My friend Helen adores Christmas as much as any person I ever knew! She is probably planning her decorations as we speak. She makes it gorgeous and so special. But she has it right, she would not go into debt doing all this.
There is a lot of pressure on everyone financially and socially. Gifts can be part of that and people feel they need to participate in a level of gift giving that they know is going to leave them in debt come the New Year.
You know there really are ways around it. And ways to still give beautiful and thoughtful gifts for very little actual money.
One fo the keys is to start now. We all do the same thing... if it is the last minute we will buy and pay anything as there just is no time to do better! I have felt that sick feeling before.
I have written my first e book! I am really passionate that anyone can make all their gifts. And that if you have children they can be involved and they will love it. You do not have to be crafty. You do not have to be a good cook. There are ways for all of us whatever our talents might be.
Starting now (or earlier) there is time to make so many beautiful things. Part of that is snooping and knowing what the people you are going to give to like, need and love.
The e book takes you through a process that has you making things that are easy for you and matching them to gifts suited to those you are giving to. They will be things you never even thought of but you will be so proud of!
My book is available on my blog front page or via my store on Facebook. I really hope it saves people so much money. That is the aim. We do not need to spend a fortune to have a beautiful Christmas. Think of the other things we could be doing with that money. Paying of debt, a family holiday, an emergency fund that could be a saviour in the future. Security is so much easier to live with than debt!
Over winter I've been working on projects to give and now coming up is some cooking I do. In October I always do fruit cakes. I do them then as by December they taste divine, as they "mature". The week before Christmas I usually make coconut ice, shortbread and a few extra things. They are all I do near Christmas.
One trick is to make big quantities of these things for extra gifts. So I do a little production line.
Pretty packaging/presentation is part of things being "gift worthy" My coconut ice every year is something I would get complaints about if I didn't make it!
Last year we needed gifts for young girls. I made lolly kebabs which cost about $1 each. They were a great success...
I think lots about wrapping and packaging. I use lace from curtains (buy op shop lace curtains and wash them up and dye them) or tulle... as both are much much cheaper than ribbons and bows purchased from the store. Tulle cut into strips makes fabulous bows very cheaply.
If you want to save money this year make a little plan. Really you can save so much money and have the loveliest Christmas ever. Just a little planning is a saviour.
Christmas is also a hard time for many. It is a better time for us if we do something beautiful for someone that we don't even know or know from a distance enough to know this is a difficult time for them. Make a few extra things or a hamper and be ready. This will add joy to your Christmas in volumes.
This Christmas can be your best Christmas ever. The things that we loved as children are clues about what kids love and remember. I asked my girls last year what were the things they loved the most. Chloe said eating supper under the Christmas tree with the twinkly lights and her pillow was one of her favourite things. You see what I mean? Creating memories is really what it is about. She doesn't remember the gift that year but she remembers how much she loved that!
Today I am off to Spotlight for a few little things that allow me to keep working on gifts tonight. Ohhh I am so excited!