cheer.
Now Christmas is almost over, we can begin to rest and ready ourselves for the New Year. Hopefully our guide has provided you with some ideas of how to deal with the inevitable festive difficulties some of us come face to face with. If not then the very least we hope we have given you a festive chuckle. so go on and enjoy the rest of your festive celebrations, and from the entire team at MFM we wish you a very merry Christmas and hope you have a wonderful new year.