Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Rights, Wrongs and Wishes

What I got right this Christmas:
  • Took care not to spend more than would be appreciated on things that would not be appreciated - for example I still bought the traditional selection boxes for my (grown-up) sons but went with Cadbury's instead of my usual Hotel Chocolat. I know (and appreciate) the difference but they don't seem to, or if they do, they don't seem to care.
  • Enjoyed the maturing of my 6% M&S Regular Saver just in time for present buying. I need to use a fair chunk of it to pay off the balance on my interest free credit card but there is almost £700 left over. I don't suppose M&S knew they were running my Christmas Club for me. I won't be setting up another for next year as the credit card is almost through its interest free period so I'll be paying it off in full each month rather than saving the money and taking the interest, but it turned out very handy this year both for the interest (around £94 ) and the extra savings I gathered painlessly along the way.
  • Made a present pledge with my husband to spend no more than £50 and kept it. Time will tell if he did too, but there are only two small parcels under the tree so I'm hopeful. Last year we spent far too much on things that have only been used a few times (an expensive food mixer and electronic cheese grater I bought spring to mind).
What I got wrong this Christmas:
  • Messed up my Secret Santa gift buying for work as I had a crisis of conscience and decided I really couldn't give the first item I bought and so ended up buying another. I'm very annoyed with myself about this. I can't even re-use the first one as there is absolutely no-one I can give it to.
  • Got clobbered (again) by Christmas clobber. This happens every year, the "seduced by the sparkly Christmas party dress" syndrome. I always intend to wear something I already have and add some new accessories etc but I get into the shops and all my good intentions go to pot. I bought an expensive, sparkly outfit that I will probably get to wear once more and which will then find its way to the back of the wardrobe with all the rest of the glitter. But next year will be different ...
  • Paid through the nose for my Ocado delivery. My delivery this week will cost £9.99!! And to add insult to injury it is all stuff that I could have ordered last week and made use of the free delivery that comes with my SmartPass. The list includes essentials so it can't be left till after the festivities - notably 6 bottles of Cava for the family Boxing Day get together (on offer so I clawed a bit back there).
Next year I hope to do better. The key, as usual, is planning. 

But for now I'm just going to enjoy the festivities, food, family and friends. I hope you do the same. 

A Very Happy Christmas to Everyone 

"Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men" 


  1. The obvious question here is what is the present that can't be given to anyone else?!

    I'm very intrigued!

  2. All I'm prepared to say is that it is blow-up, yellow and definitely not, as Kenny Everett would say, "in the best possible taste" :-)

  3. Ha ha well I was about to ask the same thing.

    My own mother gave me something that was pink, blow up, and not in the best possible taste* a couple of years ago so maybe you should gift it to one of your sons :)

    *why I am writing this on the internet I will never know!

    Anyway back to the post! We attempted a no presents pact this year but Mrs TFS broke it so naturally I had to break it as well, but I am sure we've spent under 100 combined quite comfortably so pretty good in my eyes still (and I bought her something that broke a couple of weeks ago so it was "needed" anyway).
    I'm done with kitchen gadgets now, had a few years of wanting things and never using them... Never again! :)

    Your post has made me feel very much in the festive spirit so many thanks! And I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with all of your family.


    1. Thanks TFS. I could give the item to one of my sons but I'm not sure I want to add to their gleefully recited list of "times Mum shocked us" which is currently headed by my (slightly tipsy) Scrabble gaffe from a couple of years ago.

      Breaking a no presents pact is not really fair but sometimes it is really hard to resist the pleasure of giving :-) so don't be too hard on her. Happy Christmas.

    2. Ha ha, I have a pretty big list of my own as you can probably imagine :)

      And of course not, the intentions are good so no real issue. (well until I see what the presents are at the least ;) )

  4. Hi Cerridwen

    Hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas.

    I fall in the Hotel Chocolat trap every year, although this year, I went to Thorntons, which isn't a lot cheaper! Next year, I will try to avoid both!

    Your 6% M&S Regular Saver is like my First Direct Regular Saver, which will be split between my cash ISA and investments upon maturity. Just seems to be an easy way to save cash at a decent interest rate.

    Can't say that I've bought blow up things for Christmas presents before although many years ago, I think I may have bought something that 'required batteries', which wasn't in great taste!

  5. Hi weenie, hope you had a lovely Christmas too.

    We even saw some snow on our way home from Yorkshire on Boxing Day (and were lucky enough now to get caught in it) so a satisfactory experience all around. It was back to work today though, made doubly hard by the fact that everyone in my family was still tucked up warm in bed when I left.