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How to give yourself the gift of a cheap and cheerful Christmas

How to give yourself the gift of a cheap and cheerful Christmas

The best way to spend the festive season is not to spend too much.

"Gift-giving doesn’t need to be stressful for your mind or your wallet."

Whip out your credit cards and let’s get shopping. It’s time to celebrate and get into debt. Or is it?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Christmas on the cheap and cheerful turns out to be the best Christmas of all. Gift-giving doesn’t need to be stressful for your mind or your wallet.

When my daughter was little, and I was living it up, single mom style, I approached Christmas like a lucky packet.

For the little ones, the more presents they have, the more of a joy it seems to be. I used to ‘ ‘lucky packet’ Christmas, ensuring she received an array of gifts that didn’t break the bank.

I have a fond memory of her cherubic three-year old face staring in awe at a big pile of little presents. What did that joy cost me back in 2008? A mere R450.

The lucky packet system works well, as you gather small gifts that are uniquely suited to their character or interests.

For the tweens and teens, the cost of gifts seems to escalate, while the list grows smaller.

If the list is filled with big-ticket items, pick one and ‘lucky packet’ the rest. Big-ticket gifts can be moved to birthdays and other celebrations.

The festive season usually means the fast fashion stores hit record highs in sales. Stop the ‘cha-ching’, and move over to your local thrift store.

Second-hand clothing is an industry, and many thrift stores have gone online. A serious second-hand store will sell good quality items at a fraction of their original cost.

Of course, there’s always the option of homemade gifts. But if you’re like me (and not like my friend Gwyn, who is a marvel), and all that effort feels too much – it’s time to outsource.

You can ask your local baker to whip up a batch of crunchies, pop those into nice jars, and have the kids decorate them. Boom, fabulously personalised gifts and a craft activity for the kids.

If you were one of those terribly active people during hard lockdown, and started your own herb or vegetable garden, it’s about to serve you.

Let me congratulate you first on your green fingers, and then congratulate you a second time for saving yourself some bucks while buying gifts.

Depending on what you’ve grown and cultivated, you could create a sweet set of gifts for friends, with herbs, vegetables, and other homegrown produce.

If the green fingers belong to your friends and family, well then it’s ‘easy streets’ for your seasonal shopping.

Nothing excites keen gardeners more than the possibility of seeds and seedlings. Your local nursery will have a lovely range, and your nearest gardening store too.

And now that you’ve got your thinking cap on, make those lists! See you around the Christmas tree, and don’t forget to buy Sellotape.

Cath Jenkin

Cath Jenkin

Communications & Content Team Lead. Mother. Dog Person. Wife. Constantly in search of a good cup of tea.

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