Christmas on a Budget and Christmas in a Glass!

21 Nov

It is the time of year when people start thinking about buying gifts for their loved ones, but the reality is that things are tight all around and with the budget looming we all need to get creative!

When I was in paye employment I spent silly money on gifts for everyone but it was during my first year of self-employment  with Dee’s that all changed!

That year I visited a fabulous charity shop in Kilkenny where I bought my family books, little vintage shops provided unusual gifts for friends and I bought lots of bottles of Rosehip cordials from Forage and Find at the Corn Market Street Farmer’s market every Saturday in Cork.  These made gorgeous gifts and didn’t cost the earth.   People appreciated the gifts just the same as the expensive ones the year before. http://www.forageandfind.com

Meadowsweet and Rhubarb Cordial

The most important thing is being with family and friends and enjoying just having some time off.  However, if you are having family to dinner why not ask one lot of guests to bring the starter and the other to bring dessert or side dishes.  It will ease the pressure and they can bring their washing up home with them too! Just kidding!

Ballyhoura Apple Farm also do a lovely mulled Irish apple juice, it is mulled in the bottle and really is Christmas in a glass,  heat it up and it is perfect to serve to the designated drivers instead of a glass of mulled wine. www.ballyhouraapplefarm.com

So never mind been drawn into the gaudy lights of the Department stores with their endless overpackaged tat  that all comes from far overseas and look around for some real quality Irish goods and support local producers and charity organisations where you can.   Because no matter how badly off you think you are, there is always someone far worse that you.  St. Vincent de Paul do fantastic work and SuperValu are taking toy donations this year.  I’ll bet you know lots of children who got toys last year that are still in boxes.  Root them out, pack them up and donate in your local SuperValu.

Not everything has to cost money either, if you get a chance to walk around Cork City next Friday night there will be a lovely festive atmosphere, as the Christmas lights are being switched on and the English Market is open until 8pm and the Cork Christmas market is taking place also.  All for free!  Unless a hot port takes your fancy on the way home : )

Enjoy your festive planning!   Dee

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