Christmas Hiatus

This will be my last post until after Christmas, so I am wishing those who celebrate it a very Merry Christmas, and everyone a very happy holidays! Have a great time, stay safe and do your best to live in the moment. I am already looking forward to 2011 and everything it will bring. My mindset is positive, and my #1 priority for the year ahead is budgeting. (cue screaming) Seriously though, 2010 has been a blast, but it’s also been rather excessive and I am looking to cull down frivolous spending a lot in my life next year. I will go into this in further detail in another blog post, but for now – have a great weekend everyone, and I’ll be back next week!

Christmas Traditions

As inspired by Stef’s post over at the newly refurbished The Lip Print, I thought I would write up a little post about Christmas, and the traditions that my family partakes in every year. I absolutely love Christmas, and I take great pleasure in annoying my family, friends and co-workers with my joy throughout the month of December. Step 1 – Novelty Christmas Mug for work.

Every year I buy myself a Christmas themed mug to take to work. The biggest mistake I ever made was definitely trying out the mugs that play music every time you lift them up to drink from them. Yeah, big mistake. Thankfully I made it out of the workplace alive that year. Step 2 – Decorate the tree.

Every year I like to choose a theme for the tree that was different to the year before. Last year we had blue and silver decorations. This year, we opted for red and silver. It is also necessary to play Bing Crosby Christmas carols as loud as possible during the trimming of the tree. This is a tradition carried over from my childhood, which I will embrace for the rest of my life because it brings me so much joy. Step 3 – Christmas movie nights.

Sunday nights in December are dedicated to favourite Christmas movies. Home Alone, Home Alone 2 & Elf are all watched in the lead up to Christmas. (usually accompanied by takeout food and a beer, a lovely indulgence before a busy week at work) I wish Home Alone had a soundtrack, I would download it/buy it in an instant. SO many great carols in that movie. Step 4 – Christmas shopping day.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, every year I book a day off of work to dedicate to Christmas shopping. This way I can take a day off of work to enjoy myself while shopping, and get everything crossed off of my list at the same time. It makes the whole gift buying experience a lot more fun, and a lot less stressful. I try to take care of things before they become a problem in my life, and this is my way of avoiding having to rush around like a mad chook at the shops buying last minute gifts. I generally spend this day with my mum too, and we stop and have lunch or a coffee and that is another lovely aspect of the day that I look forward to. Step 5 – Get crafty.

That is a mintie wreath if anyone is wondering what the heck is going on in that picture! I love baking, and creating at Christmas. My favourite thing to do is bake Christmas cookies, but as I didn’t have a decent picture of them this year, the mintie wreath will have to do! I posted the recipe for my favourite Christmas sugar cookies here last year, so take a look if you’re interested in making them for yourself!

Other traditions that I try to do every year include Christmas dinner with my close girlfriends (at the same venue every year) where we hand out ‘secret santa’ presents to one another. Collecting unwanted/unused beauty products from co-workers, friends and family to donate to a women’s shelter on the weekend before Christmas. Christmas Eve mass followed by dinner with my family, my parents, my brother, sister in law and beautiful neice. Christmas day celebrations with my family, and then a boxing day BBQ where everyone swims in the pool, watches the cricket and generally recovers from the madness of the events of the month. I also like to drink and eat a lot but I figured that was a given. What are your favourite holiday traditions?

Christmas Gift Guide Pt 3. (under $200)

This is my third and final gift guide for the season, for items under $200. If you’re interested, you can still view my previous gift gives for under $50 and under $100 that I posted last week. I managed to get 99% of my Christmas shopping done yesterday so I have 1 more gift to buy and I am done for the season! Enough bragging, on to the gift guide…

Under $200 (for her)

Under $200 (for him)

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Gift Guide Pt 2. (under $100)

Following on from last night’s post of Christmas gift ideas for under $50, tonight I am focusing on the next price bracket up – under $100. I am actually back on the hunt for a couple of presents myself now that a few of the items that I ordered online have fallen through. Hopefully I will find some inspiration for myself too! As always, Santa if you’ve taken the time to read my blog please note that I want all of the “for her” items listed. Thanks.

Under $100 (for her)

Under $100 (for him)

Christmas Gift Guide Pt 1. (under $50)

Those who know me know that I am all about embracing the Christmas spirit. Many will also claim that this is one of my most annoying features but they’re lying. Christmas is awesome. One of my favourite things to do around Christmas time is to get organised. (who is surprised?) I start my Christmas planning on November 1st every year, which gives me plenty of time to get everything done. Step #1 on my Christmas to-do list every year is to write up a budget and shopping list for Christmas presents. I also try to book a day off of work in early December to try and get all of my shopping done in one day. (Or at least everything that I hadn’t already purchased online.) I love Christmas gift guides, so I thought it might be a good idea for me to put one up for you guys. Hopefully this is of some interest, and use to at least one person out there…

Under $50 (for her)

Under $50 (for him)

I will be posting more gift guides following the same sort of style but for different price ranges. Let me know if there is anything in particular you want to see! PS: All of the “for her” pieces I actually want. So Santa, if you’re reading this…