Christmas gifts and a sale at Biome

9 September 2014
Now we're moving towards the end of the year I've start thinking about my Christmas gifts. I want no last minute rush and I need to get the best value for the dollars I have to spend. I've cut down considerably on gift spending since I changed to a simpler way of life and now I look for bargains and make what I can.  The trick here is to start now - both on making and buying because the closer we get to the holidays, the less time you'll have and the more prices will go up. I hope I can encourage you to make a list of the gifts you want to give, work to a budget that won't break the bank and can be completely paid for in cash, then slowly but surely start collecting your gifts as the weeks roll on. Remember, always work to your budget, don't let the excitement of the holidays push you into overspending and look for the best value for money.

It's also a good idea to work out your Christmas and holiday menus so you can start looking around for anything you can buy now. Packing these things away in the cupboard will help you plan later on and also free up your shopping bags when you have many other extras to bring home closer to Christmas. But that's something we can look at in a few weeks time. Let's get into the gifts first because organising yourself now will allow you to plan mindfully and increase your chances of sticking to your budget.

I've started my gift knitting and sewing.

My homemade gifts include pin cushion jars for my sewing friends (above). I'm also making dish and face cloths with organic knitting cotton that I already have here.  I've started making these and will continue knitting whenever I have free time. I also want to  make more soap for gift giving, so I have to put the ingredients for that on my next shopping list and make it up soon so it will cure in time. I might do up a couple of cleaning hampers too - with laundry liquid, dishcloths, soap, citrus vinegar spray and homemade gumption. Again those ingredients need to be bought and I have to think about containers.

When I start looking at buying, I want to buy gifts that reflect my values so I shop at places like Biome, who are happily one of my sponsors.  By coincidence, I put in an order yesterday and found they're having a 25 percent off almost everything starting tomorrow, so I knew I had to pass that on to you. Luckily, the sale is open to in-store customers and online. Over the years, I've had a few things posted out to me from Biome. Their service is impeccable, they pack the products properly and they have a wide variety of good quality, environmentally sound gifts. And for those reasons I'm happy to recommend them to you, but remember, their sale starts tomorrow and ends on Friday.

Over at the Down to Earth Forum, the ladies have been Christmas planning and making lists since July. There is a very good thread about making your own gifts, cards and decorations to get you going and keep you motivated. Another thread,  Countdown to Christmas, has a few links to interesting sites that may give you some ideas if you're not sure what to do.

Here are some more Christmas and holiday related links to get you thinking:

And there is a Christmas swap starting at the forum soon too. Click here to read the thread.

The main thing is to start planning now and as soon as your lists are made, start working on your list. There is no need to panic, small steps and a good plan will get you there and you'll arrive at the holiday season with most of your work already done, or close to it. And if you have any good ideas for homemade gifts, cards or decorations, please share them with us. :- )


  1. Bonjour !
    It's always a good idea to work out our Christmas. We can save money and give something personalized.
    Have a nice week!
    Lucie (Québec, Canada)

  2. Thanks for this post I will check out the suggestions. I have started to think about Christmas. I try to get things people will use and not end up unwanted in a landfill. I so agree with starting early so you aren't so stressed. Sometimes it is hard with other bills coming up. Thanks.

  3. I have started making Christmas gifts for friends and family too. My married lady friends are getting some pretty new pot holders, a set of 4 cloth napkins, (one family will get 8 as there are more people in the family) and a new kitchen towel with the same fabric on top of the towel (held in place with button) My husband is making HIS famous beef jerky. My unmarried lady friends are getting some cloth covered hangers. I made a few quilt squares in my time that for one reason or another they did not make it into a quilt. I took those blocks and used matching fabric on the sides to fit a good hanger. (not one of the wire hangers, but I brought a big box of NICE suit hangers) these turned out very nice if I do say so myself and I will give them with pride. Also going to give them some nice bath salts I made and put into the blue and green Mason jars.

  4. I love Christmas! We have been putting money away once a fortnight and it's so nice to know that little bundle of cash is slowly growing and we'll be able to indulge in a few special treats. Our wider family only does Kris Kringle so we don't have lots of presents to buy, just our children and whoever we get as KK. My husband and I don't typically buy for each other but if we have the money we might buy an artwork for the house. Gosh I get hungry just thinking about Christmas!

  5. The years just seem to go by quicker each year - I have been thinking about Christmas - we have a family day where most of our food is homemade. Some of my most treasured gifts are those that have been made for me by friends and grandchildren!! Thinking cap has been on for a couple of months and gifts are sorted - just need to get started on them!! Off to check out Biome - thank you for the link!! Have a lovely day!!

  6. Hello Rhonda, a lovely post on a topic l am very into. I started lists and gift making during the Summer months (June - July) and feel quite pleased so far. Homemade gifts are really fun making and customizing to suit each individual. This year l am making potholders, dish- and face cloths, sewn rice packs for microwave to soothe neck pains, apple jam, bath salts and lavender hearts, oh and reindeer beer (decorated bottles ). Have a lovely week, Pam

    1. Oh, I think Santa (and I) would love that reindeer beer. :- )

  7. One of the things we do is my husbands company he works for will take what ever amount off your paycheck and place it in an account for you. Then in November you can withdraw it for Christmas shopping. This way we have a set budget and have to stick to it. I also try to make a few gifts as well. Thanks for a great post Rhonda.



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