With only three pay days to go before Christmas, are your finances ready for Santa's arrival?
24th September 2013
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Christmas - a time of goodwill, family celebrations, presents, food, twinkling lights... endless worrying about how much it will all cost...

It's no surprise that the rate of depression and suicide increases over the Christmas period. For many of us, the festive season can be incredibly stressful as we try to juggle family expectations with what we can realistically afford. 

Yet with a little planning and a lot of imagination, there is no need to feel like you're about to bankrupt yourself every Christmas. There may only be three days to go until December 25th but the day itself is still more than three months away, meaning you have plenty of time to put your 'homemade Christmas' plan into action!

Make your own decorations

The temptation is always there to buy 'just a few more' decorations each year, but before you know it, that trip to the garden centre's Christmas department has set you back £50. 

Instead of going for the flashy option, why not go nostalgic and make decorations with the children? Salt biscuits, beaded tree ornaments, card and glue... they may only last a year but it will keep the kids amused for hours every year! (well, until they're too cool to make them anymore at least!)

Say it with food!

Christmas isn't Christmas without copious amounts of food. Items such as Christmas cake and chutneys make excellent gifts but you do need to be organised as they need to be made months in advance... as in now! 

Why not take a look at some online recipes - even the most basic cook will find a simple chutney that will delight their friends and family. 

Nearer the time you can bake cinnamon shortbread biscuits, cheese bites, marshmallows... and simply present them in little bags easily found in an arts and crafts or kitchen store. 

Say with drink!

That's right - you can also flavour your own vodka!

For infused vodka, you need to decide what flavour you would like to do (it could be Christmassy such as cinnamon, orange or cranberry), and get plenty of the fruit or herbs you want to flavour the alcohol with. Bruise the fruits and crush any herbs gently to help them release their flavours. Put them in a container with the vodka and then store in a dry place away from direct sunlight. Your flavoured vodka will be infused within a week (depending on the infusion you have chosen).

About the Author

Ian C

Member since: 9th July 2012

I run thebestof Cambridge. My aim is to help make the best local businesses shine! Afterall, they are the best for a reason worth shouting about. Outside of work I enjoy playing football, swimming and...

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