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.
So the Christmas tree, cards and decorations have gone for another year but what do you do with the cards?
Maybe you have just binned them already?
But if not there are a few options.
Next Christmas reference
If you like to be organised each Christmas the previous years cards can give you a head start.
You could while away some winter hours writing a list of those who sent you cards but why not just bundle them up and stash away for future use. Next Christmas it will be as simple as using them as you write your cards. They can then be binned or whatever and replaced with next years.
If you have a garden composter most if not all of the cards will help make good compost. But you may want to utilise the best bits before composting. Make sure you keep a note of any addresses.
Parts of old Christmas cards make really good present labels. They can look stunning at little cost. Add fancy ribbon perhaps from a present you receive and a little glue covered with sparkles for a unique and classy label.
The Woodland Trust
In the UK in January 2017 the Woodland Trust and a range of celebrities are pushing 'cards for trees.'
In November the Trust blogged;
We’re delighted that five celebrities, X Factor’s Dermot O’ Leary, outdoor enthusiast TV’s Julia Bradbury, comedians Jo Brand and Hugh Dennis; and for the first time singer Cerys Matthews are sprinkling a spot of glitter on this year’s campaign.
It may be a little late for some who have already ditched their cards but there is always next year.
Organise a collection point at your workplace, school or college for maximum publicity.
When you consider the financial and environmental cost of Christmas cards it makes sense to put them to good use.
More ideas at http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/g1022/greeting-card-crafts/
Check out http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blogs/woodland-trust/2016/11/christmas-card-recycling