Monday, 5 December 2016

The True Cost of Christmas


I have just read an article from an newspaper website.
They say the average British household spends over £750 on Christmas.
This would be for gifts for friends and family, food, decorations, new outfits for the works Christmas party etc.

I bet most of that probably gets put on the credit card,and then obviously if you don't pay off the balance when the statement arrives the interest gets added on, and this is how people end up in debt.


It is just crazy.










We love Christmas, we do not buy many other family member presents, we do exchange gifts ourselves, and we do enjoy the traditional food, but will not be going overboard, we have all sat down and discussed about what we will be doing with regards to food.

We  will have a small buffet /finger food with a glass of wine on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Day we have decided we don't really want a three course meal followed by cheese and biscuits. We will be have a roast turkey dinner followed by dessert, we have decided to have a light dessert, we will have turkey sandwiches on boxing day followed by some Christmas Pudding. Tea will be some Yule Log and Christmas cake etc, and that's it, we will not feel deprived. I have made a Christmas cake which I will finish off at the end of the week, I will also make Gingerbread, Shortbread from store cupboard ingredients. We try and eat healthily in the week but do have a sweet tooth and have treats at the weekends and special occasions. Then after these few days it will be back to normal sensible healthy eating.

I have £25 of Morrisons' vouchers which I have collected over the year.
£10 Sainsburys gift card from doing some surveys.
Jack has just given us a voucher which he got,(he also does surveys and product trials)

So we will not spend more than this.








So that will be our Christmas, some people go over the top , some people will not bother, we are somewhere in between.


I will leave you with some photos of the decorations.










































26 comments:

  1. Your Christmas sounds much like ours Marlene, although we have chicken (I don't really like turkey so don't see the point). We will have a home made wreath (when I get chance to make it), a few decorations and gifts and just enjoy being able to spend some time together. Amazingly, for the first time ever, neither of us are working Christmas eve, Christmas day or Boxing day.
    It's the memories that make Christmas for me, it's not about spending (although there is a reasonable amount still spent - all budgeted for, however). I had quite a few Christmases where the memories weren't good so it's even more important to me to change that. X

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    1. You are right Jules it is about making special memories, xx

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  2. We are like you, somewhere in between! We have quite a few to buy for - 3 kids plus partners, 2 granddaughters, my parents and my MIL. We don't do extended family. I always start out with good intentions about the budget but things get bought and the budget is blown. It's not on any credit card though thankfully. I like to hear about families who can do it all really cheaply but we have a biggish family, I don't do any crafting or home made items (perhaps something to learn in 2017) and so it costs. I love it all though! We eat traditionally on the day and then have a cold buffet at tea time.

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    1. I suppose the more children you have and if they have their own families it can get expensive, and it is only fair to treat them all the same. Crafting and homemade gifts are not for everyone, but can cut the cost down, but it would make life easier to make things throughout the year.

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  3. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas Marlene. I do go over the top a little with the décor but I haven't added anything for a few years. I pop a few extra tins/packets in the store cupboard throughout the Summer so we have a little extra and freeze produce from the garden. I also make my own jams/chutneys etc. I certainly would never spend more than we could afford or budgeted for, I feel sorry for young families who feel the pressure.

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    1. You are very sensible, homemade jams and chutney is always nice.

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  4. I love your decor. My kid and I put up a tree and the Mexican nativity, but kept it low key this year as it felt right to do so. Many decorations went back into storage...I should probably donate them.

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    1. If you are not going to use them it would be good to give to charity or perhaps you could use for a change another year.

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  5. My youngest daughter has invited us to Christmas dinner this year. I dare say everyone will come to us for boxing day. I'll be shopping Christmas eve for bargains most of which will be frozen/ stored for the future. Boxing day will be a simple meal or small buffet.

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    1. Lucky you, that will be a nice break for you, I am sure there will be many bargains to be had on boxing day.

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  6. Our Christmas is budgeted for through the year and apart from having Ruby and family on Christmas Day we will spend the rest of the time as just Andy, DD and myself.
    I bake a ham for our traditional Christmas Eve evening meal and have bought a much smaller one this year. Christmas Day will be 3pm meal so that I don't have to do tea as well....although there will be mince pies and a few bits if anyone wants them. Boxing day we will use up the turkey, ham and other bits in rolls with homemade pickles instead of having another roast. I will save the piece of beef for later in the week if we feel like another roast dinner and if not it can stay in the freezer for New Years Day.
    I am aiming for a calm few days this year.
    Your home looks very cosy and festive-x-

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    1. That sounds lovely Shelia, I can see why you need some days of calm this year, x

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  7. all looking sparkly and festive at yours Marlene! Pretty.

    We're a 'somewhere in the middle' family too. Looking around the house, I see that I do make quite a lot of things, which saves. When Bill's dad was alive, and he and Bill's mum came for Christmas lunch, I'd go way overboard in Waitrose or M&S, and we used to have so much left over that would end up being chucked out. Just to try to impress my MIL ....

    Now it's a much smaller Christmas, but a lovely and happy one. We do indulge Violet, and we get pressies that we really want from one another. And there is always champs. I refuse to cook Christmas dinner without a glass in my hand! That explains why I never have a clue what time we'll be eating!!! ha ha xx

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    1. Yes you are very creative Sadie, and very good at it.
      We have always been the same with Jack he has never gone without after all he is my only baby (John has two more children all grown up with their own families). We are also the same that we give each other a few nice gifts, I confess I like to get a bit tipsy on Christmas day xxx

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  8. Your decorations are such fun, Marlene! I like the sound of your gingerbread and shortbread! We have a real tree, and a £5 token out of the paper helps pay for it. OK, it's seldom cheap, real trees rarely are, but I feel I'm doing the right thing as we buy it from a local Christmas tree farm and so virtually no carbon footprint in getting it a mile or two down the road from the farm to our house.
    Some of our tree decorations date back from 1985 when we moved here and one decoration, which cost me five shillings in 1964, dates from our very first Christmas as a married couple and I really gulped to spend so much money (25p today) on a decoration! That was a large part of my weekly wage!
    This year will be the first when I've not cooked Christmas dinner in our own home, but it's time for our sons and daughters in law to take over now, although today I was asked that as daughter in law where we're eating on Christmas day is cooking a crown of turkey, would I cook a piece of beef? They will buy it, I will cook it, so that's fine by me. We are sharing the cooking which is easy as they live just a few doors away.
    We don't buy each other presents (my husband and myself, I mean); they are totally unnecessary for us as we have more or less what we want, within reason, throughout the year. Being kind and loving and supportive of one another throughout the year is more important to us than a fancy present on the day but we might buy new mobiles are ours are so old they've almost given up the ghost!
    The house will have cards, a real tree, flowers, fruit, nuts, and greenery from the garden. Even with only these things, it still always looks very festive.
    Margaret P
    www.margaretpowling.com

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    1. Sounds lovely Margaret, how nice to have your family so close to you, and will be a nice treat for you x

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  9. Your decorations look lovely. We don't spend a lot as we don't have it. Over the years we have good and not so good Christmases and it has never been because of how much money we have had but some sort of outside influence. So I'm just hoping everything stays on an even keel for my family and then I will be the happiest person in the world. Jane xx

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  10. It all looks lovely and I think your food plans sound just about right. All this stuffing yourself on rich food for days on end and then joining in with the mad weight loss rush in the New Year leaves me feeling annoyed and just plain confused.

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    1. Yes it is very silly, I am steadily losing weight, mine goes up and down from the menopause and tamoxifen, so I have to be sensible.

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  11. We tend to follow a simple pattern here too and only really get what we need. I found a lovely painting at the market over the weekend - £15. Bargain! How are your garden birds coming along? X

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    1. Very sensible, Birds - just the normal ones, but it hasn't been too bad this week, I am going to post about them sometime next week x

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  12. Your little robins are tooooo cute! We stopped over buying years ago. I think it's just gluttony. And a waste of money!

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    1. Yes it is a waste just for a few days. The Robin is my favourite bird, I have a little one who comes to visit me in the garden regularly.

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  13. I have a large family and we do Christmas in a big way always have and I guess always will. We are not gluttons and never in debt but I love giving gifts and not that crafty so it usually costs quite a bit but it's fun and I love it so hey ho or ho ho ho lol.

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    1. Well that's fine Wendy, if you are happy and can afford it why not x

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