Budget Christmas

As promised, I thought I would share with you some of my homemade budget Christmas ideas.

I will often make just one or two things one year and give it to everyone, and the next year make a different thing and give it everyone so I can keep track of who has received what. (And also avoid giving people the same thing year after year after year as that gets super old and boring very quickly).

Obviously in posting this, some of you may get a preview of what’s coming your way this year, so it won’t be a surprise, but try and forget about it by Christmas anyway!

Not only are these ideas generally fairly cheap, especially if you have saved up your jam jars all year or found things for free on local freecycle groups, but they are also usually much appreciated by the recipients as they are thoughtful and homemade. Many of us these days get inundated with “tat” at Christmastime – lovely to get gifts but I think almost all adults (and most kids) will get at least one gift that will go straight to the charity shop in January! More and more people are keen to not only save money but also reduce the need for more “stuff” that will clutter up their homes. (I always keep a list of things I genuinely want or need for myself on hand so if anyone asks me what I want I can direct them to things I have been specifically wanting like a new casserole pot or a trivet etc to avoid too much random stuff!).

Anyhow, hopefully these ideas will not only be good for your wallet but also for your environmental impact! And if you don’t have your own jam jars, bottles or containers, first check places like freecycle and local facebook “hand me on” type groups, as it’s likely you can get it for free, but if not, places like Ikea and Hobbycraft or Wilko often have cheap jars, bottles and containers you can use.

Continue reading

The Christmas Letter 2021

Ah the Christmas letter. A dying art form. Some are very dull while the truly great letters are witty and light hearted, bringing joy and exaggeration to the most mundane of lives.

It’s not really needed in my case, as most of my friends and family have already read my blow-by-blow accounts of the minutiae of our lives all year and are pretty much up to speed. Nevertheless, I thought I would attempt a Christmas missive to recap the year.

Continue reading

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

Ever noticed how white our Christmases are? No I don’t mean the weather.
2020 has been quite a year – Covid aside, it has also been a year where a lot of us have woken up to the inequality and racism embedded in our societies. The Black Lives Matter movement has grown and gained momentum, and reflecting back I have personally been on a journey this year to try and understand more about systemic racism, structural racism and white privilege, and how it all fits together.
Reading books like Invisible Women, Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race, Girl, Woman, Other, Parenting in Transracial Adoption, and a number of other books, I’ve been slowly starting to  understand more about what White Privilege is and why most of us aren’t all that aware of it.
It embarrasses me that only this year, at 39, have I looked around at Christmas and wondered why Santa is white, why all the angels are white, why there appears to be no diversity at all at Christmas time in the images depicted.

Continue reading

Homemade Christmas

This year, partly for environmental reasons, but also mainly because of my reduced salary while on maternity leave, I am trying to do a mostly homemade Christmas (with a few small exceptions).

In order to do a good homemade Christmas you need to plan ahead and not leave it to the last minute – there’s never any time in December! But also I’ve got more time on my hands than I used to at the moment so with that in mind I have been busy making all sorts of things!

Continue reading