In 2012, I missed Christmas because I was so involved in the re-wiring of my flat, I had no idea what time of year it was. After four minor shocks and two small electrical fires I decided to pay for an electrician and I was excited to get the telly working again but you can imagine my disappointment when Trevor McDonald said it was the 7th of January. The one positive outcome of all this was that I was not part of the British public who spent £22 billion on the High Street that festive season.
Christmas isn’t a celebration of excessive consumerism. Mary and Joseph didn’t arrive weary at the stable because they’d spent all afternoon in Westfield. Certainly, Mr. Marks and Mrs. Spencer look to be having a very decadent time in this year’s festive TV ad but we can’t all expect to be surrounded by scantily clad models and Helena Bonham Carter with a dog. It’s beyond our means!
My brother is buying my parents a Porsche this year. All very well if you’re an Investment Banker. Why not buy everyone a Porsche? I know my parents will be just as happy with my hand-knitted statuettes of them as The Krankies.
Why be a turkey about spending? Take a sprig of holly out of my book! Yule get ahead with these five top tips for preventing financial haemorrhage this Christmas:
1. Increase your spending power – Over recent years prices have been going up much more quickly than wages. Ignore advertisements for expensive Pay Day Loans and go to work for Nigella Lawson instead. Previous employees improved their spending by as much as £685,000.
2. Procure rather than purchase – In 2012 the average household spent £69 on meat. Why not buy £69 worth of tickets for the Smethwick W.I. Meat Raffle instead? You’ll walk away with enough meat to last you well into February. Other examples include making and recycling gifts. NOTE: Be careful not to re-gift gifts back to the person who gifted them to you in the first place. I’ve come a cropper with this in the past.
3. Don’t be proud – You know you’re living in hard times when footballers like John Terry, on £172,000 a week, are forced to buy their wrapping paper from Poundland because they’re feeling the pinch. Snobbery won’t help.
4. Cash in on discounts – Retailers are experiencing one of the slowest Christmases on record and have already begun to slash prices. Frustrating if, only yesterday, you bought a pair of slippers at full price. So get back down there, return your items and re-buy with the discount.
5. Don’t pander to greed – Retailers are reporting a high demand for electronics. Don’t pander to children who ask for these things. You’re not old enough to own an item until you’re able to make one from scratch. What’s wrong with an orange and a slap around the face? It was good enough in my day.
Sue Sherwin is a modern Creative, working in motivational speaking, arts & crafts and supermarkets.
Pictured below, Sue Sherwin. She hopes to find a more recent photo soon.