2013 is going to be a huge year for us as a family, and consequently it will also be a huge strain financially. As much as I wish that it weren’t true; it is an unavoidable fact that most of life’s big events are dependent on varying degrees of financial commitment. It just so happens that we’re embarking on two of the most expensive in the space of two months: Having a baby, and buying a house. This has obviously left us a little shy of making expensive purchases, and has resulted in us both becoming that most unattractive or words: frugal. And there lies out theme for gifts this year: a frugal Christmas.
For a lot of people I know that would destroy their festive feelings, but I found it a lovely challenge. My family had decided the best idea would be that each of us would agree to spend no more than £10 on each member of the family. There was no stress in wondering if we had spent enough, no sick feeling when checking our bank balance, and a genuine feeling of pride when giving our gifts and gratitude for every gift that we received.
George and I decided that we would combine our £10 per person budget to make it £20 per person so that I could find one nice item and a novelty item each (the links to each item are at the end- some are even cheaper now thanks to the January sales). We ended up buying everyone a plain white mug & decorating it with the name that baby will call them (Uncle, Grandad, Mormor). For mum we bought a “festive feet” box with three nail-varnishes and a pair of cashmere socks. For dad we bought a green short sleeved polo shirt, and for my brother we bought a lambswool scarf.
I started the search months in advance, and began by deciding what I wanted to buy everyone. I then spent hours looking at different retailers and signing up for emails & catalogues with the retailers that I liked. The main reason for this was so that I could be the first to know if there were any sale items and as luck would have it I received discount codes for 3 of the items I ended up buying just for signing up to their catalogue, and I was made aware of a 3for2 on nail-varnishes thanks to a generic sales email. Everything was bought cheaper because I didn’t rush. I have always believed that Christmas is about more than just the amount that you spend on gifts, and this year has really proved that for me. Both George and I agree that this has been our favourite Christmas to date, and we have learnt a lot about how best to spend less.
White Mugs (65p each): http://tinyurl.com/cluxy7s
Nail varnish (£5 for 3) in Gold Glitter, 150 Red Glitter & 296 Coral: http://tinyurl.com/c262e7o
Cashmere Socks (RRP: £30, on sale for £2o, discount code made £14) in Camel: http://tinyurl.com/d5g7jgn
Lambswool Scarf (£20, discount code made £18 & gave free delivery) in Grey Steward Dress: http://tinyurl.com/bnxkkpx
Polo Shirt (£20, discount code gave free delivery) in Green: http://tinyurl.com/cvp4d59