The Post-Christmas Exhale

Phew!

I did it, we all did it! We shopped and wrapped, we prepared and we cooked and we pulled off all of the other 101 other things we have to do at Christmas time with our usual style. Personally I’m not one who gets stressed out by Christmas, quite the opposite in fact I refer to myself as something of a Christmas fairy and from the second week in December my house looks like a tastefully decorated grotto.

I look forward to the Xmas fayres, as busy as they are, the school plays (Taylor was an incredibly cute reindeer this year), the local events such as Santa (via Thirsk Rotary) visiting the local streets and of course the local Christmas Lights Switch On event (which this year was covered by Channel 5 and had our own Yorkshire Vets were in attendance).

Taylor as a reindeer in his school production of "Santa on Strike".
Taylor as a reindeer in his school production of “Santa on Strike”.

As much as I love the run up to Christmas and all it entails I have to admit to breathing something of a sigh of relief when it is all over. From 5pm on Christmas Eve what hasn’t been done isn’t worth worrying about. We present the boys with Christmas Eve boxes and soon-after they are off to bed.  Christmas morning (obscenely early and usually started off by an impatient me) we are all up and we have a fabulous morning together, just the four of us.
Around 10.30am we (us and all the siblings with their familie) troop a few streets from all directions to Mum & Dad’s house where we exchange gifts and after a giggle, photos, a brew and much laughter we all go home. And we stay there for as long as possible!

We stay in our PJs, the boys play with their toys, we eat, we watch TV and we just relax. Now, I don’t know how it works in your house but the majority of the Xmas preparation falls on my shoulders. I’m not complaining as Roy works right up until Xmas (and often does 12hr days at this time of year). That said, I take it upon myself to treat myself come Boxing Day / after Xmas as I believe I deserve it!

Shopping for myself is not something I do often as I can always find something else to spend money on than myself however with sales on and in particular the Dorothy Perkins sale this year I can bag myself some treats without the guilt. It’s part of the Christmas tradition for me in a way, a little shopping just for me which is a rare occurrence, despite the husband encouraging me to do it more often!

What do you do over Xmas and the days leading up New Year? Do you have the same sense of calm? Do you enjoy the sales like I do? Is this the time you visit family? I’d love to hear!

Uncommonly Good UncommonGoods

When I was younger shopping for birthdays, for Christmas, anniversaries and so on was about finding something that worked, that didn’t cost the heart and was easy to get hold of. Don’t get me wrong, I put thought into gifts but perhaps not as much thought as I do now.

Nothing dramatic has happened to alter my way of shopping or rather my thinking about shopping in general, I guess I’m just a little older and a little wiser.

I still value good quality, best price and convenience when it comes to shopping however I’m a keen advocate for shopping locally, supporting Fair Trade and look for brands who, like UncommonGoods (where I’ll be doing some of my Christmas shopping shortly), have an ethical leaning and a strong mission statement that speaks to me. At the end of the day there are thousands of retailers both online and off for me to choose from and so I can afford to be picky who I choose to give my money to.

I don’t know about you but I like to look for gifts that are a bit different, unique or a least quirky enough to fit my “they broke the mould” set of family members and friends.

I have awkward people in my life and by awkward people I mean people who sometimes (every year) end up with toiletries and socks. These are usually men and when I buy gifts for men I want to find something more like these. An random gift choice some might say however I have a brother in law who would love these Kabob Grilling Baskets for his summer-time birthday…..

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For birthdays I want something less generic, something personal to the recipient and something with a smidge of awesomeness. These Birthstone Wishing Stones for example which may be found here would suit at least two of my friends (and are something I’d be thrilled to receive myself)!

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I repeat again, ROY if you are reading…. I’d LOVE these for Christmas my lovely husbeast.

I’m also a sucker for personalised items. I don’t mean bog-standard one size fits all stuff that you see everywhere, I’m talking about something a little different such as this fab find, a personalised four in one game. I love it!

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Shopping for others can be a grind, a chore and sometimes downright frustrating however if you find stores that identify with your likes and dislikes it can be an absolute pleasure. So, you know what my shopping stance is, what’s yours? There’s no wrong way to answer that question but I find it interesting to hear about people’s shopping experiences and their recommendations.

 

Written in collaboration with the mentioned business.

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