It begins

Now enough of this - whatever - that you're currently thinking about, because it is seriously time to get, well er, serious.
Because - and I know it's still August and the school summer holidays (just) - it's 122 Sleeps Until Christmas!!


I know that you know that I have a serious addiction to this particular festivity.
It makes me happy. Ok?
(Wanna talk about that?)

I adore the build-up, the music, the sparkly lights, the planning and prep, ooh just everything!!!

And ok there are also some blue notes in there too: 
I don't have a big family to share it with, just Man Wonderful, Gorgeous Daughter and her hubby (not sure if he's home or away yet) and the two babies.
My darling parents died a long time ago and I miss them desperately still.
There are folk I would love to spend Christmas with that I don't get to.

But hey.

It's still Christmas, ok?

We watch a Christmas DVD every evening we are home in December.
We go to the Carol concert.
We eat mince pies.
I drink mulled wine.
I send Christmas cards.
I put up the knitted nativity set that my mum made for my first ever classroom years and years ago.
We have home made Christmas stockings.
And a tree.
We have certain meals on certain days. (Gammon on Christmas Eve, Veggy roast on the Day, Roast Pork with crackling on Boxing Day.)
We eat cold cuts and cheeses and salads every evening.



If like me you also are a complete loony and enjoy Christmas, then it really is time to start the planning, because there is something else I am obsessed with:

I don't own a credit card, and don't ever go into debt over Christmas.

It's not a surprise or an emergency.
It happens the same date every year.
I know how many cards I'll use, how many gifts I want to send. 

I also know my income and how much money I want to spend.

We give small gifts.

I make much of what I give.

For an example, last year I gave the following:

A hand-appliqu├ęd cushion cover.
A hot water bottle with crocheted cover.
A knitted tea cosy.
A scarf and hat.
Knitted socks.
A huge mug stuffed with sachets of hot chocolate and marshmallows.

(Just to give you some examples.)

I also made little gifts for my class at school. They all had a cellophane cone filled with hot choc powder and mini marshmallows, and with a candy cane.

It is in making gifts that I can afford to give them, if you see what I mean?
If I had to purchase them ready made, or buy gifts, I well, I wouldn't.
I'd be like those Frugal folk who decided to give up all the niceties of life including smiling. 

So what do you do to make Christmas fun?
How do you manage the festivities and balance the spending?



  1. Only 122 sleeps? Definitely time to start talking about it then.

    This year the build up to Christmas is going to be different because of not having a class. I feel kind of sad that all the little traditions I have built up over the years with my class will no longer happen. Things like advent emails, the Jacqui Lawson Advent calendar, the Great Year 1 (or 2) Make A Christmas Tree Decoration Competition, the colour sequenced paper chains, Santa's Special Codes Messages . . . < sigh >


    Now I have time to focus more on my home and family traditions.
    Christmas Eve pizza (made by son and partner)
    Making more of an event of putting up the Christmas Tree and the decorations.
    Making Christmas cards for special people.
    Putting up the gorgeous carved wooden nativity set that I bought when the children were tiny and which has come out every year since.
    Making Nigella's Christmas muffins for Christmas morning breakfast.
    Champagne (provided by Dad) at 11:00.
    Sorting out the 'tasks'. Daughter always makes the Chistmas cake, Mum always makes the stuffing, mince pies and boils the ham, for instance.
    The one big indulgence - a Kellybronze turkey. And this one will be FREE - because I have points from the last umpteen years! Yay!
    The cost - Dad and brother help out and this year I have loadsa money saved on my match and more card. With the free turkey and so on, it will all be very manageable.

    As for the pressies, we have a family agreement that we won't get 'big' things or pay a lot, except for children. So that's just grandson.
    Daughter and I make our gifts. We cook, preserve, knit and stitch and get as much delight from the making and giving as we do the receiving. I already have a growing collection of jams and chutneys.

    Oh, I do so love Christmas!

  2. Your Christmas sounds quite lovely to me. Your gifts are really thoughtful. I was thinking of Christmas myself just this morning. From September I put a bit of food away each week in order to spread the cost. Last year was the first Chrismas I spent at home with just my partner and daughter and it was soooo nice, we could just please ourselves. I also remember your kindness one year when I received a Christmas card from you! Ooh! I'm getting all excited now. X

  3. Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!! Well apart from the mulled wine, oh and the pork n crackling, Oh Oh and the gammon oh and the cold cuts but otherwise Bah Bloody Humbug....m'dear ;-)

  4. You made me smile with the vision of unsmiling Frugal folk.
    I don't look forward to Christmas, it's to be endured. And I hate that. Because inside I love it, properly love it. Being married to someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is not enjoyable, unfortunately. So it is bittersweet to read/see all the fluffy, glittery, scented candle joy of others. I have wept.

  5. i admire your keenness for christmas and wish i could buy a little of it for me....have always found christmas expensive and tiring and stressful tbh it is getting better as each year i downsize a bit more....i love bits of it such as the decorations/buying and wrapping gifts for my kids and elements of the food. I used to work full time and had family that expected a lot not in gifts but staying for ages in our house and catering.....i am going to read your doings with interest and try and get a bit of excitment for it


  6. I like to make presents and, better still, help the grandchildren make presents (we are on the case now!)
    I bake and freeze and buy bits each week. I put £25 a month away all year and then take it shopping as cash with my eldest daughter(who as done the same) so that we can use markets and the like. I empty change into a pot all year and that pays for a meal while we are shopping.
    And the best bit is when the whole family and friends- like- family all come for Christmas day (between 16 and twenty of us) and a few more at night.
    It is safe to say that I like Christmas.
    Enjoy looking forward to yours Tracey

  7. Love, love Christmas and all the things connected to it.
    Have a very tolerant hubby to the amount of fairy lights live in our house in December and now a daughter to open the world of Christmas up to. Your Christmas sounds fab and alot like ours. Homemade gifts rock, we save £20 a month to cover it and our advent calendar is all activities to do as a family eg Caroling, Making cookies,xmas movie night with popcorn, taking a homemade outdoor gift to friends and just leaving it on their windowsill with a note (last year was a £1 shop metal snowman blinged up with glitter and rocks by our toddler). Sorry to ramble but I just love it. Now to get ready for Bonfire night. Have fun preppingxx

  8. Gifts are almost all home-made, hand-made and thifted here, I bought a stool at the carboot sale last week for £3 which will be revamped as a joint ' house' present for elder daughter and her hubby. It will be perfect with their rocking chair once I have worked my magic on it. Last year I made quilts for both daughters, a teacosy for my Mum and a cat bed for my gorgeous grandkitty. I like your idea of hot water bottles with handcrafted covers, so I may well do those for the girls this year! Once younger daughter goes back to uni in a couple of weeks the Christmas crafting will commence - I can't wait!


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