We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Debt-Free New Year
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
I love Christmas. A lot. As soon as Bonfire Night ends, I grab my snowflake mug from the back of the cupboard and hit play on Cliff at Christmas. But, like everyone else, if there’s one thing I don’t love about the festive season, it’s the cost. As a truly annoying species, we manage to turn a happy (the best ever, in my opinion) season into something stressful - begrudgingly traipsing around the shops, red faced, weaving our way between thousands of people to spend money on overpriced dressing gowns and ridiculously expensive gadgets.
Why do we have this misconception that to show someone we love them at Christmas, we need to buy them a gift? We save all year to make sure we can afford presents for our parents, partners, kids, friends, friends’ kids, colleagues, aunties, uncles, dogs - the list goes on… when really, there’s no need.
So, what can we do to avoid the stress and bring on the love?
We all want to treat our loved ones at Christmas and there’s nothing wrong with that (!), but we really don’t need to spend beyond our means. Getting into debt at Christmas for the sake of a gift is ridiculous, and anyone who loves you would tell you the same!
Instead of shopping for the sake of it, I like to spend that time with my favourite people - drinking hot chocolate and Baileys (and everything else) with friends and arguing over which Christmas song was #1 in 1984 with family. So this year, try focus on the amount of time you spend on people, not money.
Arrange a Game of Secret Santa
Nothing cuts your gift list down quicker than a game of Secret Santa. Instead of buying all your friends a gift, you’ll only have to buy one. And, if you set a low budget, you’ll save even more.
Every year, my girlfriends and I arrange a Christmas night which involves Christmas crackers, too much food and the exchange of our Secret Santa pressies. Not only do we all get a laugh out of trying to keep who we have a secret (which we never do), we love the moment we finally see what we’ve managed to buy for £10. It’s fun, it’s affordable and, you can spend more money on wine. Cracking!
Since reading a book called The Year of Living Danishly, I’ve fallen in love with the Danish lifestyle, and since Denmark is known for being the happiest country in the world, we could definitely learn a thing or two from them!
Once the winter months hit in Denmark, Danes get hygge, which basically means feeling cosy, content and most importantly, happy. So when the low temperatures strike, the Danes stock up on candles and spend quality time indoors with friends and family, cooking potatoes and drinking snaps. (Enter thumbs up emoji here.)
This Christmas, rather than hitting the bars all month, try suggesting some nights in. Make mulled wine, get some drunken games on the go and turn up the Christmas songs (nothing says Christmas like belting out Mariah) - you’ll save yourself money and feel even happier.
Remember, Christmas is about more than just gifts, so wear your ugliest jumper, tell everyone you love them and purchase your copy of Cliff at Christmas today.