Life made simple

Gifts in August.


From about August, time does a funny thing: it starts to fly. And it flies at quite a speed, too. Take a nap in August, and you wake up on Christmas Eve, and you haven’t done any shopping.

So here’s a cunning suggestion. How about avoiding the craziness of festive season gift shopping? How about gradually gathering gifts, starting now? Unless, of course, you actually like the madness of the mall in mid holiday season? Nope, no one likes that.

Start buying or making gifts now.

1. The buying option: Starting now makes it a leisurely rather than a frantic thing. You’ll find lovely thoughtfully chosen things – and they won’t feel like rushed choices. Pick about one gift a week, and you’ll have about 16 by the last week of December, if that’s how many you need.

2. The DIY option. Buy a pocket or two of oranges or grapefruit now, while there’s still a good supply in the supermarkets, and make jars of marmalade.

You can do it!

Use your own special handmade labels and decorative cloth lid covers. Make a big deal of the fact that YOU made them.

Here’s a good marmalade recipe.

If you think you’re useless at jam making, assemble a baking kit by measuring out the dry ingredients for cranberry muffins or choc chip cookies, and put them in a clear glass jar with a lid. Add your own pretty label and a print-out of the recipe.

Even easier: Fill a Mason jar with mixed sweets, or mints, or biltong, or whatever you think will make a nice gift-in-a-jar. Again, don’t forget your own personalised label.

Start now – before time does its weird thing and you find yourself in a packed shopping mall. You can do it!

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