Sunday, 21 December 2008

Feeling Festive (& Beating the Credit Crunch)

I've been feeling festive in the run up to Christmas, so was excited when Chris took me to see 'Four Christmases' tonight. Aside from the fact that it stars Reese Witherpoon, one of my all time favorite actresses, the movie hits home the idea that Christmas is about connecting with those you love and giving a little, in whatever bizarre way that may be. I think that this simple connection is sometimes lost in the whirlwind that is the December run up to the holidays.

So if the holiday season leaves you dizzied by flashing lights and rich food, office parties and charity collections, credit crunch warnings collided with materialistic trends, remember these tips for bringing Christmas back to the basics: festive, giving, and not breaking your bank:

  1. Bake some cookies - it's traditional, tasty, fulfilling and cheaper than all the crap they're trying to see you in the stores
  2. Mull wine -Why spend lots of money out at bars/pubs when you can cozy up indoors with warm glass of home mulled wine. A basic recipe.
  3. Decorate a your home - Cheer up your home and cheer up your mind -decorate a tree, cut some greens and make a wreath, put out a few candles.....create the ambiance to enjoy that glass of mulled wine and those Christmas cookies
  4. Think small and thoughtful - Gift giving can get out of hand, and particularly credit crunch times such as these, what is meant to be a thoughtful gesture can cause undue pressure. So if you are struggling with last minute shopping, get back to the basics. Think about something small but special to the person you are buying for.....something a little more obscure that you know they would enjoy but wouldn't expect.
  5. Send e-cards - Haven't sent out Christmas cards? Let people know you are thinking of them but save on postage.
  6. Invite friends over for dinner - Why brave restaurants full of pre-Christmas revellers and rushed service. Plan a simple menu and bring the festivities to your door.
  7. Identify reserves - Tempted by that cute wrapping paper and ribbon set? First look in your closet to see what was left over from last year before you buy....and if you were smart, you purchased extra wrapping paper etc in all the post-Christmas sales and you'll be all set!
  8. Check the TV guide for 'Miracle on 34th Street', 'It's a Wonderful Life', 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas', etc. etc! They're usually on in abundance, and you might realize you haven't slowed down in the last few holiday seasons to enjoy these Christmas classics!
  9. Take a walk - Whether in the city, suburbs or country, get out in the fresh air and take in the Christmas spirit around you, be it Christmas lights, floral displays, carolers, etc.
  10. Pick up the phone, or sit and write that email - Connect with those that you care about that you can't be with at the holiday or that you don't see/talk to so much. Reconnect.
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