Christmas For Less

Halloween is over now and we are all excited about Christmas! We love love Christmas. The carols, lights, decorations, food, visit to santa, winter wonderland and the general atmosphere. There is also the exchange of gifts, eating homecooked meals and chocolate with friends and families. 
But it doesn’t come cheap. All the beautiful, wonderful things that makes it amazing cost a lot of money. 
The Tree – you can either get a real tree (traditional) , an artificial tree (modern) or a diy “tree” made out of lights and leaves like the picture above. This year, we are experimenting with a new idea. We have an artificial plant; so we thought instead of getting an additional tree, especially with the limited space to put it, we could decorate the plant we already have with lots of lights and traditional Christmas decorations. The plant is already cited nicely in the corner of the lounge. That’s money for Christmas tree saved or directed towards something else. 
The Lights- the clear fairy lights can be used to decorate your tree but what’s even more amazing is that they can also be used after Christmas to do other DIY projects around the house. 
Sourcing for your decorations shouldn’t be hectic. You may already have some, from previous years. Thrift shops always have good selections especially this time of the year. 
Shopping round local high street retailers and online stores for bargains will give you a wider selection of products. 
The Gift 
Gifts doesn’t necessarily have to be material gifts. You can give gift of your time, pay an old friend or family member a visit, pick up the phone and call that distance relative you haven’t spoken to in ages. Give the kids extra lessons to improve or learn a new skill. Skills like swimming, skating, horse riding or even learning the piano. Our kids for example already take swimming lessons but we won’t mind few horse riding lessons for them, especially as they aren’t cheap. You don’t have to pay for the whole lessons- family members could contribute towards the lessons. 
How about a weekend break? Giving hand made vouchers for Free childcare for few hours in a week, car wash, your own free cook/chef for one night, house chores (cleaners in London charge as little as £20 per hour) if you offer to help clean for three hours that’s a whooping £60!! Worth of gift. And if, like us they are parents with young children, we would take the free cleaning instead of the £60 worth gift any day. Because not having to do the house chores for once could be what the doctor recommends this busy season. 
Yes we should also give material things. Especially to experience that joy (temporary but joy all the same) of unwrapping the wrapping papers to reveal what’s in it. The excitement, anticipation and giggling as you await what lies inside those boxes or Christmas stockings.  
As a guide, you can follow our fiveorless principles. Fiveorless of: Something they need, something they want, something to wear and something to read. 
It is the thought that counts they say, it really is. Some of you may come from a little dysfunctional family like the rest of us, families who might not appreciate your “what I have, I will give unto thee” kind of giving, but in the end, you should be satisfied that you have done what you could and it was what you thought best at the time. 
We shouldn’t forget that Christmas is but one day only. It’s the memory that counts. So rather than fussing about it, let’s make it a memorable one. Have a lovely Christmas preparation. 
The London Mom

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