Time to think about Christmas

Well, it's August tomorrow, so soon be Christmas... (please don't groan, it's in the spirit of money saving!)

This year I'm going to give home made gifts - or shop bought but vastly reduced in price. I usually leave it until the last minute and regret that I've left it too late to make things, so I'm wondering if anyone else is starting their Christmas preparations now? I need ideas!!!

My initial thoughts...

There's a sloe tree down the road that's laden with fruit, so sloe gin.

Blackberry vodka

Will plant up a winter container in September so plants and bulbs have the chance to establish

Have planted a variety of herbs that were yellow stickered in Tesco.

Am taking photographs of friends and family and their pets so may make a collage, get a photo put on canvas or something...

What else?


  • FatVonDFatVonD Forumite
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    20400keith wrote: »
    Have planted a variety of herbs that were yellow stickered in Tesco.

    I love this idea, thanks!

    Mr T have some good half price deals on back to school stationery at the moment so I'll be buying some bits and pieces for stocking fillers for my step daughter.
    Make £25 a day in April £0/£750 (March £584, February £602, January £883.66)

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  • CheapskateCheapskate Forumite
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    Yorkshire Day (tomorrow) is when I start my Christmas lists, so you're not alone! :)

    I've found a massive source of sloes, loads of brambles round here, so various alcoholic presents, jam, etc., there for a start. Been going through craft mags making lists of things to make for people. Going to do some canvases for littlies' room - collage etc.

    Will watch this thread for more ideas! :)

    A xo
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  • angeltreatsangeltreats Forumite
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    I'm trying to save up baked bean and other small tins, my plan is to make and decorate lots of mini Christmas cakes to give as gifts. I'll probably start baking at the end of October so they have plenty of time to mature before being iced.

    My dad is impossible to buy for but he loves sweets, so he'll be getting a massive box of all sorts of homemade goodies like fudge, Turkish delight, truffles etc.
  • edited 31 July 2011 at 11:38AM
    Chaos_MonkeyChaos_Monkey Forumite
    158 Posts
    edited 31 July 2011 at 11:38AM
    Hi, I've started my xmas pressies too....

    I'm knitting DH a scarf (although in reality, that's been on the go for about 3.5yrs, but I WILL finish it this year!), and bought some wool on half price to knit some wrist warmers/fingerless gloves/whatever they're called for my SIL and MIL. I'm also going to run up some shopping bags on the sewing machine from some cotton tea towels with cupcakes on that I bought recently for $2 per pair.

    Other gift ideas/projects on the go so far are:

    Door handle sign thing for friend's little girl (wooden shapes from craft shop painted and decorated)
    Knit scarf for nana with wool I was given (I'm going to be sick of knitting at this rate!)
    Photo calendars from vistaprint for in-laws and nana (cashback last year meant I was 6quid up! :money:)

    Last year, I bought some plain white mugs (can be as cheap or as expensive as you like) and stencilled the recipients name on them with ceramic paint and filled some cellophane with sweets. All were very well received, even if the in-laws put theirs in the dishwasher and the paint came off! This is also something I've done for wedding presents, doing Mr & Mrs (or Ms) instead of names.
    We had a bumper crop of chillis and I did chilli jam (Nigella recipe - it's fab) and also some chutneys that went out as xmas pressies along with the mini xmas cakes (I used the heinz 'pudding in a tin' tins though as our families like 'hearty' helpings of cake. They're a good size for 2 people ;)).

    I'm also considering buying a wooden recipe holder and decorating it.....but this could very well end up being a present to me ;)

    I'd suggest having a trawl round some craft shops and seeing what they have on offer, if you're in any way 'crafty'. Or even if you're not - lots of things can be done with very little experience as I'm proving!

    Hope you get some inspiration :)


    PS, I've just read that back and realised I'd better start thinking of things for the men as all on my list of for the girls! Will be watching this thread with interest for ideas.

    PPS, Just remembered there are other (mega) threads from previous years somewhere on MSE with homemade xmas ideas.....guess where I'm spending my evening!
  • bramble1bramble1 Forumite
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    I've been thinking about presents for this year.

    My sister is getting some flavoured vodkas, Chilli, berry and something else.

    Parents are all getting HM fudge,chutney,truffles etc.

    I will start getting in the ingredients etc soon, and looking for other additional gifts that maybe on offer. Nice wine glasses for my mum and bits like that.
    Annual Grocery Budget £364.00/£1500
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  • pinkmamipinkmami Forumite
    1.1K Posts

    Did anyone mention Christmas!?!?!:rotfl: Love it! I'm also an early starter - so early I started last December. Kids don't need any large gifts (as in bikes etc) as they have one each & we have a Wii in the house plus they each have a DSi so a sackfull of small gifts & that is that. SIL is sorted from The Body Shop sale last year so is my 22 yr old niece. Made a hamper up of small shower gels etc. Found some Echo Falls small spritzer bottles in Iceland for £4 for 4. She can have 2 of them & I'll keep the other 2 in the fridge. I'm not a wine drinker but always have a bottle for visitors which usually goes down the drain a few weeks later! I find these for a £1 each ideal as I have no waste then.

    Dad - well hes a problem. Wine bottles, book, slippers, chocolates, voucher for a meal with his partner. Usual there then! BIL - wine (lots!) & other kids in the family are young enough for bargain toys etc. Could say I;m 3/4 of the way through. Need my high Street vouchers to finish off.
  • lazysheeplazysheep Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    You want the Special Occasions and Other Celebrations board for Christmas, it's been going in there since Dec 26th last year!

    Couple of threads to get you started here:

    Preparing for Christmas 2011
    Let's get started for Christmas 2011

    Handmade gift ideas

    Edible Xmas gifts
  • snookeysnookey Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Hi. I bought loads of stuff in the Boots clearance in Jan so Iv two boxes of xmas pressies that double up for birthdays too. Also bought clothes in the M&S clearance so pleanty of presents in for relatives .Ill have to start on my childrens next although, my son will Im sure want the money as he is 16.
    May do mini hampers for my mum and dad.
  • MissShoesMissShoes Forumite
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    Ooohh scary thread but necessary. I need to sort my budget, who I'm buying for, cooking/eating plans etc. No real ideas as yet. I'm better at having a few cards at home for birthdays as and when they come up- but I've been reading more about present cupboards and buying things in sales so that Christmas/birthdays are catered for. I have a Christmas/presents savings account but only a few pounds in there so far.

    Ideally I want to go away for a few days from boxing day to new years to celebrate our anniversary but that will all depend on last minute deals and there being a short break cheap enough.

    :D DFD 4th July 2015 Happy Independence Day :D
  • hilliehillie Forumite
    30 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker PPI Party Pooper
    I've just been out and picked over 2 kilos of blackberries (for crumble) and found this recipe, so I'm making this for Christmas presents too :D
    (lots of other lovely recipes on here too). It smells divine and I'm just going to bottle it up (into sterilised water bottles saved from a works do, with metal lids!). I'll make some pretty labels and that's several presents sorted! We're also going to do some chilli vodka, chilli oil and toffee vodka (growing the chillies as we speak ;))
    Lakeland also do some lovely bottles (£3.99 each) here

    We're also going to dedicate some trees to family, in the Scottish Highlands via Trees for Life, who are restoring to Caledonian Forest (I get my envelope recycle labels from them too). It's £15 and the you could give it to a family or a couple, as well as an individual. They get a certificate (that you could get a frame for - always lots in charity shops that could be decorated?) and it's green :j

    Love this thread - thank you for starting it now!
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