This week’s biggest tip is …
don’t be afraid or ashamed to borrow
[but acknowledge gratefully it when you do!]
We are all prone to feeling over-busy, and under-resourced at this time of year. But here in blogland, we are blessed with friends and information, and sharing is a huge part of this virtual world.
- borrow good ideas - the simple decoration or table centre you saw on somebody’s blog [or Martha Stewart’s website] – if the tutorial is easy to follow and the materials are inexpensive and to hand, then have a go. Hands up all those people who made teardrops and snowflakes a couple of years ago? And look carefully in the shops, that felt stocking looks so easy to make…could you recreate it yourself?
- borrow great recipes – those emergency HobNobs I made last week were fabulous. They cost pennies, tasted great and were exactly what I needed for my guests. There are lots of super ideas for festive canapés, turkey leftovers etc. out there. Not just on the web, check out the TV cooking programmes, and the free magazines the supermarkets give away.
- borrow furniture – seriously – don’t be fooled by the TV ads, you do not need to buy a new dining set just because Gran is coming for 3 days over the holidays. Your best friend is going to her Mum in Yorkshire for a week, and she will happily lend you a spare dining chair to use while she is away. Ditto beds – mates who like camping will lend spare airbeds. Though I suggest you put the kids on the camp bed and let Gran have their decent mattress!
- borrow party clothes – I really shocked someone last week when we were talking about weddings. I said how grateful I was to my SIL for the loan of her lovely dress for the wedding in August. “I could never wear someone else’s clothes!” she said in horror**. But why not? Swap and change and you all get a variety of outfits [and Egyptian robes!] **she probably won’t buy in Charity Shops either!
- borrow hiding places – the year our children got bicycles [2nd hand, beautifully refurbished by Bob] we hid them up the road in our mate Syd’s garage until late on Christmas Eve. Safer than a woman I knew who put her gifts in a tied black bin sack and left in in her own garage without telling her helpful husband. Yes – he did – he put them out with the rubbish. The bin men took away £300 worth of presents!! I still feel bad whenever I remember her – and that was 20 years ago.
- borrow a Granny – if you are feeling few in number, or missing loved ones [too far away, whether on earth or in Heaven] then invite someone else to share a meal with you.
But please don’t, unless it is totally unavoidable, borrow money – and if you must, then think carefully about how you do it.
And the other side of the coin is …
don’t be too wrapped up in yourself to share
- share a smile – with the harassed girl on the checkout, the frazzled Mum at the school gate, that grumpy assistant in the IKEA restaurant, Nottingham [the one who always has the shortest queue]
- share your blessings – even on the tightest budget, you are looking at a PC now, and probably have already eaten today. An odd coin or two from the bottom of your handbag, chucked into the Sally Army bucket won’t result in you being thrown in Debtors’ Prison- but will help someone in extreme poverty.
- share your faith – if you are a Christian then this truly is a God-given opportunity. Jesus is the Reason for the Season!