A Brilliant Christmas
Christmas is nearly here and it is all too easy to spend now and worry about it later. Except that later can come all too soon and January can look very bleak.
Or if you are not spending money – you may be stressing about whether you can have a good Christmas without money.
You can – and by saving a bit here and there – you may well still have some for your favourite things. Just work out what the best thing about Christmas time really is for you.
So have a fabulous Christmas without spending more than you have…..
There are many ways you can have a brilliant Christmas without spending lots of money. There are so many sparkly, attractive things in the shops and we all want to have a brilliant Christmas. The advertisers want us to connect having a brilliant Christmas to buying their products – and often they succeed.
Learn what is great about Christmas for you – that doesn’t cost money.. It is love that makes the world go round rather than money.
1. Assess what really makes a great Christmas for you. Chances are it is not expensive baubles or table decorations, nor is it the most costly champagne – it is usually more to do with the people you spend it with, having great company and good food with your favourite tipple.
2. Once you know what is important work out what you have to spend on Christmas over and above your normal spend. Whatever it is – stick to that budget and then decide how you sill spend it. No ones life will be ruined if they don’t get the exact thing they wanted.
3. Give gifts of time or effort. If you have little to spend on gifts – give promises of time – babysitting, walking the dog, cooking a meal, washing the car etc. People will often remember gifts of time over bought gifts. Gifts of food are always welcome – a cake or biscuits, some marmalade or chutney.
4. Instead of sending Christmas cards send personal emails or make telephone calls (if you on an anytime rate) or use skype to those that will appreciate the personal touch
5. If you are going to have a traditional dinner get a turkey breast rather than a whole turkey or consider a joint of pork, meatloaf or nut roast. They all taste good and people will appreciate the change. And then have treacle pudding rather than Christmas pudding. People will remember it for being different!
6. Put a cap on how much everyone can spend on presents for each other – it makes people be more creative and stops worry about whether you are spending ‘enough’ on someone
7. Use your old traditional family decorations that people have memories about – no need to buy new decorations each year. People will love to talk about Christmas past! Wear the party clothes you already have and dress them up differently with a sparkly scarf, buttons or belt/
8. If you can’t buy the gift your child (or partner, parent, friend etc) wants – simply explain. It is better to learn that it’s not all about expensive gifts. Chances are they will be just as happy with what you can give – if not more so becuase it will have been so well thought through. Offer favourite food, film or music or a gift of time (see point 3).
9. Plan to do the things that are free and special. Go to a music event, carol service or nativity event. Plan a good walk in the countryside. Play traditional games
10. If you are having lots of people round to your house, have a bring and share of food and drink. Shares the burden of time as well as money.
11. Choose practical, useful gifts that will give pleasure all year and be used time and again
12. Sign up to Penny’s Recipes for low cost recipes throughout the year!
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Lesley Astbury says
Thanks for this Penny, the article is very sobering. Interestingly, my family,and some of my friends children, without discussion, have all decided against over indulgence, and want to just enjoy being together, and sharing good food. It is heartening that many of the younger generations are keenly aware of what is going on in the world.
That is good to hear, Lesley. I don’t want to be too ‘bah humbug’ but Christmas is so much easier without all the consumption – and it is fun with people and what you do that really counts! Low cost food can be just as nice as expensive food too!