Christmas will certainly arrive on time on December 25th. Many people will have spent too much money on gifts that nobody wants, food that will go straight in the bin and drink that has given them a headache. But before you think I am a complete cynic about Christmas, its only the pressure to spend money that I hate. The pressure on people to max out their cards so they can buy presents that they feel the people they love deserve.
DON'T DO IT!!
DON'T spend more money than you have in the bank, after paying your routine bills. And you can still have a fab Christmas - better because you won't have that sinking feeling as you look around you and wonder how you will pay for it all. Tell your loved ones that you are only doing very small gifts this year - and not to buy for you either - you may be surprised at how relieved they are!
Small gifts, thoughtfully given, beat any amount of money spent. Favourite food, home baking, a promise to do something special, a photograph, are better gifts than perfume and jewellery every time!
And for someone you love, no amount of money spent will ever be enough, because love and our loved ones are priceless.
Personally, and I know I am not alone in this, when I look back on Christmas's past it is not the presents and food that I remember most, but the time spent with people and the laughter (and tears!). It really doesn't matter if you buy Harrods luxury Christmas pudding or Sainsbury's basics, whether your have a table decoration or some fancy tablecloth or your Christmas tree is decorated in 'this years' colours. It is who is sitting round the table and eating dinner that matters.
Recent Guardian article on having an extravagant or thrifty, Christmas
Spend time with people - and have some time for yourself. Be as giving of your time, smiles and help as possible. Talk to your nephew, uncle, Great Aunt that you haven't phoned all year. Play a game with the children, watch a film with your Grandma. Make a date to meet up with your school friend you haven't seen for years. And then curl up with your favourite book or film.
You will be amazed at how much better you feel!
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