Can you buy "real" Christmas trees online to be delivered, and come and help me organise a stress free Christmas.....
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 12:32
DH confessed last night that he's dreading Christmas, the stress, the presents, the decorating all of it - he just wants to be able to skip it all and jump to January .
I have managed to reduce his panic levels slightly this morning by having mananged to do a decent sized shop with Ocado for under our weekly budget.
But I know he's stressed out about it.
We've done christmas on a MUCH lower budget before (not actually sure "what" the budget is this year but want to keep costs down regardless) but he just sees debts and doom and gloom (yes we have debts but it's really not doom and gloom any more).
So keys things I need advice on
- I promised the DS's we'd have a "real" Christmas tree this year - we don't have a car, can you buy them online anywhere for delivery???
- Recommendations for Christmas dinner, we usually have a roast of some description, but never Turkey (neither of us like it) and want to order in advance and stick in the freezer so it's not a shock to the finances when I order. Past Christmases have included Ostrich, Beef, Pork, Duck and a game bird whose name escapes me .
- DH isn't keen on buying 2nd hand presents for the DS's, fair enough, he was brought up his whole life with very few presents/toys, but ALWAYS new (although low value). What are you going to buy your 2, 6 or 9yr old DS that's cheap but "looks" good (my boys are easily decieved into thinking that something that was as cheap as chips was actually very expensive ).
- We both come from "Christmas isn't Christmas without a cupboard full of crap food" house holds. DH is particularly fond of the Mr Kiplings type stuff........can any of that sort of stuff be bought in advance and put in the freezer??? (please don't suggest I bake my own as I'm a decent cook but a HOPELESS baker).
- Any other ideas to reduce the stress/cost of Christmas.
Money is tight - but not ridiculously so (if we I start getting organised now it won't be a push), and although I know that Christmas doesn't have to be "big" it's our first Christmas together since we got back together, and I know that making Christmas "special" for us/the DS's is a huge thing for him - I really don't want him to take a knock because he feels it wasn't "good enough".
4littlelions · 19/10/2009 12:48
Don't know about the tree but you might want to think about the Post Office 'christmas club'for next year. You pay in from January through to October, you load a payment card at the post office counter it becomes active to use in shops from November. Has been a great help to us this year in squirreling money away where it can't be got at
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 12:50
nah - not into those saving things - the money is/will be there to spend - as long as I start thinking about it now
overmydeadbody · 19/10/2009 12:52
The florist in town near me (just a kmarket stall, not a permenant shop) sells christmas trees in december and he delivers them, so if you can't find anything online I'm sure you can find places near you that will deliver once you have chosen one.
I will watch this thread with interest though as would like to just order one online.
IMoveTheStarsForNoOne · 19/10/2009 12:55
interesting question, I'd like to know this too.
I'm sure there are garden centres that will deliver - might be worth a google?
neversaydie · 19/10/2009 13:38
Christmas trees online.
I don't like turkey, either. We usually have goose, but I would be just as happy with duck or guinea fowl which are a lot more reasonable. They will cost less if you can buy frozen ahead of time and just keep them in your freezer.
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 13:42
ooo thankyou neversaydie..........
now next question - what sort??? <<<<
Is Guinea Fowl one of those ones you need to do more than one are they're so small??
Never had goose before.......
neversaydie · 19/10/2009 13:45
Not sure about freezing Mr Kipling type cakes - the cake should be fine but fancy icing may suffer. But check the use by dates - they usually have an amazingly long shelf life so you may well be able to find stuff to buy now which will happily keep until Christmas.If you can find somewhere safe to hide it, of course - they would never last here unless firmly locked away and the key lost!
The other tip is to keep decorations pretty minimal - so just a tree and the dining table for example, rather than lights and garlands everywhere. Loads less hassle - and cost. And if you do have a real tree, that is special in and of itself.
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 13:51
ahh hadn't thought about checking the use by dates, I just assumed that as things like mince pies seem to have silly short shelf lives the others would too.
I can't keep decorations minimal - I bought new ones last year (had a whole thread dedicated to my disastrous decorations last year ) so that's fine - just need to get up a ladder to put them up. And I'll get upset if we don't have things hanging from the ceilings (as per last year when that nearly happened)
Can't decorate the dining table........DS3 will leave anything on there for precisely........ermm 2 seconds
So....need to check shelf life on Mr Kiplings type things, check out delivery time/costs on the trees. Getting there
neversaydie · 19/10/2009 13:53
Sorry - answering piece meal..
What you choose as your Christmas tree depends a bit on what your priorities are. Norway Spruce is the lowest cost, and most traditional, but they do tend to drop needles like a moulting cat, and can be pretty bald by the end of the season, especially if you like to decorate early.
We usually go for a Nordman Fir, which looks great and holds its needles much better. But is more expensive. But we do this partly because at DH's request the tree usually goes up mid December so has to last nearly a month indoors.
Some people buy trees with roots and put them in a pot out in the garden the rest of the year. I can never be bothered with this one - trees don't like pots much, and you have to water it and so on all year.
I do love a real tree though, and will put a pretty high priority on having a nice one.
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 13:55
thanks for that - sounds like the Nordman Fir is probably the option we need then as we do tend to decorate early.
Tree with roots sounds like a bit of a hassle, DH would probably remember to water it, but "something" would probably kill it by the following Christmas.
neversaydie · 19/10/2009 13:59
Back to poultry.
We find that a goose will do Christmas dinner for up to 5, then one leftover meal of cold goose and a hot 'goose and rice' for the three of us. Then, thank heaven, it is finished and we can eat something else! (One of the reasons I hate turkey is the memories of leftovers lasting for weeks.) Guinea fowl are smaller, about the size of a small chicken but a bit more taste to the meat. There will be less breast meat than a chicken. How many you buy depends on how may you are feeding (sorry, not sure of numbers and ages of your children), and whether they are likely to eat a good helping of meat or major on the twiddley bits. I would probably buy one if we only wanted one hot meal out of it, two if the leftover dishes are part of you family tradition.
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 14:05
ahh Goose sounds good then, not sure I fancy having to cook multiple birds.
There's 5 of us, me, DH, then DS's, 9,6 and 2.
But a 2kg chicken will last us for one meal, and a sandwiches the next day.
Not really into the "leftovers for boxing day" type thing......my family are, but then I'm so used to not having left overs for another day, no matter how much I cook of something, that the idea of a left over dinner the following day went out the window years ago.
neversaydie · 19/10/2009 14:15
I hope you have fun with it - and a lovely Christmas.
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 14:36
thanks neversaydie - I feel like I'm a step or two closer to getting sorted now
bigTillyMint · 19/10/2009 14:43
Those online trees are very expensive, even by London standards. There are loads of local places that will deliver and won't cost as much.
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 14:46
bigTilly - problem is I've never seen anywhere in our town that sells real trees, and with no car can't have a drive around and look elsewhere
NormaStanleyFletcher · 19/10/2009 14:49
How about a leg of lamb for dinner. You an buy quite a large frozen one in Tesco for about £11
Will think about prezzy ideas and come back
blowninonabreeze · 19/10/2009 14:50
I'd phone around some of the out of town garden centres. We live rurally and all the garden centers round here sell them and they'll deliver. I haven't looked at the linked site but I can only imagine that local garden centres will be cheaper.
bigTillyMint · 19/10/2009 14:53
Oh I thought they must be everywhere as we have choice of 5 - 10 within walking distance and I have seen them around the market town where in-laws live.
Where do you go to shop? Could you order from another town and get them to deliver? They do real trees at our Sainsbos too....
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 14:54
ooo that - looks all wrong - I don't mean it like a "what sort of silly idea is that of yours" - more of a "fgs there's sod all to buy anything round here".
Hmm Lamb, there's an idea, Goose or Lamb........
TartanKnickers · 19/10/2009 14:57
Do you have an Aldi near you. They do a 3 bird roast for a tenner. It's pretty good.
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 14:58
might try ringing Poddington.........but if there artifical tree prices are anything to go by (we spent £35 a silly amount of money on an artificial one from them several years ago) not sure they'll be much cheaper.
would anyone like to house swap with me from now until after Christmas so I can have a choice of places to shop at . It's very good living here, there's so few decent places to shop you don't shop at all and save lots of money
alwayslookingforanswers · 19/10/2009 14:59
Tartan - is it freerange???
<<<<<<isn't fussy really >>>>>>>>>
TartanKnickers · 19/10/2009 15:00
Sorry - realised turkey is the outer bird on the Aldi one.
TartanKnickers · 19/10/2009 15:03
I very much doubt that it is free range
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