Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Bought And Paid For.

I've finished...buying my Christmas presents that is.

I bought the final one this morning, vouchers from the tattooist round the corner for DD3's boyfriend. I ended up paying out more than intended because they only did them in £20 values, but I shall make this a dual pressie for Xmas and his birthday on 24th January.

I still have a few items that have been ordered but not arrived yet, so if they get here by next week I will have a grand card-writing and pressie-wrapping session. I've cheated and bought most of my cards this year, but only one packet at 99p as I had a pack I didn't use from last year. All my wrapping paper is from 2 years ago when a shop in town was selling rolls at 5 for £1 and I stocked up. As we now buy less pressies than we used to it's lasting a long time.

Monday is DH's birthday and his pressie has also been bought and wrapped; I just have to make him a card. He will have a special birthday dinner on the day with a cake and raspberry trifle (his favourite) and then next weekend we'll have a meal out before he goes off to Wales for a few days before Xmas to stay with his cousin and visit his mum who's in a nursing home in Bridgend. He's going by train as, being English Heritage members, we got an extra discount on an already discounted fare with a special code and so its only costing £45 return, which is less than it would cost from Dover to Bridgend return by car. He wouldn't want to drive there and back alone, anyway, and as he's only going for three nights I don't fancy going all that way with him.

MIL's 93rd birthday is on Xmas Eve so while he's down there DH will arrange for flowers to be delivered to her on the day. The daughter-in-law of another cousin owns a florists so he's hoping to buy her something special and maybe even get a small discount.

I have a very few food odds and ends still to buy; chipolatas, cream, fresh veg etc. But they won't cost much. I have put some items on the credit card because they were cheaper to purchase online, but I've already paid this month's balance in full (which I do every month) and the last things will be on next month's bill and that will also be paid in full.

Our car road tax is due at the end of December and our central heating boiler will have its annual service at the beginning of January, but I have money saved for both of those. So, even though this year has been tough, and because of circumstances I hadn't prepared as well as usual for Xmas, my general, everyday frugal habits means everything will be paid for and we will start the New Year without any debt except our mortgage (and next year we're hoping to overpay by loads more than this year), with our main savings account pretty much untouched, and with the £272 from our sealed pot savings available for us to have at least one outing or lunch treat a month throughout 2014.

I hope everyone else is getting there with their Christmas preparations and managing to avoid the temptation to overspend. In fact, I feel I started this year's preparations really late so I'm sure most of you are doing even better at this than I am. I'm hoping to improve next year and make more items well in advance. So, how's everyone else doing? Did you plan in advance and is all going well? Or is your Xmas this year as haphazard as mine?


  1. We planned for a low key Christmas, like you all I have to buy is the fresh stuff last minute and that is ordered. I did buy my Pudding this year, as I will be the only one to eat it. I bought from Aldi as they seem to win every taste test they enter, even against Harrods. It is not huge but I plan to have it hot 2 days and then make ice cream with the rest, if there is any clotted cream left that will make it even better. My cards are all posted and all my gifts ready to go.

  2. You are well organised. Low key is a good term for our Christmas, too. We never have a load of people round but in years past there's been 7 with just me, DH and the 5 kids. When boy or girlfriends have joined us we've had as many as 10. This year DD1 will be in Winchester, DD2 is going to her boyfriend's parents for dinner but will come to us for breakfast and maybe on Boxing Day, DD3 and her boyfriend (who lives with us) will be in France, so there will be just 5 of, DH, DS1, DS2 and his girlfriend. No puddings, mince pies or Christmas cake here this year. I'm the only one who'll be here who likes that kind of thing and as I'm watching my weight I'm not putting temptation in my way. We'll be having a lovely roast dinner and I might make a cheesecake or trifle for dessert, and we always have Vienetta with cream which is DH's favourite. I'm not sending many cards this year, and most of the ones I am writing will be given to the person and not posted so there's not a real hurry to get them done. I'm really pleased at how well things have gone so far considering I only started buying about 2 weeks ago.