When you are on a Dollar Diet, the most helpful thing you can do is to prepare for events that are coming up well in advance.
I say this not as smug Miss Organised, but as someone who has learnt the hard way. This year has seen me resort to hitting the shops several times for presents instead of making something myself – all because I was not prepared properly. I’ve learnt I need to allow myself much more time to create my own gifts, because things like sick kids, exhaustion-from-having-sick-kids, and too many other commitments get in my way. And last minute gift-buying can be really expensive.
It is with this in mind that I have already started making a dress for Sausage as one of her Christmas presents (from material I purchased ages ago), and I will gather all the materials I need to make gifts for my friends over the coming week.
D (with the help of his faithful sidekick J) has already completed an awesome busy board for Chip.
I have completed my Christmas shopping for the rest of my tot’s presents. We try to keep things simple – a few useful things in their stockings and some chocolate, and three gifts under the tree (like the Wise Men gave Jesus).
For me, ‘keeping things simple’ thing is so important because most western households are drowning in ‘stuff’. And at Christmas we get inundated with stuff – a lot of which is unwanted. Our NZ version of EBay, Trade Me stated that they get over 20,000 new listings by lunchtime on Christmas Day due to people selling their unwanted gifts. So it is with this in mind that I want to rage against the stuff.
In her stocking Sausage is getting a pair of sunglasses, an ‘Alfie’ book that used to belong to D, socks, a skipping rope, dress up shoes, and some chocolate. Her three main presents are a scooter (which I got for $25 on special), the dress I’m making (only costs my time), and a photo story book about her recent trip to the Netherlands.
Chip is also getting sunglasses; plus a hat, some stickers, a book, his own box of tissues and some chocolate. He relishes pulling tissues out of a box, so I reckon this will be his favourite present. Along with his busy board, Chip is getting a water wheel for our sandpit, and a photo story book of his first year as his three main gifts.
We’ve spent a little more than I would have liked (the busy board would have been cheaper if more of the parts were recycled, and if I’d opted for el cheapo sunnies), but I certainly don’t think we’ve gone overboard either.