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Have you been A Little 8?

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

We've all been there.

If it wasn't for Facebook, Google and Microsoft reminders, we'd never remember birthdays, anniversaries, what we have tickets for and whether we're meant to pick someone up from the airport - let alone have anything special prepared to celebrate, say "I love you", or show we've missed them.

Our little trick is to have a stash of gifts and cards, ready for the unexpected or those unexpected moments that seem to appear out of nowhere. If you're going to do this though, there are 3 things to keep in mind: space, perishability & economics.



The most logical question you probably have is: where do I put this gift stash? Everyone will have a different strategy on this one - cupboards, attics, basements. The most important things we've learnt was to have one stash that's dark, cool and dry, and to, preferably, keep a digital list (Evernote or Notepad works well on mobiles).

We used to have gifts shoved in various cupboards which made them hard to track and unfortunately led to some perishables expiring or being damaged. We bought a little aluminum cupboard from Ikea that does the job perfectly and blends with the walls as a bonus - you can even put a lock on it if you want to keep sticky fingers out!



The last thing we want is for something we've bought to expire physically (food, cosmetics) or conceptually (holiday related, latest release item) because then they become a proverbial waste of money.

Cosmetics are usually alright as long as you don't open them - resist the temptation to open the packaging (expose them to air which will cause oxidation and you'll release any fragrance, never to be smelt again) or handle them too much (oils from your hands affect the chemicals and can cause discolouration). Always store them somewhere dark, cool and dry. Green-based products may not last as long so check before buying these. If you're going to buy food, stick to things with a long shelf-life (at least 2 years) like teas or jams.

For practical reasons, we avoid buying anything with a year on it. That way, if you miss the holiday, you can always give it away next year - there are millions of things for sale at any given time, most people won't check - just avoid the gold trimmed bright red dinner set embossed with the cute reindeer. If you're afraid they will (...) or you have a latest release item, don't put it in the cupboard! You'll probably forget it's there. Wrap it immediately and leave it on the counter.



"It's the thought that counts", right? Giving someone a gift is already a sign that you care enough about them to go through that effort. But what if you had the chance to gift a Porsche for the price of a Honda? We think of being frugal with gifts as being smart not cheap. It takes a little more effort but your savings will be happy. The trick is just to remember these facts and stay strong at other times: most fashion retailers will have mid-season sales (double digit discounts), department stores will probably have a stocktake or end of financial year sale (almost everything will be on sale) in the middle and/or end of year, Black Friday and Click Frenzy sales are pretty much a global phenomena now (their timing is predictable), and there's always Amazon Prime Days. And, subscribe to the newsletters! You can always unsubscribe :)


As our cousin likes to say: "if you're prepared, you don't have to get prepared". Once you're ready, visit the Store to get some ideas for your gift stash.

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