Here's why it’s better not to buy Christmas presents at all this year, according to the experts

While presents may symbolize love and care, some people dread the gifting season this year. With the cost of living affecting all areas of life, people might need to approach the holidays differently, experts advise.

Skip buying presents altogether this year, experts advise
© Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash
Skip buying presents altogether this year, experts advise

Desperate times require desperate actions, and with the record-breaking inflation rate and the overall drop in living standards in Britain, the situation really calls for a creative approach to the cost-dense festive season.

Discover our latest podcast founder Martin Lewis advises sparing a small fortune by ‘going cold turkey’ with presents this year. The financial tips guru insists that before splashing on a festive extravaganza for each friend and family member you should ask yourself honestly if they're going to be a help or a hindrance for the people receiving them. Here are the things you should consider.

People might feel obliged to buy a gift for you too

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Amidst a cost of living crisis when many people are struggling, it’s more important than ever to think twice before buying a gift for someone. If you feel they may have difficulties returning your gesture, don’t do it.

Lewis believes that it can mis-prioritise people's already strained finances and create a burden.

Why do we actually give gifts?

Giving feels good, doesn’t it? But giving just to be polite might have lost its original purpose as it’s money we’re talking about.

According to Lewis, we have disconnected from why we give gifts which was originally a form of social banking, not a gesture to return.

Lewis explains:

Take a wedding. You'd go to a wedding, and older people, richer people in the community, would give gifts to younger people to help them start out, and as those people aged, they'd then pass it back to the new younger people.

People less fortunate were never meant to be indebted by gifts more fortunate people bought for them.

Ban unnecessary gifts from your Christmas budget

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Lewis advises to ‘get off this gift-giving treadmill’ as sometimes the best gift is releasing others from the obligation of having to give to you, as shopping is not only costly but also time- and energy-consuming.

While you don’t have to apply this approach for your nearest and dearest - your spouse and ‘smiling children under the tree’, the ever-expanding list of friends, cousins, and teachers might be worth reconsidering.

It can be useful to make a 'prenup', a pre-Christmas no-unnecessary-present pact.

Lewis advises:

Do a secret Santa and cap it at a fiver or tenner, or even better, say: you know what? I'm not going to give gifts to that extended list, I'm going to give to charity instead – less pressure.

While you might feel embarrassed to raise it, most people will likely feel the same way this year.

But if you really want to show that you care, a Christmas card is a nice enough gesture.

Sources used:

- The BBC: 'Martin Lewis: Go cold turkey on Christmas presents'

- Money Saving Expert: 'Martin Lewis: Why sometimes the best Christmas present is giving nothing at all'

Christmas: These common presents are dangerous to your health, according to experts Christmas: These common presents are dangerous to your health, according to experts