This year more than ever, we will have to scrimp at Christmas. I have written about leaner celebrations on other sites and publications - with titles like Cheap Christmas Cheer, Christmas on a Tight Budget and Beat the Credit Crunch: Christmas on a Budget - I am already starting to feel a bit more like Scrooge rather than Santa. But I'm not alone in my scroogehood, click here for an article on 50 ways to save money this Christmas.
Our household income has gone down and we are relying more on savings. Luckily, being a positive parent is all about giving the gift of time and attention, which are free at the moment as I haven't got that many work commitments.
I like to be active and productive so volunteering for various good causes has preserved my sanity. Before becoming a mum I had a career and skills and only using them (and my brain) can keep me away from the mental scrapyard. So I heartily recommend volunteering to those mums who want to engage their brain but need flexible timetables to accommodate child rearing. You never know, you might get a career out of it.
But back to the budget issue, I'm trying to find ways to make Christmas fun on a shoestring. This means using our old decorations, including the artificial tree and the plastic baubles. I'm sure Michela won't mind, like all toddlers she likes anything plasticy.
For presents we will be shopping around, not a novelty for us as in previous years we were careful with money for other reasons (buying a home and then going on maternity leave did hit our savings).
My great consolation is that in these tough times I am enjoying my daughter and she sees a lot of her Dad too. We have never been in favour of a too commercial Christmas anyway. Honestly, it's not sour grapes!
Obviously, we will shopping around for gifts. Prices of goods vary so much nowadays as some stores have amazing promotions to entice buyers. I have never seen as many as this year, obviously many people are not spending enough for retailers' liking.
So below are some discounts I have been emailed about, courtesy of Debenhams
Lingerie 20% off womens Jasper Conran sleepwear and robes – offer ends 24th Dec -
Womens Accessories 30% off full price Nine West footwear – offer ends 24th Dec -
30% off Totes Gloves – offer starts 26th Nov and ends 12th Dec -
30% off selected mens knitwear – offer ends 24th Dec -
25% off selected Shirts – offer starts 26th Nov and ends 24th Dec -
25% off selected Ties – offer ends 24th Dec -
£’s off selected outerwear – offer ends 24th Dec -
25% off selected designer seasonal accessories gift – offer ends 24th Dec –
Up to 50% off selected nightwear and slippers – offer ends 24th Dec -
Sports 20% off selected Womens sportswear – offer starts 26th Nov ends 24th Dec -
20% off selected kids sports clothing – offer ends 24th Dec
20% off selected Cookware – offer ends 24th Dec -
20% off selected Decorative accessories – offer ends 24th Dec -
20% off Meccano – offer ends 24th Dec -
Beauty VAT free on 500 Beauty products
Free gifts on Elizabeth Arden and Elemis, 10% off offer on YSL
Fragrance Event – either 30% or 50% off selected fragrances.