Christmas planning 2. Gifts

I would genuinely live in the town where it is Christmas every day.
By that, I mean that I adore the run up to Christmas in the traditional sense - the smell of cinnamon and mixed spice, the taste of mince pies, seeing twinkly lights and hearing a brass band play In The Bleak Midwinter..

What I don't like is any over-commercialism; and I can barely hear myself think for you all shouting at the computer right now, but the two don't have to go together.

You see; you really can have a jolly, thrifty time at Christmas.
It just might take a bit of clever planning, that's all...

For those who have read this far and are saying - ah, she's got X, Y or Z to help her, I really don't!

Regular readers will know the following about me:

. I have a teeny income
. I have a disability

What I do is the following, and if it will help you, then please take anything from here.

1. Make a list of who I'd like to give gifts to (notice the "like to" part of that 
2. Think about how I can make or gather together something for a small gift that won't cause me financial issues.
(See below for ideas.)
3. Purchase plain wrapping paper and pretty string, wrap up and give said items.


I don't gift to folk willy-nilly. 
I don't gift out of duty.
(I don't, for example gift to either of my brothers - I do send them Christmas cards, and I do wish them greetings, and I don't wish them any ills - I just don't buy things I can't afford, wrap them up and gift them at this time of year to make our sibling relationship more or less what it is.  If they phoned me and needed me, I'd 
be there for them. I just don't buy them shower gel gift sets...)

I do gift to my Man Wonderful (but not anything that he wouldn't buy himself), I gift to the grown-up children (I buy what I deem one 'big' present and a few little ones) and I gift to the grandchildren (again, one 'big' present and a few little ones. 

Because I know that Christmas is on the 25th December every year, I am one of those annoying people who buy bits all year round. (Throw rocks at me now...!)

Amongst the items that are being wrapped up this year (in brown paper, with red and white string; and gift cards made from last year's Xmas cards..): pyjamas, puzzles, socks, colouring sets, reading books (adults and kids), mugs.
Hampers of: cider and lager - local and funny-named beers, wrapped into a box with a couple of bags of snacks.

I'm also giving homemade gifts - made across the year, from things I already had - a set of mini marmalades, a patchwork lap blanket, hand knitted jumpers and socks.

I'm not pretending that I don't take part in Christmas, nor am I writing any untruths.  
I take part in some things - for me it needs to be low numbers of people, and not late at night - but I genuinely resent paying out for food at a venue when I can feed myself and Man Wonderful for a week for the same amount of money! 

I'll blog next time about food shopping, meal planning and eating "out" over the festive period.

Take care, and thanks for reading!

Tracey xx 


  1. I've not sorted any of my gifts either and we, as a family, generally give each other loving tokens, not anything expensive, unless there's a genuine need and then it tends to be done quietly and privately. We get as lot of joy out of this time of year, but it's not a 'getting' scenario.
    Your Christmas sounds lovely and I have no urge to shout, throw stones (or snowballs) or anything else.
    Have a lovely time.
    J xxx

  2. A little idea for a gift when you really want to give something personal and special but can't afford to break the bank: a beautifully home made cake. If you want to give more, how about a 'promise voucher' for a cake each month for a year. Just a thought

  3. I love, love Christmas too it's so lovely hot drinks, mince pies (only in December!) and carols on the cd player. We try and keep it low key and give presents just to our closest.
    Your Christmas sounds wonderful :)

  4. Hello there, Lovely to see your pic in the latest post. I know what you mean I don't give to adult siblings either, and now the nephews and nieces have grown up they only get a card. I have the same sentiments as you do, always there for them if they need me. I do make crochet gifts of blankets/scarves etc when needed. xx
    PS Forgive me if I'm being nosy/rude but have noticed that 'The Dear Reader' has disappeared. I don't follow but other blogs I read used to and sometimes I would have a peek, (I know, hypocrite, right?). I don't mind if you don't publish this comment.

  5. I think your Christmas sounds lovely. I usually plan through out the year but this year has been rather difficult so have been a bit disorganised but I've kept well within my budget.


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