Christmas – it should be the most magical time of the year, but for many, the pressure of buying all the best gifts, and serving up the best food means that Christmas leads to credit card misery. It is easy to get reeled in by the commercial side of Christmas – with shops all vying to sell you things at inflated prices as ‘stocking fillers’ and kids who want the ever increasing array of gadgets. Why not take a step back from all that this year and have a go at a few Christmas crafts? People love to receive homemade gifts – it is more personal, and you have put time and effort into it. On the plus side it will probably save you a fortune! Bring back the real spirit of Christmas and shun the shops and the sales…  With the money you save you wouldn’t believe what you can afford like a new tree, some home refurbishments and even hiring out a Cheltenham Boiler Service company to check out your heating system sourced at companies like blu-fish

Christmas Cards – Making your own Christmas cards is a great start. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a particularly arty person, how about a card with a photo that is meaningful on the front, that the person can remove and put in a frame after Christmas? Grandparents in particular would love to receive a photo card of their Grandchildren that they could treasure. Or how about trying your hand at quilling? You can make some beautiful and effective designs, and it is all form bits of curled paper!

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Get Cooking – This is great whether on your own, or if you have children get them involved. Make a gingerbread house – see here for a recipe. Go crazy on it, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it is so much fun and can involve the whole family – and the eating part can too! Or try some Christmas biscuits – they are easy to make are great presents, you can put them in little festive boxes to hand out to friends and relatives.

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Decorations – Decorating the house for Christmas is good fun, but don’t let the price of the shops festive finery bring you out in a cold sweat! Do as the Victorians did, and go gathering winter plants like holly and mistletoe to deck your halls.