Thursday, 8 December 2011

Top Tips For Christmas #2


santapigI confess to being rather busy so I haven’t come up with much original stuff this week. Here’s a useful round up of money saving tips from the Good To Know website [click here]

I thought I would also give links to the seven posts of Christmas tips I did last year – check them out here

Just click on the number! One Two Three Four Five Six Seven

Don’t forget all the people who have joined the Top Tips Team [see the list in my sidebar] My apologies if I have omitted anybody.

Just a few notes about wrapping

  • paper on rolls is usually more economical than sheets – but do check the length is stated on the pack. Just occasionally the ‘bumper roll’ from the Market or Poundshop turns out to be a very short length wrapped round a cardboard inner tube
  • wallpaper, old calendars and even glossy magazines can substitute for ‘pukka’ wrapping paper
  • be creative – use a bit of fabric or a [clean] charity-shop scarf
  • foodie gifts are usually well received – but do make it clear on the outer wrapping if the gift should be refrigerated, kept cool/dry, or used before a given date. I once gave someone a fruit cake – inside a biscuit tin, and she kept it a while before she opened it, thinking it was biscuits! [at least it wasn’t a spongecake]


  • if it is an unusual shape, put your gift in a larger box or bag –if it is ‘obvious’ then disguise it in some way. Back in the 70’s I remember articles about how to disguise the record you were giving [that flat 12” square parcel was instantly recognisable] Try to make the CD or DVD look like something else if you can!
  • Gift-cards are useful – especially if you need something easy-to-post, or if it is for a teenager [who’d rather have the money, but a £5 note seems a trifle uninspired] Attach them to something relate [ but cheap and cheerful] e.g. cinema vouchers can be attached of a box of popcorn, a Boots voucher can be put with a travel sized bottle of shampoo. Let’s face it, it is better to give a voucher which enables the recipient to choose something they will value rather than spend money on something of no use whatsoever. [OK, maybe someone out there does want a Viking for Christmas, but I don’t know who!]


  • a note about Sellotape. You may have one of those nifty wrist gadgets which dispenses pre-cut lengths. If not, you can cut a load of bits of tape before you begin wrapping. If you choose the latter, frugal system then DO NOT stick them to the dining table, they may damage the surface. Stick them along a plastic ruler instead!


  • not everyone in the family may be good at wrapping – or thinks about it till 11.30pm Christmas Eve. Have some tape and paper set aside for the last minute “Please, have you got any…?” requests!

Finally, another reminder that PomPom and friends are posting about a “Childlike Christmas”. Some lovely ideas and thoughts for those of us who do not consider ourselves glamorous, sophisticated cocktail-party types – but want to get back to the simple joys of this season.

Turn away from the world-weary, bag-laden shoppers queuing for the Park’n’Ride bus, to see the delight and wonder in the eyes of a child looking at baby Jesus in a Christmas Crib scene.

So much of the rest is just tinsel…

pompom xmas


  1. You know, i can think of two young men who would love a Viking for Christmas! I'm so delighte with the links to last year; i was just reading scarlet's post and thinking about where this all started last year and thinking that i should go back and read them all again! But not now. Now is for dishes!! (Can you tell Jo is going chez friend today- look, it's 2pm and I'm not getting soaked at school gates!)

  2. Your wrapping tips take me back to all the little disasters I've ever had. In fact, my dad is the new wrapping nightmare - he considers himself physically and mentally incapable of wrapping a present (he was a high-ranking naval officer, so this is clearly unlikely). I wrapped everything I could for him in October, and expect to find some more wrapping waiting for me when I get back on Christmas Eve! Perhaps I should introduce him to gift bags...

  3. Great tips. I always cut strips of sellotape and put them on my jeans!

  4. Angela, Thanks for all the great tips. I buy cheap rolls of brown paper from IKEA and the quality is excellent. Instead of tape I use lengths of raffia from the garden centre, then the wrapping can be reused too. Ros x


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