Retailers have many clever ploys to get you to justify buying stuff at Christmas, so while you are browsing the stores online, remember that these tricks are intended to make you want to buy things you really don’t need. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Personalised items: This is something that has become increasingly popular in the last few years- putting a name or an initial on something to make it personal to the person you are gifting it to. The question you should be asking yourself is- if it didn’t have a letter or a name on it- would you buy it? Probably not as a lot of personalised items are poor quality and suck you in with the lure of it being bespoke, but how many other people go by the same name or initial as the person you are buying it for? Lots- so it’s not all that special after all. 

Items with star signs on them: Again, how many other people can say they are a Leo or a Sagittarius? These items are not as unique as they may appear. Is the person you are buying for all that interested in astrology anyway? If this is the only tedious link you have for buying this gift- it’s not worth spending your money on. 

Hobby related gifts: We’ve all fallen into the trap of buying things for someone who is passionate about a particular hobby. Perhaps someone in your family loves to fish, but that doesn’t mean that you need to gift them mugs, t-shirts, jigsaws, ornaments and magnets with fish on every Christmas. Chances are if you asked them- they would prefer something that actually helps them to fish rather than a reminder of their pastime in the form of a piece of junk in their home. 

RELATED: Minimalism: Seven Christmas themed decluttering projects you can do in lockdown

Pet related gifts: If someone owns a Jack Russell, every gift you buy them doesn’t need to have this breed of dog emblazoned on it. Yes, they love their dog, but their home doesn’t need to be a shrine to their pet- nor does it need to have a theme. What if their beloved pet dies? They will be surrounded with reminders of it everywhere they look and that’s just cruel.  

Food that is packaged differently for Christmas: Whether it is presented in Christmassy packaging or not, it’s still the same product underneath, so don’t get lured in by the pretty pictures. Whatever it is will taste just the same once you break into it and when you throw the wrapper away you will never know it was sold for Christmas anyway. One example I can share is a well known confectionary brand who were charging £5 for a £1 chocolate bar simply because it had people’s names on the sleeve and marketed as a 'stocking filler'. It’s daylight robbery. 

Birth date and month gifts: There has been a spate of gifts lately that are connected to the month or day you were born. Teddies and guardian angels emblazoned with a specific date in the calendar or jewellery that is made from the birthstone related to the month someone arrived into the world. Again- if these products didn’t have this messaging on it- would you buy it? Without these details on the box, it’s just another cheaply made stuffed toy or piece of metal that will turn the recipient’s skin green. Don’t get sucked in- it’s all an illusion. 

Traditional items: If you don’t want something in your home- you don’t have to buy it because it’s traditional to do so and everyone else owns one. I know someone who hates wreaths at Christmas because it reminds them of funerals and death, so they don’t buy one to hang on their door. I also don’t send this person a Christmas card with one on as I know it will make them sad. I respect their conviction given that retailers sell us the idea that we need a wreath on the front door to make our Christmas complete. We don't and you are free to decorate your home in any which way you please over the festive period. The same goes for gifting- nowhere does it say you have to give the gift of a stocking to every member of your family and it's not written in stone that you must dish out Christmas Eve boxes to everyone in your home just because the media tells you to. 

So there we have it- free yourself from the clutches of these clever marketing techniques and spend your money on things that people want and need this Christmas. 

RELATED: Minimalism: Seven natural Christmas decorations that won’t clog up your storage space

If you love Christmas but think storing things you only use once a year seems pointless- we have you covered. Perhaps you don’t have a lot of storage space but still want to decorate your home or maybe the ritual of bringing everything out and putting everything away always causes arguments and unnecessary stress. If so, here are some natural decoration ideas that you can buy fresh every year… to read more click HERE 

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