It is that time of year when (most) people spend like it is going out of fashion. High street stores are bustling with people looking for gifts. Supermarket trolleys are absolutely brimming with food and drinks. There is only one or two days of store closure – at present only Boxing Day comes to mind. Why is it that people stock up as if they will have no access to any shops for two weeks? I really want to know!
Gift buying can work out expensive even if you decide to focus on immediate family only or those you will see on Christmas Day. If you would rather avoid buying 10 to 15 gifts whether for financial reasons or lack of time to shop, why not suggest doing a Secret Santa. For the purpose of those of you who may not know, you pick out the name of one person, usually from a hat and you buy a gift for this person. It may be viewed as unfair for children to buy gifts therefore some adults will need to double up on buying gifts. Do not forget to agree on a spending limit!
The Christmas day meal requires a lot of preparation so why not call on each guest to help? The host does not necessarily have to do everything. After writing a list which I am sure will be as long as your arm, ask adults to bring a savoury or sweet dish, drinks, snacks – whatever is required. Be specific about how many heads you would like them to cater for – never assume they will know. After dinner you may feel tempted to slum it in front of the television. Games and quizzes always go down well. Charades is a popular game amongst my family members. It is hilarious to see others acting out a film, drama or book and it has brought us much laughter over the years.
Last but certainly not least, giving goes a long way at this time of year. We can all do at least one thing to help another. It does not need to involve you parting with cash, perhaps a few hours of your time. Every year, members of my church meet to pack and distribute food hampers to people in the local area. Church members are required to donate towards the cost of the hampers. The contents include food items for a full Christmas meal and dessert for 4-6 people.
You could consider:
1. Volunteering to work at your local food bank
2. Buying a gift for a child who will not receive many presents this year
3. Making up a hamper for a family who are facing financial challenges – including nice foods
4. Visiting a neighbour/friend who lives alone or invite them to your home even if for mince pies and cake.
What are your plans this Christmas?
Does it involve people outside of your extended family?
Is there anything different you will do this year compared to previous years?