Christmas is just around the corner and many Londoners are still shopping for gifts, but many who spoke with CBC News said they decided to start early because of just how expensive things are this year.
With corporations more than willing to raise their prices lately, pushing more of the burden of high inflation on consumers, Londoner Chris Kinsman said he’s glad he’ll avoid the mall rush this year. He started shopping for his family the moment Boxing Day rolled around — last year.
“Money’s tight and it’s tough times working, so it’s easier to get [presents] when they’re on sale ahead of time,” Kinsman said.
Despite starting as soon as he could, he said he has spent more money this year on gifts than he has in the past because of the high costs.
“It’s because I gave a kid. He loves what he loves,” he said. “I have cut back on gifts for certain people, but it’s just nice to share once a year if that’s all you can do.”
His son Logan, 6, certainly appreciates it and is excited to see what he’ll find under the Christmas tree. Logan said he’s also looking forward to getting gifts for his dad when he’s older.
With his Christmas list nearly taken care of, all Kinsman has left to do is find the perfect gifts for his grandparents.
“They like the Christmasy stuff that comes out this time of year — like knitted sweaters, Christmas-themed blankets, those sorts of things — so I have to wait until around now to get what they like,” he said.
Cassie Cameron didn’t start as early, but said she wants to avoid having to pick over what’s left once stores are cleared out closer to the holiday.
“It’s been pretty good. I have two small kids, so a lot of it has been online,” she said. “I started early because time gets away from me.”
The state of the economy and how rough it is for many people this time of year makes her feel guilty about spending too much during the holiday season, Cameron said.
“We don’t really buy too much for each other. Plus, our kids are small, they don’t need much so maybe a couple more gifts. It just doesn’t seem right to spend a lot of extra money.”
Unlike the others CBC News spoke with, Christine Dechamp hasn’t started shopping yet. Times are tough, she said, and inflation has hit hard.
“I’m hoping to start soon. I don’t have young children to worry about, just grandchildren this year,” Deschamp said.
In addition to a grandson, she is expecting a granddaughter just after Christmas, so she has put a bit of money aside to make sure she gets something, too.
“I’m expecting that I’ll have to shave off a little, but I hope that I find good things that they want this year.”