Today was Christmas Friday – the real start of the jolly holiday, with many people breaking up from work today, and not going back until Monday 29th, if not fully into January.
You could almost feel the collective excitement rank up a notch and in celebration I put the wreath (£7 deal with Christmas tree) up on our front door, with some £1.99 lights, which I think make it look very jolly.
I’m not telling you this for a cheapskate thrill. I’m definitely more of a spendthrift, a tendency I have to wrestle with on a daily basis. What I saved not buying a posh wreath was immediately spent ordering a side of smoked salmon from the Inverawe smokehouse, in Scotland.
The Queen gets her smoked salmon from there, so that’s good enough for me.
It’s also a tradition in my family to have it for breakfast on Christmas morning and I wasn’t going to disappoint my mum, with some cheap supermarket, it’ll-do smoked salmon.
Christmas is about a feeling of generosity and plenty. I want my mum to see that beautiful side of salmon in my fridge in that familiar packaging – Royal warrant and all – and be reminded of all the wonderful family Christmases we had, when it was a once a year a treat.
The other thing I did this evening – and this is going to make me look like a superscrimper again – was to make my gift tags.
This is a little ritual that’s grown up, because I can never find gift tags I like and when they come with the wrapping paper there’s never enough. So I save the Christmas cards from the year before and cut out jolly pictures using some craft scissors someone gave me daughter when she was five.
Sometimes it’s handy to be a little tiny bit of a hoarder.
I never have time to do anything crafty, so I do rather love sitting on the floor and cutting them out. Then I make a hole with my office hole puncher and thread pieces of narrow ribbon through it to attach them to the present.
Where do I get these handy little bits of ribbon, you wonder? I save them all year cutting them from the shoulders of new clothes, where they sew them in to stop them falling off the hangers in the shop – but if you leave them in there, they keep poking out and showing. Or sometimes you get them attaching a price tag to the garment.
Is this a little bit tragic? Probably, but it gives me immense satisfaction not to waste things. And when I go through the Christmas cards, it’s really nice to read them again.
Fewer and fewer people are sending the things – I really hate e-cards – and I think it shows a level of respect first to display people’s cards and then to find another use for them.
I was particularly pleased with this one, where I was able to create a reindeer called Chris.