WITH just a few weeks until Christmas, the Festive panic is starting to kick in.
Catherine Gee, fairs manager of the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair, which is at the SECC from 17- 20 November, shares her top tips for saving money this Christmas while celebrating in style.
1. Nothing beats a real tree with its Christmas scent, but they can be expensive. A smaller real tree will still give you the scent (and space for presents underneath) and will cost less to decorate. Use a simple string of white lights and tie different coloured ribbons on branches as a quick and cheap option.
2. Save money on wrapping paper by using plain brown paper from a stationery shop to wrap gifts, then dress them up with pretty twine, raffia or ribbon.
3. Double up a gift for a friend with a lovely day out. Treat a friend to a visit to the cinema, afternoon tea or to a trip to The Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair for more inspiration and ideas. It’s at the SECC, Glasgow from 17 – 20 November, where over 300 of the UK’s finest craftsmen and women will get together under one roof to offer unique gifts, decorations, crafts, food and inspired interior ideas, to help bring that magical Christmas sparkle to every home. For further information or to book tickets, call 0844 581 1385 or visit countrylivingfair.com/glasgow
4. Go natural – save a bit on expensive decorations around the house by using foliage from your garden or go out for a long walk and gather some holly or lovely greenery just before the big day.
5. Agree a price limit for gifts across the extended family. It’s often more enjoyable finding the perfect gift for £5 or £10 than splurging out a fortune on another designer perfume. There will be lots of lovely gift ideas from just a few pounds at the fair.
6. Hand made gifts are always a winner – if you’re good in the kitchen, make a big batch of piccalilli or chutney. Get some little helpers involved in making treats like Gingerbread Garlands, Scenty Snowballs and Festive Lovehearts – find out how to make them at the Craft and Create Room at Country Living Christmas Fair.
7. Food – buy the boring bits online, opting for supermarket own brands to save time and money, then use your saving for all the special bits of the meal including a top-notch turkey, cheese and lovely sweet treats. Also, it’s tempting to over-shop but don’t get in too much and love your left-overs! Make use of every thing, for example use the turkey to make stock for delicious risottos and use up vegetables for soups and curries.
8. If you are hosting this Christmas don’t take on all the work and cost of the meal and ask all your guests to bring a dish or part of each course. If you have a guest that doesn’t like cooking, get them to bring the cheese, nuts or drinks!
9. Be creative displaying your cards and don’t just stick to the mantelpiece – hang cards with clothes pegs from string along the banister rail and use sparkly fridge magnets to display some cards in the kitchen.
10. Send Christmas greetings by email or if you are posting, get organised early and send your cards by second-class post. You’ll save almost a fiver by sending 50 Christmas cards second rather than first class post. Check http://www.royalmail.com/greetings for final postage dates.
Have a Christmas with a difference and volunteer at your local hospice or homeless unit. It costs nothing and will spread a bit of love and compassion this Christmas.
Notes to editors:
Thurs 17 Nov 10am-5pm
Fri 18 Nov 10am-5pm
Sat 19 Nov 10am-5pm
Sun 20 Nov 10am-4pm
Day and VIP tickets are available in advance and on the door, starting at £11 for a regular adult advance ticket (subscriber discounts available).
Details of all tickets can be found here: http://www.countrylivingfair.com/glasgow/ticket-options/
A VIP package is available, with prices from £42. VIP visitors will receive a goody bag full of wonderful treats, enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly on arrival and access to a private lounge with complimentary tea and coffee throughout the day. VIP ticket holders are also entitled to priority seating at any workshop session.
About Country Living Fairs
The Country Living Fair began nearly 30 years ago with a spring edition in London, and soon afterwards, a Christmas edition was launched. In 2004, a spring edition was launched in Glasgow, which was changed to a Christmas fair in 2008. The Glasgow show has grown significantly since its inception and now boasts over 300 exhibitors, and attracted over 19,000 visitors in 2015.
The fair showcases new and upcoming talent, providing craftspeople with a platform to showcase their goods to high-spending visitors, who travel from all over the country to visit. Visitors can choose from a selection of home and garden ware, arts and crafts, regional food and drink, and the latest fashion and accessories.
Case studies and photography
Various exhibitor case studies and photography are available on request.
Press Office at the event
Country Living will be operating a press office at The Fair on Thursday 17 November.
To register for press pass visit http://www.countrylivingfair.com/glasgow/press-trade/
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