UNITED STATES—It is so hard to fathom that in a little less than 2 weeks Christmas will be here. I swear I have no idea what it is about the fall months that seem to move with a rapid succession. September and October are a little slow, but as soon as Halloween comes and goes, it seems like a dart to the finish with Thanksgiving coming quicker than you can count to 3, and then you have Christmas, then the New Year and finally things calm down.

With that said, Christmas has not arrived yet, and for those who have not started their Christmas shopping, now is the time. I will admit for 2022, I started a bit late. Let’s just say inflation really put a damper on shopping that I would have started in September or October. This year, I didn’t start purchasing gifts for the holiday until after Thanksgiving which is unusual for me. Let’s be honest, the retailers have not been offering epic deals to say the least. To be honest 2022, has been one of the worst when it comes to actual deals from retailers.

That may be a direct result of consumers getting epic deals back in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic, a ton of merchandise that needed to be cleared out by the retailers, so sales were galore in 2020 which ultimately spilled into 2021 as well. As a result, I still beat myself up at the fact that I did not purchase more, but I’ve learned something as of recent: just because it’s a sale does not mean you have to buy it. Why? You find yourself left with more than you need and then what? Exactly.

I started to clear out my closet to see who I had purchased gifts for, who I still needed to purchase gifts for and to just have an overview of what I had already purchased. Even though I may have started my Xmas shopping a bit late in 2022, I still accumulate quite a bit of stuff in the past 2-3 weeks.

So I’m about 85 percent complete with my shopping. I just have to get something for my mom, my two nieces and my dad and that’s it. Trust me it’s a great feeling, but no matter how hard I try my mother is always the last to purchase for because it is difficult to get something for someone who virtually has it all and doesn’t really ask for much to begin with.

With that said, I realized I over-purchased on gifts yet again. This has been a trend that I have dealt with year after year and for 2022, I said enough is enough. It is not happening this year, so those things I overbought, it is time for me to return them. In the past, I would just give extra gifts, but not this year. I’m putting that hard earned money back into my pocket and bank account. Why? Why not?

You see an item on sale and for some reason it does indeed prompt you to buy more than what you actually need sometimes, and I cannot explain why that is the case. I want to change that and not allow myself to get too caught up with purchasing something simply when it is on sale. I have to realize if the person is not explicitly telling me it’s something they want or need and I feel like I’ve already purchased the perfect gift, there is no need to do more.

I can take those funds and donate those items to someone who is in actual need of things this holiday season. I’m all about the giving, but I’m learning so much more as of late, I don’t have to overdo it when it comes to the giving especially with family members. Hell, half of the time I don’t get anything from them anyway and that doesn’t really hurt my feelings one way or another because I don’t look to receive I look to give. I just wish way more people had that same mentality.

Easily there is about $200 in returns that I have to make which suck and I had the feeling of having to take something back to a retailer, but that is the concept of a receipt. If you change your mind or realize it is something you don’t actually need you have the opportunity to flip things around for your benefit, which is what I’m doing here America.

Simple advice: do not feel the need to buy more than what you can afford and what your budget allows. Sometimes we get too caught up in the melee of trying to do it all for family, friends and such and we lose the true meaning of Christmas. It is to give, not to give in excess because you saw a sale.

Written By Zoe Mitchell