Act 361

Get wrapped up now for next Christmas

If you’re willing to brave the stores post Christmas (like you haven’t had enough already), consider using what you might have leftover from your budget to get a jump on next year’s celebrations. It’s a great time to pick up some wicked good deals on wrapping paper, ribbons and Christmas decor if you anticipate needing any new stuff next year. I enjoyed my quick trip to Target, or Tar”jay”, whatever you prefer to call it, today for look see. I don’t happen to need much of anything but I did find some ribbons and I might head back to pick up some wrapping paper yet this week if the mood strikes me.

Act 334

Get the party started

Cue the snow, we made it to December! I intend to make the most of the holiday season this year, in a cheap and cheerful way that is.

I started a party stash by buying a few boxes of crackers and some christmas goodies at the most unlikely place, Shoppers Drug Mart. I don’t understand retail anymore. Everybody is selling everything. That aside, I’ll keep a keen eye out for the things I know I’ll need come Christmas parties be it a secret santa gift for my husband’s work party, hostess gifts or fixings for our Christmas eve Reveillon and our Christmas morning breakfast.

Our home made advent calendar is up – it’s nothing fancy – but it works and it’s a great start to the season ahead.

1474639_10152016271503189_1480615488_n

Act 326

Make your own advent calendar

I’m trying to rethink every aspect of Christmas this year. Take our advent calendars, for example. We used to buy the Lego ones. They’re fab, but they’re also almost fifty bucks. And the last thing this house needs is MORE lego. So I searched advent calendar on Pinterest this morning and saw some great ideas. I found this one, which I’ll try to implement. I already have a chalkboard in my kitchen and it could do with a bit of a makeover.So simple. And the excitement of Christmas will still be measured in days wether there is lego, or not.

bb1fe1931fac06cac733d045acebde3b

Act 313

Inventory what you can give

On this quiet and pre-remembrance day weekend, we have stayed closed to home. While my thoughts are of war, and the terrible toll it has taken on us as families, communities and countries, I’m reminded that the freedom the sacrifice of others has given us is the opportunity to plan for what comes next; and a quick check of the calendar tells me it’s Christmas.

Christmas is many things. A time of joy, family, friends and traditions. It’s also a time of challenge. How to make dreams come true on a limited budget. ¬†How to meet and exceed expectations. Not a Christmas has gone by with my kids that it’s eve hasn’t left me fearful that they will be disappointed. They never are. It’s just an irrational fear like arachnephobia.

This holiday season I will be more mindful of expectations and obligations then in past years. And I’m starting with my pantry. I inventoried what I have. Plenty of flour, plenty of sugar, plenty of spice. Lots of icing sugar. So it you’re on my nice list, you can expect cookies of some kind. We’ve got sprinkles so prepared to be dazzled as well. If you’re on my naughty list, expect, well, nothing. I’ll keep what I have to show kindness to the people I love. So if you’re my banker or my insurance agent, or my municipal council, don’t take it personally, but they’ll be no cookies for you.

I will also draft a budget and start looking now for the things I need, be it butter on sale for said cookies or a mini-mac and tv screen for the boys “media/homework” centre, cheaper and more powerful than a laptop, I’m told.

If you’re not into cookies, you’ll likely get something home made – maybe a cushion with a funny saying or a doily if I can learn how to crochet in time. Which is doubtful, for the record.

Brief, I’ll make what I can and buy what I need. And if my name is on the From tag on your gift, know that your love and support matters to me more than anything money can buy. I remember you.