Christmas is coming. And I’m trying not to … PANIC! My tips for a thrifty-ish Christmas! | Simply Marcia


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Christmas is coming. And I’m trying not to … PANIC! My tips for a thrifty-ish Christmas!

I love the sparkly season. Christmas is the best. I love it. And so does my 10 year old daughter who’s inherited this love for the festive season and has already decorated her bedroom in a more-is-more fashion. Her stocking is already up, ready-and-waiting. Basically her bedroom has been transformed in to Santa’s Grotto (ho, ho, ho!).

Whilst my natural tendency is to nosedive head first in to all things Christmassy, glittery and mulled-winey, a spot of overspending in October and hence a slight budget issue means I’m having to resist going completely wild in the aisles this Christmas. Bah! humbug! But instead of panicking (and hitting the credit card) I’ve got creative and come up with some (untested and not-yet-tried) ideas for a thrify’ish Christmas:

Christmas Cards – this year, I’m thinking virtual Christmas Cards (Blue Mountain have some cute, free ones) and hand crafted ones (more specifically, hand made by the kids) for grandparents/family. It’s also time to dig out last year’s Christmas cards to transform them in to this year’s gift tags (et voila!).

Budget – not one of my strong points (see above) but a necessary task … Money Saving expert is a great site for tips and common sense advice to help avoid a potential financial nightmare-before-Christmas – this is where my Christmas budgeting plans will start their existence. And having spent some time trawling through the never-ending Christmas wishlists my kids have written, I think a good compromise is possible though when it comes to everyone else, some corners have to be cut this year… So one thing we’ve agreed as an extended family this year, is to run a secret santa! So this year, each family is ony buying for one adult and one child from another family et cetera, et cetera, et cetera (there are literally loads of us). Brilliant! Money and time saving.

Christmas Food – I love getting in the kitchen creating Christmassy goodies (usually just for us) but this year, I’m going a step further thanks to my well-thumbed Nigella’s Christmas book and have already made a start on some fab chutneys and freezer-friendly foody gifts. And when it comes to Christmas food-food, this year it’s an Aldi and Lidl Christmas for us – I think Kevin the Carrot would approve.

Christmas stockings – so in the past the kids’ Christmas stockings have been full of loads of little bits and pieces which, whilst cute, the kids have kind of overlooked and abandoned (especially my boys who are now teens) – time to rethink. I’ve decided to only buy stuff that’s actually useful (or edible!) in their stockings – so it’s in with shin pads and deodorants and out with novelty mini-football games and the like. Considered purchases are the way forward this year. Careful, online browsing and research using comparison websites is my plan. Which brings me on to …

Lists – I’m a bit of a list freak so this bit feels pretty natural. For me, if I’ve written something down in list format it won’t get forgotten. For Christmas, I have lists for food, recipes to try (and ingredients to buy), presents and events to take the kids to (think Santa’s Grotto, Christmas Markets and Lights switch ons (Candutu is a brilliant site for finding Chrsitmassy events near you!).

Recycleables – some of our Chrsitmassy items are perfectly good enough so it’s ‘in with the old’ for us – that means no new Christmas decorations, party dresses (whaaaat!) or jumpers … that kind of thing. The one thing we will be getting is a real tee – there can be no compromise as far as I’m concerned. We’ll be heading to Cedar Croft nurseries in Cornwall for ours!

Happy Christmassy plotting & planning!


Beauty on a budget (for less than £20!)

This time of year it’s all about the sparkle and all things Christmassy! It’s all about gift and perfect present purchases – which I love. It’s also about the lead up to the office Christmas party, and that means (obvs!) wrapping ourselves up in a new dress and definitely new make-upy bits.

Buying new make-up is such a lovely treat and whilst my budget is (sadly) on the low side, I’m a huge believer that these days, budget make-up is something to be celebrated (as it’s actually, mostly, very good!).

So, my top 5 cheap and cheerful but super effective and not-to-be-scoffed-at make-up finds – totalling £19.95!!! – for the sparkly season are:

Mascara – glossy, full and super-black lashes – Collection Big Fake Curves Mascara Ultra Black WP 17WP £4.99

Lipstick – the perfect red – Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick 530 Fatal Red £6.99

Brows – for face-framing brows – Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil Black/Brown £2.99

Eyeliner – for Claudia Winkleman inspired panda eyes – Collection Kohl Eyeliner Black 1 £1.99

Blusher – get glowy – Miss Sporty Insta Glow Blusher 006 9G £2.99

With change from a £20 note, you won’t be breaking the bank (hoorah!) but you will be party-ready 🙂 which makes me super-happy! Mwah x

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