Does Father Christmas/Santa exist? Of course he does. However, he has to deliver to 1.8 million homes so we want to help him out. Here’s a few ideas and Mr Christmas if you are reading this I actually do want socks this Christmas and I have been a good boy (pretty much).
Christmas always seems to come at the wrong time, no matter how much you try to put by for it, it never seems enough. The trouble is, there are too many things you feel you have to buy to make the festive season run smoothly. The truth is much of it is needless spending, advertisers and retails have become very adapt at selling you the perfect Christmas. This is why we at selfsufficientish would like to try and cut the spending around the festive season and hope to offer some ideas for a sustainable and more frugal Christmas.
If you are a hoarder like me then you will have some Christmas cards left over from last year. It is simple to turn these into cards again for this Christmas.
- Cut the front off the card and recycle or compost the back.
- Glue a new piece of card to the front of the card so you once again have a compete Christmas card.
- Give out to DIFFERENT relatives or friends.
Point three is quite important as it would be quite embarrassing to give someone the same card they gave you the year before.
What I have also done is simply draw an arrow indicating that the to and from has changed and given back the cards I have been sent by others. Again you can’t do this too often but some think it is funny the first time you do it.
Herb cuttings – Take cuttings from your favourite herbs and pot them in painted pots. You might want to print out some growing instructions too. It is better to take hardwood cuttings in the colder season. If you live in New Zealand or Australia then softwood cuttings can be taken at this time of year, during the growing season.
A memory album – This is for all those relatives without computers (or who don’t know how to use them). Piece together some important memories in a scrap book. These can include photos, theatre tickets and so on. A good one would be a special holiday or event that you spent together. You can even splash out in a quite expensive scrap book as e ssentially t he rest of the present is free. It should cost a lot to do, only a little time but personal gifts like these are always well received especially by elderly relatives.
This is something I did last year.
Buy some cheap olive oil and cut a few twigs of rosemary or a similarly decorative herb.
Put the herbs in the fanciest bottles you can find.
Top up with the oil and print off your own labels with something like Rosemary infused Olive Oil Bottled Exclusively for …..’. This works with all kinds of herbs, basil, chili etc and you can do the same with pickles or jams you may have left over. A lot of the time people would prefer a more personalised gift than some tat you bought at the last minute when you were drunk on Christmas Eve.
Bake gingerbread men for tree Decorations
These can make healthier alternatives to the chocolate decorations that you find on many trees. Cheaper too and it can also be fun for your children to help.
350g (12oz) Plain white flour
5ml (1tsp) Bicarbonate of soda
10mls (2tsp) Ground or greted ginger
100g (4oz) Butter
175g (6oz) Light soft brown sugar
60mls (4 tbsp) Golden or maple syrup
1 Egg (beaten)
currants or rasins for the eyes ect. You could also ry using a dollop of icing.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ground ginger into a bowl.
Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs then stir in the sugar. Beat the syrup into the egg.
stir. Mix to form a dough and then knead it until smooth.
Divide into two equal sizes and roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm = 1/4 inch thick. Using cutters cut out gingerbread figures and put them on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Decorate with the currants/rasins or icing to make eyes, mouth and all that.
Bake in a pre heated oven at 190c (375f /gas mark 5) for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cool on the tray for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
You now have your ginger bread men. Next step is to affix them to the tree. This can be done with some ribbon sellotaped to the back of the gingerbread men.