I dont really 'do' Christmas until December, except for the planning.
Years ago I would save all year to cover the cost. I used to overpay my rent so that I covered it for the year in 11 months and then I had all of my December rent money to pay for the food etc.
These day I hesitate to say it but we are better off. We aren't great spenders, i much prefer to throw extra money at the mortgage than buy 'stuff'. This means I can absorb Christmas in my day to day spending, Well, pretty much. But nonetheless this does need planning.
I dont think we buy any more food. We feed others for a few days but we also get fed by others so it evens out. We do buy nicer things but that's okay because the larder and freezer are pretty full already (thats a part of the plan, keep stocks up so you can concentrate on good deals) so we can avoid to go for quality over quantity. We can remember quite well what it was like to be seriously hard up which is why we dont waste and also why the larder and freezer are always packed full.
I dont do Christmas cards. Massively pointless.
Wrapping paper came from January sales of the stuff at ASDA and I always buy inconspicuous designs which are also suitable for birthdays all year.
Pressies. We have a £10 limit per person. That means you have to be creative to make it fun. Its been ten for as long as i can recall actually. Last year I made homemade sweeties to go with the gifts, the year before it was Sloe Gin in little bottles. One year I remember rhubarb raki. Hic.
So this year I used Amazon wish lists to keep my present info. During the year I noticed something taht people mentioned and buy accordingly. At end of November I signed up for a free month of Amazon prime and then moved it all to my basket. So far I am happy with this. Stuck to my budget and actually generally got things cheaper than the shops, most importantly I didn't have to go to the shops!
Decorations. I am using the same ones as last year, some of which are as old as the kids! However I love them (decs and kids!). I did consider a new tree until I saw the price and now find myself happy with the old one! I might need extra fairly lights to cover the barer branches but hey!
All that.s left know to drain my resources are the Christmas parties. I am invited to quite a few but have cut it down to 3 and a breakfast. We paid in chunks since August so that's covered, so now its just wine on the night.
So then its just the charitable bits. I have signed up for the reverse advent calendar and also a secret santa, which is basically just giving a gift to a stranger. Not sure I can economise there really. Perhaps a step too far!
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