Saturday, 15 December 2012
While we're still budgeting tightly I had to become more creative with Christmas gifts and stockings this year. I came across a great idea somewhere - I think in a book someone gave me. The idea is to keep a pieces of paper and a pen at hand for the whole family to use. Every now and again, we jot down a note for one member of the family: telling them how much we love them, how we admire them, or just pointing out something special about them.
The kids are small, only Carol can write but they are really into it. Our stockings are filling with little notes to one another. On Christmas day we'll open our notes and read them out loud. I cannot wait.
I haven't skimped completely for the kids. I have been collecting little items for them since early October: Pez dispensers, giant Smarties tubes, electric toothbrushes (Cinderella and Spiderman, of course), hair ribbons and clips, little match cars, etc. Nothing has cost over £2. The toothbrushes are usually £4.99 in Sainsbury's but they had a 2 for £4 a few weeks ago and I snapped them up.
Just about everything they are receiving is second hand, bought from my fancy ex-pat friends with older children. Everything is in excellent shape and just needing a good wipe down. But there is no way I could have bought these really expensive toys brand new and at full price! My kids won't care and they are going to have the best Christmas ever. The toys ROCK!
My entire Christmas - with gifts for everyone including Eddie will be just under £200. I had to splurge for Eddie to get him something he really wanted for his bicycle (which was necessary but not urgent).
We're even hosting a small Christmas eve gathering at our place for 6 friends. Everything being served from the liquor to the nibbles is being bought on points from Sainsbury's. We saved them all year and are using a portion to bankroll the party. Totally worth it. Won't cost us a penny out of pocket.
I have a few Christmas recipes coming up soon. Stay tuned!