No matter what time of year it is Christmas is never far away. Each year the cost of Christmas increases and yet for many people their income will not have done so. Having said that, experiencing a great Christmas is about more than just spending too much money.
The secret of enjoying a great Christmas is about family, friends, celebrating the birth of Christ, and of course it is about children. Gift giving is an integral part of Christmas celebrations around the world but can be a worry. We all love to see the recipient's eyes light up when they open their Christmas gift but spreading such pleasure can be costly. However in reality it does not have to cost the earth.
It’s never too early to buy Christmas gifts
Forward planning is essential if money is in short supply; even if it is not why spend more money on Christmas gifts than is necessary? Shopping for Christmas gifts throughout the year means that you can take advantage of sale prices and special deals.
Believe it or not there are some suitable gift items that are free or almost free. Consider:
Do it yourself gifts.
Do it yourself gifts are those that you have made or assembled yourself. For example, how about:
How to buy cheap Christmas gifts
If you have started shopping for Christmas gifts early in the year you should be able to take full advantage of the January sales. Make sure however that you do not buy items that will be unpopular or unfashionable by the next Christmas.
You will need
A list of those you want to buy a gift for.
Some current knowledge of the recipient such as age, hobbies and interests.
To always have some cash set aside for Christmas gift shopping.
Tips & Warnings
Shop early for Christmas gifts. Remember the best bargains are soon snapped up.
Research on-line for special offers.
Use cash-back websites when possible.
Keep your eyes open for potential Christmas gifts and ideas.
Avoid using a credit card to purchase the gifts. In the long run using such a card will make them expensive.
Christmas stockings are often, these days, used as part of the Christmas decorations. Let’s face it, there are some lovely Christmas stockings available, so it is little wonder that we incorporate them into our Christmas frills. However, especially if your Christmas stockings are going to be functional and gather the treats that Santa leaves you, ideally they need to be hung somewhere appropriate.
Traditionally Christmas stockings were hung at the fireplace, for ease of access by Father Christmas, or Santa as you may call him. This was perfect when Santa used to be able to get down your chimney. In recent times though fireplaces have tended to die out, and many newly built homes never have one in the first place.
Even if you have a working fireplace is hanging an inflammable Christmas stocking above it apropriate?
But not having a fireplace may not only cause Santa access problems but may leave you in a bit of a quandary as to where to hang those festive stockings.
The bottom of your bed
Obviously with the changing times Santa’s magic has had to adapt so he is fully able to enter your home, in order to leave your presents, whether you have a fireplace and chimney, or not. His magical means of entry ensures that he does not have to waste time finding you and your Christmas stocking. Fair enough, if you have no stocking, or are receiving large gifts, he will probably have to leave these under your Christmas tree. However, a Christmas stocking is perfect for those smaller gifts.
As children we never left our Christmas stockings on the fireplace, as we always had a real fire burning in the grate, during those winter long months. Our Christmas stockings were all hung at the bottom of our beds. This was lovely and began a household tradition. Before we crept downstairs on Christmas morning we would investigate what had been left by Santa, in our Christmas stockings.
If you have a suitable headboard or bedstead you may be able to hang your stocking at the bed’s head. This gives you the best chance of catching Santa as he goes about his business. After all he is rather hard to pin down and is notoriously elusive.
Over door hangers can be used to hang more than one stocking if necessary. Utilise door and cupboard handles and let your imagination soar.
As a design feature
If you have decorative Christmas stockings there are quite a few places where you can display them. Consider:
-Along the side of the staircase.
-Perhaps on the balustrade.
-The dining table may be perfect or dining table chairs.
-Large pieces of furniture such as Welsh dressers may also fit the bill.
-Any sort of shelves or shelving.
-A coat rack or row of hooks may display Christmas stockings well.
-A curtain pole resting between two hooks.
-A use rope and hang with washing pegs.
-Temporary wall hanging hooks.
Have a really good look around your home. If you have a dado rail, or the like, your Christmas Stocking may look good adorning this. If the stockings are not too heavy you may be able to hang them from your Christmas tree. This depends on the size of your tree and what will be going in your Christmas stocking.
Nowhere really is out of bounds for a Christmas stocking. As always the choice is yours.
However remember to consider any health and safety issues, especially fire, before you finally place them in your home. Check just what material your Christmas stocking is made from. Make sure that all Christmas stockings are well away from any heat source and those beautiful, twinkling Christmas lights, which could also be a fire hazard.