Seriously. I live in the city on a single income with a teenage whose grocery bill is twice what it was just a couple of years ago. That $50 lipstick? Yes darling, it may as well be $5,000,000. A $250 iPad cover? I can’t even afford the iPad.
Now that Christmas is just around the corner, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon with decadent recipes, carols, parade watching, and lovemaking in my flannel onsie by the fireplace. Don’t even begin to try to picture that. Trust me, it’s painful.
Anyway, this post is for everyone out there who lives in the present-day-world of just getting by. For years I always stretched my budget, and then broke it, hoping that my Christmas gifts were ‘enough’.
If there’s one freedom about getting older, it’s not giving a crap what anyone else thinks, following your heart, and feeling adequate regardless of your bank balance.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times;
the holidays are about spending time with the people we love.
Caveat: not necessarily those we have consanguineous relationships with.
First of all, don’t feel guilty or ashamed to say that you don’t want to exchange gifts. Suggest a visit over a mug of coffee or tea at home, or a movie night in together.
Now, having said that, I also believe that it is better to give than to receive, so I like to have a gift for special people in my life. That’s where my kitchen often comes in, my sewing machine, or my nekked self. Ok, just kidding with the last one….
A Short List of Truly Thrifty but Heartfelt Holiday Cheer:
1) Bag some homemade caramel corn and tie it to a $5 movie from the oldie-but-goodie bin at your local shop
2) A dozen of their favourite homemade Christmas cookies
3) A take-home meal for that pal who just can’t navigate the kitchen. Make them a pot of stew, chili, or your famous homemade pasta sauce. Put it in kitchy mason jars with a simple Christmas ribbon tied to it.
4) A book from the thriftstore with a mug and packet of hot cocoa with it.
5) A story. That’s right, a story about your friend and how you met, and how you knew you’d be pals. Now, that’s the spirit of the season.
6) Pinterest. ” Christmas Treats”, “Christmas Crafts”, “Christmas Cookies”…you get the picture. It’s a great website with a lot of ideas that don’t break the already cracked-bank.