It’s a wrap: Christmas presents on a budget
Right off the bat, there is something I should confess: I could take or leave Christmas. I would sacrifice the black ice, near-permanent darkness and hordes of shoppers for a year-long summer of picnics in the park, late night drinks on open terraces and freckles but alas…that’s how how weather works and so for this article, I will take inspiration from the latest throwaway lifestyle trend: hygge. This Danish concept can be loosely translated to ‘cosiness’ and subscribes to the idea that we should take pleasure in the simple things; making rituals of making tea, lighting candles and ‘creating intimacy’ within the home. With this in mind, I will try to embrace the cheesy festive season; the music (more pennies in Slade’s pocket), the food (let’s be honest, that one isn’t hard!) but most of all, the presents!
2016 has been a slap-in-the-face of a year and most of us are approaching Christmas with odd socks, back-to-front trousers and glasses askew; needless to say, we’re unprepared. Christmas is a great opportunity to show family and friends how important they are to you and how much you appreciate everything they have done in the past year but what do you do when your mum deserves an all-expenses paid trip to the Bahamas but all you can afford is a wilted bunch of anaemic roses from a petrol station?
For the solution, I suggest we look to the American tradition of ‘care packages’. Often sent to new students away at college, the packages typically include numerous gifts of little financial value but when combined together, create a tailored and thoughtful selection of presents. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful family who, for the six years I have lived away from home, have sent me many packages that have cheered me up, kept me warm and made me laugh. Many of the items in care packages can be bought at pound shops, or could even be homemade, and so can be rustled up for maximum smugness at minimum cost. Here are some ideas:
For someone who loves to be cosy: hot chocolate sachets, marshmallows, cosy socks, cuddly toy.
- For a book addict: cosy blanket, selection of magazines, good book, quality bar of chocolate.
- For a beauty fanatic: a couple of nail polishes, a face mask sachet, hand cream, bath bomb.
- For a foodie: write up a selection of favourite recipes, homemade infused olive oil, new apron.
Go forth and be merry!