Tuesday, 1 December 2015

My guide to eliminating pre Christmas stress.

Hello. Here's another laugh for you. By popular demand I have made another video, nine minutes this time. Pause it in the middle and make a cup of tea if you find it a bit hard going, ha ha. This is my guide on coping with the stress of present buying running up to Christmas.

You will note that there are a lot of 'erm's' in it, that's because I have to wait for my brain to catch up with my mouth. Also, see if you can spot the deliberate mistake, got my words mixed up, no prizes, ooooops. I'm not doing the whole thing again, so here it is, warts and all.



Think I'll ever make it as a celeb? Waiting for a call from Big Brother, or the Jungle, ha ha.

Thanks for popping in. Catch up with you soon. Toodle pip.

38 comments:

  1. Wonderful post, so sensible, and so much fun to see you enjoying yourself as you made it! I smiled all the way through. I hope you have helped a lot of people feel able to celebrate Christmas they way they truly want. JanF

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  2. The voice of common sense. I do love you. This is the kind of Xmas post I can deal with. xxx

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  3. Brilliant. I really enjoyed that!. I love homemade presents - everyone can do something. One year we agreed to only give homemade presents and even my dad (who claims he can't make anything) turned up with pot plants he had rooted himself. It was lots of fun seeing what everyone brought. When I was growing up we didn't get much for Christmas but what I remember most was playing games as a family. Last year I did a personalized quiz which I downloaded for free. No need to spend a lot of money. Debbie.

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  4. Well, that was fun! A revelation or maybe revolution...

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  5. Another sensible post. I suggested a secret Santa idea for this year but didn't get a very enthusiastic response from my family! I only buy gifts which I'd like to receive myself - no tat allowed! I've still not started - still not opened my savings jar but at least I've got enough funds to cover things this year but I won't be going mad that's for sure.

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  6. Such sensible advice! You have a very sweet, soothing way about you. Your friends are very lucky to have you.
    I do hope you will make more videos. Your voice is nice and clear, and you are loads of fun. Brilliant!
    Lisa

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  7. How true! Start with a budget, make a list and stick to it. I don't think my children suffer too much because they didn't get everything on their Christmas wish-list! There were some pleasant surprises under the tree of things I made My children also learned to create thoughtful gifts which they were proud to give. Now that they are grown, a family get together is all we need.

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  8. Lovely video and sagaceous, words, Ilona. Last year for Christmas, I made little bags from colourful recycled fabric, filled each one with a kilogram of rice. The Italian word for rice is riso. Riso also means laughter. So my message was "a bag full of laughter" for the new year. The rice got eaten and the bag recycled, nothing went wasted. Greetings Maria

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  9. You are a star Mean Queen and always have good advice")

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  10. We no longer give cards at Christmas, we give to the Dogs Trust instead and our friends respect that. This year my husband and I have agreed to spend a maximum of £10 on each other. The Grandchildren have a small personalised gift with thought given to who they are and what they like along with a little pocket money as they are both saving for something special. The decorations are to be made from crepe paper and the tree will be small and covered with sentimental decorations.The most special thing about the day will be having laughs with my two grown up sons who are able to be with us and speaking to the eldest and his family on an RAF base.Just a few years ago just before Christmas my son nearly died and that Christmas he was with us recovering from brain damage and nothing else mattered, his twin who has Aspergers found it hard to deal with and the whole situation put things in perspective,When it comes to showing love and thanks for what we have got, every day should be Christmas!x

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  11. Hello!I loved the video of yourself and the message.So very insightful and honest. Unwanted stress and spending is a terrible way to go through the Christmas season,I think.We have a choice... it's up to us.Thank you very much for sharing that,You've brought a smile to me today,bye for now,D.

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  12. Present-buying IS stressful, especially when your only income is the Pension and the person you're buying for has a large salary and can buy anything they like whenever they want to.
    Very good advice on your video, Ilona; I shall follow it this month.
    Thank you - and I wish you a very happy, contented and healthy Christmas.xx

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  13. Brilliant post. I have a large family so Christmas shopping would be ridiculous. We are not like Ebenezer Scrooge and like a family get together. Everyone brings food and drink so minimum stress. This should go viral to remind everyone they have a choice. You are definitely celeb material. :)

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  14. My Christmas will be taking my dogs for a walk somewhere special, a good book and peace and quiet.
    Each to their own, but within their means.
    Presents are price capped, all8 of them, given with love.
    May everyone have a peaceful Christmas.

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  15. Good advice Ilona. We don't stress out over Christmas any more as we only buy presents for our immediate family, totalling four and we spend Christmas with our daughter and her family so don't have to worry about food shopping although we do contribute to the expense.
    Gone are the days when we would host Christmas, making my own mncemeat, mince pies, chutneys, cakes etc etc. I can't get used to being idle at this time of year and feel I should be doing something. It's very rustrating.

    Joan (Wales)

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  16. Perfect message. Christmas in the U.S. has become way too commercialized. The most stressful gift giving for me was when I worked in an office and everyone wanted to exchange gifts.

    I like homemade gifts. I just saw an idea for one today, a large mug with a Rosemary plant to keep in the kitchen for cooking. In my area you can find many, many lovely mugs at rummage sales for 25 cents. At most, a Rosemary plant would be a couple dollars.

    Spending time with loved ones and good friends is the best gift.

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  17. Great advice! Hubby and I don't buy for each other at Christmas. We do buy the grands a Christmas ornament each year and add $ to their college funds as their gifts. Their house is a walking Toys R Us store and they sure don't need anymore from us. Their parents have taken care of that well enough so they won't suffer. ;) Hubby's family and mine decided years ago to forgo the gift giving and donate to charities instead. I do have to admit when we did do the gift giving thing...We gave money. Easier and no pressure of shopping. Now we get to enjoy Christmas as it was meant to be for us...The birth of a Child. Merry Christmas to you Miss Ilona and all the readers here.

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  18. I loved watching this. Very sensible advice. It's a shame that they can't broadcast this nationwide instead of the adverts on TV which I skip through as they just encourage people to spend.

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  19. What can we say, Ilona? You've said it all, and of course with common sense. I especially like the part where you said that if someone is judging you in a negative way because you didn't give them an expensive gift, then that is someone you should think twice about having as a friend. Real friends are not as shallow as that. As always, love your blog. Mary Jane in Canada.

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  20. Excellent advice Ilona. If someone wants to give, here are some of my giving suggestions. We have 3 grown sons and usually give them money and home baked goods. For their girl friends, I plan ahead and embroider pillow cases and tea towels and include homemade candy. For two younger children, downloading coloring pages from the internet onto card stock, hole punching them, and putting the pictures in a binder works very well. Included are crayons. As they get older, I will probably give them each $10. It isn't the amount that matters.....IT IS THE THOUGHT! I agree with Lisa that your voice sounds very soothing and I do hope you make more videos. Patty Mc

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  21. Great video Ilona. I'm taking the middle path. Some great food with family and friends, homemade crackers and a few book for the kids in my life. Lou has already had a new phone and a saxophone recently. He is only getting a small stocking with sweets and charity shop finds. He understands x

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  22. Great video with good advice Ilona.

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  23. Thank you for your wisdom, I do feel better about my situation now that I have understanding. It is good to know I am not alone. I will be baking with love to my special people. Take care!

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  24. such sage advice but then I would not expect anything else from you. if only others wouldn't jump on to the commercial bandwagon and get stuck with debt. have a very happry Christmas and a prosperous new year too Ilona

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  25. Brilliant Ilona, as always, you brought such a smile to my face! I hope you get an offer from one of those TV programmes, I think you'd be great in the jungle for instance. Happy Xmas!

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  26. A very thoughtful video with lots of sensible and practical advice. I really dislike all the consumerism of Christmas and the constant pressure to spend, spend, spend. I also hate receiving more tat which I don't want or need. This year I've bought most of my presents from charity shops and will be making some stuff too. We've had to do some essential repairs to our house and my priority is making sure our home is secure and dry. Thank you for taking the time to do this video which hopefully others will find hopeful. You are a refreshing voice in a sea of consumerism. Kristel

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  27. Fantastic advice Ilona. Never mind the jungle or Big Brother house this should be alongside the Queens Christmas Message. X

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  28. Excellent Ilona. I reckon you should write the Queen's Speech this year or even appear instead of her, what you have to say is more relevant to us all.

    Linda xxxx

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  29. Great video, your not a twit you are a lovely very sensible lady, really love your blog, I am reading it from the start again xx


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  30. It is Audrey and I have spent quite a stay in hospital. Upon returning home I switched onto your blog to catch up, You were just the tonic I needed, especially you video on Christmas. I wish you a pleasant holiday and blessings for good health in 2016. Lots of love.
    Audrey W

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  31. Great job with this, my friend. I went out yesterday with a list from the local Needs Council of a family in need, and had so much fun. We are encouraged to buy just one small gift for the children on the list, but to get food supplies and soaps, etc. for the family instead of so many gifts. I felt wonderful with buying for some folks who might really appreciate it.

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  32. I've cross stitched a few cards and will be sending those out. I've got a six pack of mince pies (had none last year) and will put up a natural branch from the garden for my decs. I do love to give a little bit to charities. I certainly don't need a new dress or sofa for Christmas. It's just a couple of days. Natalie

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  33. You are a natural Ilona, you should be on the television. I spent a very enjoyable 10mins watching you. You have such good delivery with no rushing and a lovely smile. All the advice was so well meant and sensible.
    Wendy (Wales)

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  34. Jolly good advice! Christmas has become way too commercial and materialistic. We all need to put limits on buying things and getting too caught up in the tawdry glitz. I have been doing what you said in that I buy small gifts all year round when I see them, and mail gift cards to my long-distance nieces and nephews. In our family we only get gifts for the children. Love your videos, keep making them, and no you are not a twit!!

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  35. Fab video! I'm making Limoncello and florentines for everyone for Christmas - a little taste of homemade luxury :) xx

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