Like most holidays Christmas is becoming more and more commercialised. We all know the joke about the overheard comment about a nativity scene in a Christmas Display shop window and how "They are bringing religion into everything these days!", but that is really what Christmas is all about and is the main feature of the season in our house.
It was because of this that last year Daddy and I decided that we wouldn't buy gifts for each other, but would spend £15 on making a gift for each other. Okay so I decided, and it was also to do with reducing our Christmas budget and something I had seen in an episode of "7th Heaven" once, but it sounds better if I say it was both of us right?
We did both want something more personal and something that meant more than just another pack of chocolate or a new shirt. Daddy got quite into it and made his in secret at work, he teased me about it constantly. Meanwhile I was bricking it (sorry) because I couldn't think of anything to do for him... and I'm the crafty one!
I got a game of "Piptionary", yup a home made version name after me. It was great, he thought of everything, and we played a couple of games after we went to bed. Totally the best Christmas gift ever! I made him some melted record bowls and a jar of slips of paper saying "I love you" in 100 different languages. I did also make him some fudge, but it kind of went wrong.... luckily he loved what he got!
This has also spread to our birthdays. The above are the clocks that Daddy made for me for my 30th!
It was also at this time that my Sister, Mum and I decided that we would do a Secret Santa for the adults on our side of the family. We decided that we needed to spend £20 on one gift instead of what we normally spent. It worked out great, because we all spent less overall, we all got a gift that was thought out and not a last minute panic buy.
My Mum didn't want to do it this year (although she didn't stick to the rules last year either!) and so my Sister and I decided to take the next step this year and not to buy for each other or each others partners, but the children are fair game! We again set a price limit (£20 per child) and we both suggested gifts for our own children and left it at that.
Our Mum, always tells us not to buy for her but we never pay any attention, she gave us life after all! I always try to get her something important or special, but this year I am getting her a home made hamper and a photo album with photos of her Grandchildren. She specifically asked for the photos, the Hamper is my idea (I have made hampers for people for ten years now!) and it is going to be filled with things that she will use and a few extra treats that she wouldn't normally buy other than on very special occasions.
Before we go any further however, we need to tell Daddy to stop reading. That's right Daddy we are about to talk about your Christmas gifts and I would like them to remain a surprise so can you go away now?
This year the stocking for Daddy will contain all the usual things that an adult stocking in our family seems to include; deodorant, tissues, mints, a bit of chocolate, a couple of pens and a few little stocking filler toys which we normally pass on to the children. His gift is so far in two parts.
The first gift is again split into two. One part is a square photo frame for his desk. It has four areas for photos and I am going to have it engraved with our names under each square and each of us will have a head shot Brady Bunch style (where we are looking at someone in another frame). The second part of this will be frames of each of us individually, again with us looking at the other photos or pulling faces.
The second part is a secret hollow book. I am going to give it to him, with some sweets inside and a little love note or two. I just hope he realises what it is, and doesn't think it is just some book that he can't open the pages on!!!
You don't have to spend a fortune to have a good Christmas, some thought and a little effort go a long way. And kids always want to play with the box rather than the toys right?
I guess what I am trying to say is that even if you aren't religious Christmas isn't about money, or gifts its about family and love and goodwill to all men. So even though I love you, I am not buying you a Christmas gift... I might make you one though!