Too early?! Never! Despite having young children I am usually the first in my house to want to put the tree up, the lights round the front door and the mulled wine opened. I have also opened day one of my advent calendar, despite it only being the 29th November. I just couldn’t resist. Don’t tell Ben and Iris otherwise I’ll have to say yes to them doing the same ;-)

I’ve been thinking about Christmas coming up and to be honest, getting a bit frazzled about getting everything sorted, cards written (does that show my age, not everyone sends them now!) and children’s school obligations in the diary and organised. It’s a busy time of year for grown ups, young people at school who have end of term tests and lots of extra curricular activities to fit in.

Me and my Mum and sisters have decided this year to do something a bit different with our present exchange and have put a £10 limit on each present. We are only giving one to every member of the family. Whilst we have never been particularly extravagant with our gifts it’s been helpful to cap it for some practical reasons (Christmas abroad for one of my sisters) and a new baby and a budget for the other.

It’s been interesting, as I’ve probably considered more carefully than ever what I think they would like and what they would cherish as a gift. I’ve also tried to look in local shops and businesses and spend my £10 wisely. Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of online shopping but also love living in a town that has real-life shops and humans to talk to at the checkout.

Whether you are in charge of organising Christmas in your house, or whether you are a willing volunteer/helper/witness to the chaos, you will probably buy a few presents, maybe more. Why not spend a little time thinking about how you spend your hard-earned money, and on what? Make it work hard for you and enjoy the pleasure that giving a thoughtful present can bring everyone.

PS, if you think I am too early to talk about the C-word then do remember, it’s only 25 days away people!!

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