Yesterday I started my Christmas shopping, "it's way to early" I hear some of you cry dear readers but I figured this year I had to be extra organised and that if I started now with my bumper bargain Christmas I would have some chance of actually being able to afford it all. I think there's so much pressure placed on parents at Christmas and if you're a single parent then the chances are that the kids actually see that as an excuse for double presents and not that they might get less, perish the thought! To be fair though I have pretty good and understanding children, I've told them my budget is £100 per child for them to choose whatever they want and then I'll spend around another £50 on surprises and you know what, being a bit of a bargain hunter I reckon they'll all get a very nice size pile of presents for that amount, for me it's not so much about the value I just like a big pile of presents which look pretty around the Christmas tree. I've said for years that I am Christmas, it's just my thing, I love every second of it and I'm one of those who's always just a little sad when it actually gets to Christmas day because I know that the magic and excitement is over for another year.
Maybe that's why I've really embraced autumn this year, because I know after autumn comes winter and in winter we have Christmas!
Yesterday was a rainy horrid day but it dried up just in time for Petunia and I to trot down to the park which was bathed in autumnal glory. I love walking Petunia and please don't judge me but I like it best when it's just me and the dog, doggy and me time is the loveliest time of day and it's funny but I never feel quite so lonely when Petunia is around, last night as I did some window shopping on Etsy she lay on the sofa next to me nuzzled into me and I embraced the love you find in having a pet dog. I'm so head over heels in love with Petunia and I'm thankful every day that she came into our lives.
On the subject of shopping for Christmas I've decided that for as much as I can I am going to do my Christmas shopping either on Etsy or within the Inspire Network so that I can support as many micro business owners, crafts people and artisans. I read an article last year that if you supported your local business every £1 you spent was worth £50 to the local economy as opposed to spending that £1 with big businesses and obviously as a small business owner myself I appreciate all of my clients, you know I have an Etsy store full of gorgeous prints, why not consider purchasing your loved ones something lovely from Philomenas Boutique this year or failing that a gift certificate for Mandy Charlton Photography is the gift which keeps on giving!
Once again the rain scuppered an outdoor photo shoot yesterday meaning I have 18 photo shoots and a wedding in Harrogate in the next 7 days, even I think that's a lot of work and I may just squeeze in some extra vitamins and jumping beans, actually I have to say after losing a stone since the beginning of September I am feeling a lot more bouncy and full of energy anyway, 1 stone down and 1 to go, I shall be a leaping jumping bean by the time I am finished!
Today dear reader have a think about your Christmas shopping, if you are a parent be kind to yourself, tell your children this year will be about family and being together and special presents which mean a lot but might not cost a fortune and consider making some of your purchases from local businesses instead of those big corporate faceless organisations who steal our souls when we walk through the doors.