These three are totally unconnected with each other, but have all been useful to me already this season, so I am passing them on.
Keep the place
When you come back three hours later, laden with shopping, utterly exhausted, you will be so glad that you noted down “Level 4, section D” or whatever. Especially if you forget, and start by looking for the blue Matiz you discarded for a silver Toyota three months ago!
Keep the same
If you give a gift which is well received and repeatable – then give the same gift next year. In 2012, I gave my elderly housebound aunt a calendar from Vistaprint, featuring family photos. She loved it – and said my cousin wished she had got one like it.
So last year, they both received one – and their very positive response means that this year I’ve done another one for them. For some years, one of my sisters-in-law has generously sent me a magazine subscription. She always checks I am happy with it, and has changed the mag a couple of times [currently I am enjoying Country Living] I love it when a new mag arrives each month. By keeping to the same gift, giver and recipient are both happy.
Keep the change
Set aside a purse, small box, jamjar or something and start putting small change into it. There seem to be so many more demands on you for small change at Christmas.
That way, when the doorbell rings at teatime and three spotty urchins are standing there singing ‘Away in a Manger’** and collecting for the local Hospice, you do not have to rootle around down the back of the sofa to find some grubby 2p pieces to drop in their tin. **I should declare here that I will only make a contribution if they sing a proper carol about baby Jesus – Frosty the snowman, We wish you a merry Xmas, and other ditties do not count!
I really do appreciate all your comments on the blog – and have loved reading the Pause In Advent posts which so many of you have written. Thankyou