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Old 11-09-2013, 04:58 AM   #1
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Christmas planning

I wonder if anyone else approaches Christmas as I do which was the way my mum always did it. From now on when the weekly shop is underway the first time or two, extra cleaning and household items such as toilet rolls, all purpose cleaner, washing powder etc. were added to the list. All those un-glamorous things that we all need.This got all that stuff out of the way. Plus, one luxury item ( which,when I was a kid a large can of Peaches was considered a 'luxury') these 'Treats' were put into a large cardboard box in the cupboard under the stairs. No-One touched this box on fear of their life! Over the next few weeks more items were added until all our favorite delights were stored. We were told that father Christmas had already got our presents as Dads had a direct line to him and knew this , so no point in asking for more stuff as it was out of 'his hands'
Come Christmas, we found that we never went short on presents, treats, fun, or smashing dinners. My mum never started the new Year in debt. We grew up to understand that expensive presents don't have to happen at Christmas, when fuel bills for instance are coming in and warm clothing was more important, and that knowing how much we were loved was the most important feeling.
Our kids are now 40yrs old. They and their families are still coming back for Christmas most years when they can, this being one of them. Each is bringing something for the meal table, over the few days such as Gammon, Capon, or a big Rib of beef and we still buy a little something for each other going by the smallest pocket. Each year we set the budget depending on how everyone is doing re. mortgages, jobs etc. This has sometimes been 'the daftest thing you can find in the 1 store' present and do you know what................none of us ever start the new Year in debt and we know that love each other to bits ( may not always LIKE each other) but Hell, we are family


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Old 11-09-2013, 07:29 AM   #2
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I don't recall much about how things were planned for Christmas when I was a child but when I began my own household I did much as you describe.

I've never cared much for owing money any time of the year and Christmas is no exception. I can't imagine how awful it is for those who get the dreaded bills in January for what they enjoyed in December. Just never made sense to me.

I plan carefully, in a very detailed manner and early so I can enjoy the holiday. By the end of last month I had all our gifts made and/or purchased, some of them wrapped, packaged up the ones that will be shipped, and have the menu and many of the ingredients for our meal and attendant "treats."

I'll begin baking those goodies that can be frozen and set my timeline for things that don't keep as well. All that will be left is the decorating, which I truly enjoy.

"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
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There was just me and my sister and our children when we became adults. I had managed to hit the mailing list of every catalog in the country. So starting in January, I would look through the newest one and start with the stocking stuffers. There was no internet then. Each month my order went out with a check. No credit cards here. I kept my ears open for my kids and what they wished they had.

Eventually, as the nieces and nephews hit the 16 y.o. mark it was agreed that we would each buy for our own children over that age. But still for the younger ones. Then one year we became grandmothers. A whole different set of rules went into place. Starting in January, a set of new rules were discussed. Then one year I decided to really treat my daughter. She had been through a hellish year. Pneumonia, auto accident, husband being hurt on the job, one of her kids having surgery. I got to thinking. Every one has a working wardrobe, and an everyday wardrobe. So I decided to give her a "silver" wardrobe in jewelry. She had plenty of gold rings, bracelets, etc. that her husband had bought her over the years. So I bought her seven different silver chains in bracelets, ear rings, necklaces and pins for her suits that she wore to work each day. She still has them to this day. Has refused to allow her daughter to even touch any of them. One who has a habit of losing important items that belong to others.

Now I am on a fixed income and it just covers my living expenses month to month. So one year I decided it was time for my kids to give back to me. The only one I buy for is my youngest grandson, Poo's child. Poo knows this year, there will be no present for his son. So he will put a small toy under the tree from Grammie. He just has to let me know what it is. So when his son thanks me, I know what he is talking about.

Yup! It is time to start planning for Christmas. I already have the recipes pulled out for what I will be baking for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:20 AM   #4
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That is the way my Grandmother and my Mother planned the holidays, I continue to do it that way. Squeezing all of the little extras out of the grocery budget was the way they solved many small emergencies and provided many little surprises throughout the year.

I took inventory of the pantry a couple weeks ago and set aside some things I already have on hand for the holidays. Each week I'm adding a bag of nuts, package of dates or a bottle of spices to the list so the holiday treats are taken care of.

My biggest problem is cutting back on all of the holiday treats I remember from years gone by. I make a long list and then cross off all but the most essential. I really make an effort not to load the house with all sorts of treats that will last more than a day or two. It seems that the food nowadays is much more fattening than it was years ago!
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