Fun festive prep


I’m not even going to apologise for posting about Christmas in October. Because this is how I roll: I *love* getting organised. For me, getting prepared is only fun when it’s not stressful, so the prep starts super-early and that means it stays super-fun too.

I’m not all about doing Christmas especially easily, but I am about keeping it fun and affordable. That way, we can better remember the lovely reason behind all the celebrations…


For me, it’s important to go against the flow when it comes to the idea that gifts need to be expensive. For one thing, we don’t have a huge budget and I don’t want to get to the new year short of money.

But more importantly for me, I prefer the idea of a gift that has thought behind it – a book you know someone will be interested in or something that refers to a family joke.

I don’t spend much over a tenner per adult and around five per child. We only ever buy for closest family, so my entire gift spend *always* comes in well under £100.


Mr Fish and I don’t buy each other gifts, but send Kitty into the shop of our choosing with a five pound note (I’ve had some gorgeous little treats from Hobbycraft over the years!) and make a charity donation instead.

Little ones’ gifts are inexpensive, not because we don’t love them, but because I remember not needing gifts to be expensive to bring me delight as a child (I once got a bottle of Tippex in my stocking and it was the Best. Present. Ever.)

We like to add one tree decoration every year (in recent years, things have become rather blingy: blame the mini shopper).


It’s tempting to go overboard on Little Un’s stocking, but I try to buy bits throughout the year, then stop when we’re at about eight items.

I’ll need to add a satsuma to this lot, obviously… what kid doesn’t love a nice piece of citrus fruit? And there’s always a sugar mouse – that’s a Santa speciality.

I’ll admit that we do spend more on her main present


For her advent calendar, I like to make it fun for both mother and daughter.

I’m a shopper, so love tracking down all the little bits that she gets as a tiny treat each day: a highlighter pen, tube of glitter, glow bracelet, sweetie lipstick or thrift store ornament.

And she loves a game, so I tuck clues into the drawers of her advent house, telling her where her gift each day might be hidden.


And finally, cards. I like to make my own (not the simplest or cheapest option, but definitely the most enjoyable) but they do need to stay fairly flat so the postage isn’t extortionate.

This year, I plan to build my cards around these gorgeous glittery tags I spotted in the local art shop by DoCrafts, which were a snip at £2 for 20 tags. The rest of my products are pulled from my stash, as there’s already loads of ‘gold and pretty’ there.

I’ll be sure to post a video tutorial when I’m done!

What are your festive preparation tips for a simple Christmas?

6 thoughts on “Fun festive prep

  1. Auror Willow

    No need to apologize for the early post, I’ve already started my holiday cards for the season! I do agree with your sentiments about Christmas. You are so right that it does not take much money to make a child happy, my favorite gifts as a child was a new fuzzy blanket (maybe $5 at a box store) and a new book. I can’t wait to see any holiday projects that you choice to share!

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  2. Ginny

    Don’t apologize crafters need to start early. I try to limit my gifts to something to wear, something to read, watch or listen to, something they really want(within reason) & something I want to buy them. My girls treasure handmade gifts. A few years ago my oldest daughter gave her sister their grandmother’s jewelry box with a few pieces of Grandma’s things in (some costume jewelry, a pair of gloves & a bingo card(my MIL had passed away a few years before.) She made it into a display piece. What made it so special was these were things she had chosen for herself when her grandmother had passed away.

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  3. Three gifts (a book, pajamas and a toy or gift card) for the grandkids. One personal gift and one gift card for the grown up kids. We had fun filling up Christmas tins at the dollar store last year for family and close friends. Most were $5 including the tin! We host Christmas since the in-laws live with us, so most of our expense is food. But the memories are priceless!

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