Christmas can certainly be a stressful time for most – and this year promises to be no different as we emerge (hopefully) from the pandemic. It’s also no surprise that money is tighter for many households this year than in previous years. In 2019, the average UK adult spent £1,116 on Christmas presents. In 2020, this decreased to £883. But don’t worry, help is at hand! Together with O2 we’ve put together a wishlist of top Christmas gifts, as well as savings recommendations. You can also check out O2’s Christmas Sale for more ideas.
1. Focus on the experience
You don’t need to buy your friends and family the latest gizmos to enjoy Christmas, only for many of them to be discarded in the New Year. How about buying getting them an experience they’ll never forget instead? A good place for O2 customers to start is by downloading the O2 Priority app. Here you can access experiences for the holidays with Virgin Experience Days. Also available are free Café Nero goodies and other festive freebies.
2. Throw your own ‘office’ party
With many of us now working from home, life can get a bit lonely. And while some companies are still organising Christmas parties for their staff, many are choosing not to do so. In addition, more people now choose to work for themselves which can limit the numbers at the office party Christmas party to one man or woman and their dog! So why not take the initiative and book a Christmas party one lunchtime during the week? Perhaps you could invite the neighbours or friends that also work from home and don’t have an office party to go to.
3. Buy refurbished, rather than new
Times are tough, especially since the pandemic – so getting a brand-new phone for a loved one or even for yourself this Christmas might not be an option right now. Not to worry though, there is an alternative option. O2 offers a range of approved refurbished phones, tablets and smartwatches which will not only save you some money, but also reduce our impact on our environment. They all undergo a thorough quality check with a 12-month warranty and you can access all the same perks and benefits as buying the product new, so it’s a win-win.
4. Bring everyone together with a game
Christmas should be about coming together. Yet all too often the modern Christmas sees us heading for our own devices, or having a snooze, as soon as the Christmas dinner is over. Why not change it up with a game or two – ideally one that doesn’t involve any tech at all. You’d be surprised how even a few rounds of charades can get people going, especially after a few drinks. Alternatively, if you want something a bit more structured, you can buy versions of popular TV quiz shows to play which are quite good fun, such as Pointless or Family Fortunes. One time, an older family member of mine got incredibly flustered when asked the Family Fortunes question ‘name something you’d most likely steal from a shop’ and they answered, bizarrely, ‘paint’. It made us all laugh for hours.
5. Get out of the house!
Finally, if the inevitable family tensions are getting too much and it looks like it’s going to kick off between rival personalities, then maybe think about going out for a walk to diffuse the situation. Christmas Day is often the perfect time for getting time out of the house (providing it’s not lashing it down with rain). Not only are the roads very quiet, people that you meet are often friendly, wishing you a happy Christmas as you walk past. For those with dogs, brimming family tensions can provide the perfect excuse to get out the house, while if you have children how about suggesting a kickabout down the park?
This post is a collaboration with O2, but all thoughts and experiences are our own.