A Stinge’s Guide to Christmas – Part 2
Hello, yes we are back for part two of A Very Stingey Christmas, where I, Sydney’s biggest cheapskate, share with you my most best and absolutely excellent ideas for being thifty but no less fabulous during the holiday season!
In the first installment, we covered the basics to getting your apartment/itsy bitsy terrace house ready for Santa’s visit, from finding an appropriate sized tree to putting up indoor, festive fairy lights so that you can be jolly all year round!
In this edition, we will look at decorating your shoebox beyond the basics and even get into a little Christmas baking. Hooray!
So, let’s get down to business…
THE CHEAPSKATE’S GUIDE TO BEING A REAL GROWN UP AT CHRISTMAS TIME WHEN YOU DON’T LIVE AT HOME ANYMORE AND YOUR INCOME IS A BIT CRAP!
Part 2: More decorations and also some baking and stuff
6. Draw on your windows
Skip the fake ‘snow’ spray, which is a pain in the kicker to remove, and get red and green chalk ‘markers’ like these ones from Uni. I bought a couple for my housemate’s birthday party and wrote messages to her all over the windows. A wet cloth removes all markings with ease when it’s time to take down your decorations.
Just tinsel the shit out of everything in your house – mirrors, televisions, the dining room chairs. Nothing says festive like tinsel. Having said that, you will be vacuuming it up for the entirety of January, so be prepared.
8. Bake gingerbread
The thing with gingerbread is that it just keeps tasting better, the longer it sits around. You can make it into a gingerbread house, or you can roll it out into little gingerbread people and decorate them. They make excellent last minute gifts, are great for sharing at the office and with friends, and are basically the best kind of biscuit there is. You can even personalise them – the one above was decorated by my friend last Christmas, who is a nurse. I baked the gingerbread people, provided the white icing and the coloured gel icing and everyone had such fun! I’ve already done a post on gingerbread houses, but I prefer this recipe for gingerbread men. They’re chewier.
9. Buy your Advent Calendar on the 1st of December
Yes, sure you can make your own, but there’s something about those cheap supermarket ones with the shitty chocolate that take you right back to your childhood. Plus, making your own isn’t fun because there’s no surprise (so if you’re going to take that route, have someone else make yours and you make theirs!) Anyways, back to the cheap supermarket ones – they become EVEN CHEAPER on the first of December. So hold out, because it’s totally worth it.
It’s totally acceptable to re-gift, if you follow these basic rules:
- Re-gifting of wine, chocolates, olive oils and other fancy food stuffs is totally acceptable, as long as you don’t re-gift back to the same person who gifted you, and try to avoid re-gifting within the same circle of friends. The exception to this is home made food stuffs, don’t re-gift these! If you’re not that into what was made, share it with friends, that way you only have to eat a little bit!
- Don’t re-gift home made anythings in general, it’s down right mean. Don’t be mean.
- Check for inscriptions (especially in the front of books), before re-gifting – because the last thing you want is to get busted for something so amateur as an inscription.
- It’s absolutely ok to re-gift if you get doubles of something – like two copies of the same book. But again, check for inscriptions first! If both have inscriptions, use that as the copy you ‘lend’ out to mates. Also, I recommend trying to exchange one of the items first, if you can swing it.
- You can easily re-gift gift cards, as long as your name isn’t written on them and you haven’t used any of the credit on it.
- Don’t re-gift stuff that’s been sitting around for years, unless it’s an excellent bottle of wine.
- Most importantly, use your common sense and think before you re-gift. Will this other person appreciate this gift? If the answer is yes, then go for it.
And that’s it people! Stay tuned for the (possibly, maybe) third installment to this wild adventure of Christmas themed posts… If I come up with more ideas. If I don’t, well then it’s been fun! Merry Christmas!