Christmas..yep its coming.
Christmas is coming ,its just around the corner..you can tell because all the adverts have started already. The girls watched the kids cartoons the other day..i counted 17 toy adverts during the break...no wonder parents feel pressure to buy their children the biggest,brightest and absolute must have toy.Do i feel the pressure? No not anymore..i used too and feel inadequate as a parent if i didn't gift them exactly what they wanted and oodles of presents as well. But like many others, i realized its not possible and Christmas is not about how many or how much its the thought that counts.So for the last 10 years my family receive one main gift and then half a dozen smaller gifts.
I can't believe either that some folks throw away their decorations after just using them for the few weeks they are up. Some of our decorations are as old as my children and still look amazing..i store them carefully away and now after buying some in the sales every year i have boxes of them..none of them get thrown away.My tree's are ancient but still look good..one is 30 years old and the other was a gift from my mum when she replaced hers.I don't understand people who throw decorations away year after year and then moan that they have to buy new ones..or like a used to be friend who would throw them and choose a new colour scheme for decorations and then spend tons on finding them so it all matched.
I look for ideas all year around for gifts and listen to what people are saying as well..sometimes they let things slip.
I re-use cards for labels..this is a fun thing to do with the girls on a craft day.
I save the gift bags to re-use every year..my older girls and i all do it and end up with bags we have had before.
I look for really good sales for gifts.I save points from cards and find discount codes to help towards these.
I buy my cards and wrapping paper in January,also crackers if i can find them.
I make my own treats for us as well as for gifts.
I plan my meals around Christmas..we already have a Turkey nestling in the bottom of the freezer..i have a couple of puddings and some fancy choclates put away.My meals, will be the big one on the day,then the turkey is stripped of all meat and that is used in buffets,sandwiches,pies and anything else i can get it in.Boxing Day is always cold Turkey and any left over veg from the day before..i love to reheat it in a bubble and squeak way.
I start buying early so we buy it whilst the price is not inflated,you can see it creeping up as christmas gets closer.We buy 1-2 things a week,not just gifts but food as well..sometimes its a big jar of Pickle or a wedge of cheese..everything helps so you don't have a huge food bill.I can't and won't do a big last minute shop..it would in all honesty drive me mental to go last thing and try to get it all.
I do love my Christmas Eve at home..relaxing and seeing family and also doing any last minute baking or wrapping.Not rushing to the supermarket..some folks love it but its not for me.
We started a new thing a few years ago..all year round whenever i go into a charity shop i look for Christmas books..then on the 1st of December i have a lovely pile of books for us to read..one book a night until the finale of The Night Before Christmas on christmas eve..i love doing this and now have quite a few beautiful books that are becoming our firm favourites for this time of year.
So thats just some of our little things we do..what do you do? Any one got any more ideas?