City thinking, local knowledge

Take some time this Christmas to reset and reflect

By Questa Chartered

It goes without saying that Christmas is going to be different to the usual this year. While the events of 2020 may have conspired to prevent us from holding or attending large gatherings of family and friends, and also pulled the brakes on our office Christmas parties and nativity plays, there is another side to the coin. It’s easy to focus on the downsides but, why not use a quieter and slower paced Christmas as a well deserved chance to rest and reset after a difficult year?

It could also be a more cost effective Christmas than the norm. Independent retail analyst Richard Hyman believes that smaller gatherings will lead to more modest expenditure when it comes to gift-giving. Whether or not you follow this prediction is, of course, entirely up to you, as “gift-inflation” appears to be the alternative. The term is used to describe the act of spending more money on gifts than usual to compensate for not being able to give the gift in person and is an act which should not be recommended for somebody fearing the health of their bank balance come January.

Likewise, smaller Christmas day celebrations mean less necessity to fill your fridge to bursting, although it would be fair to suspect that, given the year people have had, sales of wine and eggnog may not take such a significant dent…

You can take a breath at the realisation that there’s less need to brave the shopping centre crowds a week before the big day, even if that does mean Amazon’s Jeff Bezos taking on the role of Santa this year. With Amazon’s market dominance and spectacular profits this year in mind, perhaps this Christmas is an opportunity to turn to local, independent or “non-essential” retailers. While the talents of the Amazon management team throughout the pandemic cannot be knocked, nor the usefulness of their service denied, there may well be businesses closer to home which need your custom more. It could be an opportunity to help your local community over a particularly difficult period – after all, ‘tis the season!

However you spend your Christmas this year, we hope it’s enjoyable, merry and the break that you deserve. You may have to see fewer people, but it could be a chance to spend more quality time with those you do share the day with. Just remember, the last thing on anybody’s Christmas list is Coronavirus.

If you have any questions or concerns around your finances over the festive period and beyond, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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