That Time of Year Again..

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It’s coming to that time of year again, the leaves have fallen and the frost is sneaking in. Hat and gloves are rejoining our wardrobes and hot chocolate are our new best friends! It’s quite odd that this is my favourite time of year as I hate being cold, but if you ask me everyone just seems happier at this time of year. It’s coming up to Christmas so everyone is thinking of others and what gifts would be just right for that special someone. All the children are getting excited for Christmas as the decorations have started to go up around town, some shops have even started the Christmas music. Also it’s coming to the end of the year which is always a great time for reflection on the year that’s passed. The promise of a new (better) year around the corner always makes me excited for things to come.

Though as it gets closer and closer to Christmas day.. the panic sometimes starts to creep in. Yes the thought of giving all your loved ones perfect gifts is heart-warming and lovely but sometimes the budget doesn’t always match the dream. the reality of how much you have to spend at Christmas can sometimes be a right mood dampener! Especially if you have a lot of gifts to give!So my first thought is; I create things for people to give as gifts, so why can’t I create my own gifts to people? At first this seemed like a brain-wave but then I thought.. not everyone wants a portrait/sketchbook/art for Christmas and I’ve also already done some portraits for the intended people, would they really want another?

I was muttering away to myself about this on twitter and then I had a reply from another Mum-preneur (Kimberlee from The Homemade Mama) with a brilliant idea. She can knit (so can I, just very badly) these wonderful fingerless mittens, scarves and hats and I can do what she can’t. And so instead of paying money for gifts we can’t afford or giving people the same gifts every year we decided to swap! I will make her present and she will make mine. It seems like such a wonderful idea, I was amazed that I hadn’t seen it done before. So now we can both give top-quality handmade gifts for a fraction of the price.

So if you’re struggling this Christmas, why not do the same? Make your gifts or swap your ‘trade’ with someone else. If you’re reading this and thinking ‘…but I can’t make anything’ then why not create ‘Chore cards’ where you offer to do the dishes for a week, or the washing or cook for one week or even to do that one chore for the whole year. They are great stocking fillers! I honestly wouldn’t mind if I had a chore card saying that they’d do the ironing for a year (hint hint Will!) actually it would go down a treat! Below is something slightly different but still a great idea, you could still adapt this to your gift. If you made it as a magnet it would remind you everyday of what you had promised.

DIY Chores Magnets from The Creative Mama

If you have any other break-through ideas on how to save at Christmas time feel free to post a suggestion! =)

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