I can’t believe it’s only two months before Christmas. Where does the time go? Where is my life disappearing to? Is there a big hole in the ground somewhere full of missing socks and time lost at work/commuting/on Facebook?
And how come we have to put up with Christmas stuff being in the shops since August? These are questions I’ve spent my life pondering.
Well, Chez Frugal it’s going to be a bit different from the usual Christmas frenzy this year. Normally DJ & I try to plan what we’re spending but end up running around like headless turkeys spending too much money. Or friends we didn’t expect decided to buy us presents we didn’t want and we were, in turn, persuaded through guilt to buy them things they probably loathed and ended up selling on ebay/burning in the back garden.
Last year my parents came to stay for the first time, which was great, but DJ & I were so nervous we bought loads of things to make the house more inviting. Long-term it got DIY jobs done, but it made the Christmas bill bigger.
This year we’ll be alone – unless one of DJ’s long-distance relatives decides at the last minute to show up for the big day, for which there is precedent! And I’m going to try to be ultra-ruthless with the Christmas present list, cards and food and drink. Last year I personally spent £200 on presents and then between us about £150 on Christmas food and drink, which is crazy when it’s a festival that lasts a couple of days.
On alternative is to make presents. I’ve been reviving my knitting ‘skills’ lately but I can only knit in a straight line – handy for baby blankets and scarves. Recently I also learned to make beaded jewellery. I flogged a few pieces to friends – a huge surprise as I’m a clumsy oaf useless at anything crafty. So some other relatives might wind up with necklaces and earrings – whether they like it or not! DJ’s granny recently turned 100 and his mum asked me to make her a pretty necklace.
Here is Kathleen, tucking into a nice ice cream and sporting her present right here…Lots of bling!
Then again, there’s always the option of picking up something cheap on ebay, at a Christmas Fete/charity shop or braving it out and not buying friends anything – and asking them not to either! At least we don’t have any children to disappoint when they don’t get the latest Xbox toy or Brats doll. The advertising on children’s television really horrifies me – there must be so much pressure to buy all this rubbish.
I’m pondering whether to ditch Christmas cards or to make a few (possibly featuring pictures of the chickens!) and just send a handful to close friends and family. Cards you can get quite cheaply but it’s the postage fee that adds up. Perhaps emailed cards would be better.
On the food front, it’s easy to get carried away with the beautiful supermarket displays and all those TV programmes featuring delicious Christmas food. Happily, DJ’s mate works for a wine company that has staff sales and we’ve ordered some wine through him. There’s also last year’s apricot wine DJ made to bottle and get through. And who says you have to have a turkey? Maybe we’ll have something different this year like Beef Wellington – or a nut roast! Mmm…maybe not…
What are your plans for Christmas this year? Are you dreading having to spend lots of money on children’s presents they might not play with anyway?