We've been sorting out the gift budget for Christmas. Our Christmas is not a simple time of collecting branches to adorn the fireplace, roaring fires (unless there's one in the pub), hand printed wrapping paper and mulled wine on the stove. Our Christmas is 1970's style buffets, Now That's What I call Christmas on vinyl, shop bought biscuits, sherry and lots of driving.
I used to be a Christmas avoider but truth be told it's a social convention, it means more to my family and friends to celebrate it than it does to me to not do so, so I embrace it. The axis of the Earth doesn't pass directly through me and what makes the people I like happy makes me happy. In that vein unless it's requested I don't make gifts. I make stuff all the time so it's not special to give someone a gift I've made. It feels like I've gone to no effort, if I make something someone would like I'll give it to them when it's done, why wait for Christmas? The people I know aren't into whimsical and homespun so it would be a bit arrogant of me to force things I like on to them, it's Christmas not a lifestyle lecture.
There are things I don't enjoy, but not many. My family love Christmas, Father doesn't like Christmas cards but he does like playing with Lego so the cards are a small price to pay. There's nothing subtle or subdued, no thinking about portion sizes or the fact that it's "just a day". They go for it and I like that. It's living in the now and for that time.
So, to the budget. We don't buy many gifts, where we can we spend the cash on meeting up with people rather than buying gifts. We don't live near any of our friends so a night out or even a quick pint is the best thing. For everyone else we have a budget of £5 - £30 per person, I think we buy gifts for eight people, this year we have a new person to add to the list, my niece. Dan and I bought each other gifts for the first time last year, the gifts were so amazing we're not doing it again this year, we have other traditions we'd rather maintain. We are going gift shopping next week, one day to get all the gifts then it's done, a power shop with plenty of time to stop for coffee which makes it far more enjoyable. It's a bit hectic, pretty messy, reasonably noisy, very glittery but pretty much all fun, just the way I like it.