Christmas budget?!

Some of last year’s homemade gifts.

Hi everyone,

We don’t do Christmas like the herd ‘out there’ – we spend a bit more time than usual thanking God for the blessing of his son and all he taught us; we have time off work and get together as a family and eat, but we don’t ‘go silly’. However, this is a really busy time of year for teachers and school workers in general as lots of exams are in January and we’ll be late at school coaching and mentoring students and working hard to get the grades. I don’t have two minutes to scratch my ar  nose! I like to get everything ready by autumn half term.

It’s my last day of school holidays and I actually went gift shopping. Dad got a little wooden thingy for making seed pots from newspaper, mum got a shopping bag, a relative got a tea towel! Three gifts done! I’m feeling smug at my organisation. I’ve also checked my stocks and I’ve accumulated enough fruit and sugar to make the cakes for gifts. Now here’s all that’s left to do!!!!

Cakes, chutney and jams for gifts! Pickle the onions! Knit two scarves, make a cot quilt! Make soap! It’s gong to be all go here! I now wish I’d started sooner. Oh and to add to the mix – I have a £100 budget for all the gifts and £100 for all the hospitality as it’s my ‘turn’ this year.

Come on everyone! Get started or have you finished? What have you done already? What do you have left to do? How are you juggling the budget?


19 thoughts on “Christmas budget?!

  1. We no longer bother with Christmas.I'm not Christian and dont have any kids/family/friends My flatmate usually goes to his parents for dinner – nothing special last yr they didnt even have a xmas pud 😦 and invites me along. Thats about all we do.

    Good to see you getting organised. Hope you have alovely time.


  2. cards made [in January] – tick. male family gifts – tick [but that was because we came upon an outfitters back in March that was closing down, and they were virtually giving stuff away] female family gifts…materials to hand, making them yet to be done – half a tick. foodie gifts for friends – some done [chutneys] others to be prepared – half a tick. Like you, I try to get things 99% sorted by half term.

    Autumn is a busy time as you say

    weekend blessings


  3. I have almost bought all gifts, I started in a january, and have used the summer “sales” to get the rest of the childrens gifts. I have scaled back a lot this year on my own children. and have stuck to my budget for ny nephew and great niece. my 2 brothers are gettgin home ade truffles and xmas cakes, will be making my xmas cakes next week.

    Big bit is gettign the most spent on her – i am buying a sugar craft course at a fabulous bakery here in Manchester.

    My food budget I am seeting at £60 for extras over xmas including xmas dinner. I spend way too much each year on goodies and we end up not eating them. Almost done, i want it all done by octiber so i just hasve food gifts to make, i am makign a start on wrapping everything next week too


  4. Definitely agree with the homemade gift idea…I tend to panic and spend at the last minute…not this year. Along with a lot of folks, we just can't afford to do it. We have a big family meal, I cook and we all chip in. Thanks for your wise words Froogs! x


  5. Hi foster Mummy, over my two weeks Christmas break, we have all the in laws and parents coming to us at some time, they are generous and they will come with nice things, mum usually gives me an M&S voucher, which I use to treat us on something, such as a bottle of Cava. I have about four separate sets of visits, but it will save us the diesel costs, so it's not too bad, I also have a £15 a month christmas savings pot, which is bigger than we need and there's plenty for everyone in that.


  6. You have done wonderfully Frugal Queen. I only have my DH and three sons for gifts. DH will get embroidered pillowcases, he loves the things and wears them out. I already have the cases and thread, just need to draw and sew. ODS wants an old fashioned cardigan with a pheasant on its back so need the yarn for that. MDS will get money for gadgets and no idea yet on YDS. Our meal is fairly simple and I start stocking up on the treats now as I find them on sale.


  7. Have made fabric bags to put presents in instead of using wrapping paper. Have crocheted two Nativity sets. In the middle of crocheting a shawl, tea cosies and a bearded hat (don't ask). Not many gifts to give but I would like to do some cake of biscuit in a jar type things. Not sure what yet though. I'm not confident enough to inflict my baking upon others yet.
    Love from Mum


  8. FQ,
    We're on a really tight as well as reduced budget, since Dh's unemployment in July. I did keep a modest Xmas budget in our newly slashed budget. This reduced budget will cover a tree, some splurges towards a nice dinner, usually a roast tenderloin of beef, or as in more recent years, a nice ham. I've pretty much eliminated sending cards, few were exchanging them with us, I really didn't miss the pressure to get them out on time, or the expense of postage. The actual cards are usually $1/box at the discount store. They are very nice cards, from a good American company, just last year's clearanced ones. Our “list” for gifts shrunk years ago, I now keep it to the children, DH, my Mom. We recognise co-workers with a homemade for the group baked good, set out on the breakroom table with a card to all. Teacher gifts are no longer accepted at the level where my children attend school,seems to be an elem school trend, so that's gone. We do recognise the CCD teachers, last year was something homemade: small repurposed baskets filled with an assortment of home put up jams and relishes. It was very well received. I suspect I'll do the same this year.

    So for the immediate family, we'll have a nice, relaxing dinner together, exchange some modest, practical gifts and that'll do. I have always refused to get in debt, esp. at Xmas and we don't carry credit card debt either. We'll live within my alloted budget and it'll be fine. : )


  9. I like to get ahead too. I bought cards and wrapping paper in the January sales and I also bought quite a few presents at the same time. And I ordered a present from Amazon just last week! Your christmas cakes look gorgeous.


  10. Presents bought so far -Secondhand (now known as vintage!) dress and watch bought for K – total spend £15, a book bought at the carboot today for J for 25p, a jigsaw still in the cellophane for my Mum from a flea market for £2. I am going to knit her a teacosy, following the pattern Lavender Attic blogged, in pastel colours to match her newly decorated kitchen- I have the perfect wool in my stash. Still have to buy for K's fiance and for KL. I will be making Christmas hampers for K&A and for my Mum. Usually get J's mum a plant or something equally inexpensive – she has drawers full of presents that people have bought her , so I don't bother with those kinds of things anymore, and her cupboards are overflowing with food as her memory is going and she keeps buying stuff.We don't go mad eating over Christmas and we don't drink alcohol so the extra food costs are minimal.I send very few cards as I would rather make a donation to the local heart charity which supported me.


  11. I prepare all year. We have a tradition in my family. All gifts must be handmade or coupons for services you can provide such as
    rides to the doctor, getting groceries and so forth. We live in a rural area with no public transportation. This works out well
    for my family. I knit,crochet,quilt
    and a few other things all year.


  12. I got most of my pressies in the xmas sale at boots and I will be doing some homemade gifts for hampers. Xmas dinner is at mine there will be 18!! most of it will be bought from my nectar points….Sorted!! :0)


  13. Hubby and I will give each other homemade vouchers e.g I'll cook your favourite meal, I'll vacuum, I'll snowblow etc . I'll make cookies for gifts for mail carrier/vets office etc. I'll make Mum and Dad a pretty tablecloth and napkins..they won't cost too much to send to UK. Other than that, we'll have some nice meals, sit in front of the fire and relax.
    Jane x


  14. Chrismas was always a fight in my last marriage, an annual extravaganza of spending money I didn't have to buy things I didn't want to impress people I didn't like. And several tons of un-neccessary food, most of which was thrown in the bin 2 days after Boxing day. In my second life, the originally enforced frugality has become a way of life, and Christmas is now a much less stressful experience, costs are measured in £s not £100s.


  15. I h ave started on some handmade gifts but have a long way to go. I really must start to push myself.

    I have one child's gifts completely done. Two to go. I am trying to shrink my giving etc. I used to love Christmas but it has lost a lot of gloss over the years.

    I truly want to spend more time focussing on the gift of Christ over this period.


  16. I love Christmas. I begin getting gifts through out the year, its the only way to get everyone sorted. I shall give fruit vodka this year too. Its my time to host as well but as we all put towards the cost it is manageable too.

    X x


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