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Wishing You A Very Merry Christmas!

Lilo and Stitch Christmas Decoration

Christmas is such a strange but awesome time of year. Strange because it's the only month where spending heaps and heaps of cash is considered totally normal and acceptable. And awesome because there's such a cheery atmosphere everywhere - with carollers on the streets, gatherings and jolly (if a tad annoying) upbeat songs. Everyone's a little happier (OK, not everyone!) but it feels festive and it feels good.

This will be myself and Grant's ninth Christmas together, believe it or not! That makes me sound all kinds of old, although we've been together since I was 18 and lived together since I was 19 - so you can do the math ;) We've spent most of our lives together living in amongst chaotic homes whilst DIY Renovating - so this will only be our third Christmas together in a kitchen that isn't half destroyed or half falling apart. That makes us sound absolutely mad, I know.

Our lives have been very tough at times. Renting at 19 whilst both working minimum wage jobs is nothing school or sixth form prepare you for, and we've worked bloody hard to have what we do now. We're living in our second home and whilst we still don't have central heating (two houses, six years and counting!), we do have ridiculously posh (albeit very budget!) underfloor heating, a log burner and a beyond dreamy kitchen. I would literally never have imaged I would live in a house with little luxuries like this. It's incredibly different from our last house.

This house is obviously very much still unfinished, but we do now have a little area (actually it's quite big!) of bliss away from all the chaos. We have a kitchen; one with an oven, so much storage space I don't know what to do with it all, a dishwasher (thank the lord for our first ever dishwasher!!) and a fridge freezer that's actually big enough to hold food that'll last more than a few days at a time. I'm beyond excited for Christmas this year! And guess what? We have a tree too!

Open Plan Living with Christmas Tree

Yes we do! You'll remember last years tree maybe? It was made out of bricks and sticks, literally. We had no counter-space, nowhere to prepare food, nowhere to wash pots - it was a Christmas feast disaster. In fact, we didn't really do Christmas at all. We had a budget each of £5 for one another's gifts and we cooked a frozen ready-meal kinda dinner. We didn't decorate, we didn't watch a single movie - the spirit was well and truly non-existent. So this year is total turnaround!

Christmas tree in galley kitchen

Having gone from zero pounds, to a little, to a little bit more, to now almost average - I truly appreciate every pound we have and every pound we spend. And as I've got older, I care less for  the smaller "stuff" in life. You'll notice our house is fairly minimal in that way! There's such a desire to own stuff and it can really easily end up owning you. The need to buy is addictive and it's so easy to fall into a pattern of constantly needing and wanting more; essentially making you need to work more. Whilst Christmas is fab in so many ways - a lot of it, is about buying stuff. In fact, it kinda demands it of you. The idea of gifting is lovely; a gesture to show you care, spoil someone you love - but let's face it, you end up having to gift to everybody like some of requirement. Distant relatives, colleagues, neighbours, even blooming' teachers, I hear! It's bonkers. The whole giving/receiving cycle literally forces you to spend more and more and quite often, it's either pointless tat or copious amount of chocolate. Or at least, that's my experience.

For the last few years we've realised we'd rather not stress about having to save a wad of cash months in advance for Christmas. I hate the idea of wasting money on stuff for the sake of buying something. And stuff like overpriced chocolates just makes me feel ripped off (sorry!). I'm not saying we don't give - but we budget a very very small amount and we try to keep gifting massively under control. And that does include gifting to one another too! Sometimes, you just gotta tell people not to give! And there's other ways you can give at Christmas, rather than buying stuff too. Can anyone else relate? Do you think gifting has gone a tad OTT? (Obv, I'm talking about adult gifting here - presents for kids is a bit different!)

classic christmas tree in kitchen

Our traditions at Christmas are pretty simple. We buy one tree decoration each, every year. (This year we cheated and bought a further two at a Christmas Market in Poland - but I figured we didn't buy any last year, so it was okay!) We have a chicken, not turkey; it's cheaper and there's only two of us anyway! Grant cooks, I drink lots of sparkling wine. We usually play a board game of some kind, watch a couple of movies and then we'll most likely pass out from a food coma around 8pm. It's nothing crazy exciting - but Christmas just has that festive feel that makes it more special. And of course, we get a day or two off - so that's always a bonus!

We haven't gone overboard on the home decorating this year - as always, our money is needed elsewhere on plasterboard and the like - but I did manage to make a couple of DIY decorations instead. Unfortunately, I didn't quite get round to posting about them on here, but maybe I'll do some similar ideas for Valentines/Easter instead with a tutorial. Here's a sneak peak at one though:

christmas pom pom ceiling decorations

With just a few sleeps to go, I wanted to wish you all a super awesome day! If you're in the middle of a renovation and 'not feeling it' this year - firstly I totally get it(!!) and secondly just remember 12 months from now and it'll all have been worth it!! I also wanted to say thanks to every person who has visited this blog over the last year, commented, sent me messages, even followed me on Instagram. I've receive a massive amounts of hits on the blog this year, which is ironic considering this is the year I've written the least amount of content! But there ya go!

In the spirit of 'giving', I also wanted to say, please remember to spend a little and give to those who are in need this Christmas. There are people in the UK still homeless, people still battling illnesses where there isn't a cure, children without parents, and suffering in all other kind of ways. I think it's so important (always - but even more at Christmas!) to show you care to the causes that mean the most to you. It helps real-life people and gives far more joy than just a short-term thrill of a gift at Christmas. When people are literally walking about with pocket-fulls of cash ready to spend and "give", why wouldn't you?

Merry Christmas and have a fabulous day,

Kezz X

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