Busy getting ready for Christmas


Our budget for the whole of Christmas is once again between $200 – $250.. (that includes all presents, food, drinks, postage, cards etc) We’ve been having “frugal Christmases for 4 years now and I enjoy every moment of them. I love the challenge of providing a fun, loving, enjoyable family Christmas within our means.. This year, we are stepping back in time and having a wartime Christmas Day circa 1940.


My eggless wartime Christmas cake has now been iced and I will decorate it in a week or so. I’m currently researching on how people tended to decorate their Christmas cakes from this time period. In 1940, icing sugar was still available so over my mock marzipan, I slathered on thick icing (icing sugar mixed with a little water and almond essence).

We made some tree stars out of plain white paper and have been making paper chains from old magazines and newspapers. In addition I’ve been making wartime shortbread and preserves for presents.phc3

Thanks to my recent “care package” I now have extra currants and raisins so will be making a nice big Christmas pudding and mince pies! But here is the fun thing, on Christmas Day we are having MURKEY (mock turkey)… its stuffing based and my kids love stuffing so hopefully they won’t be too disappointed. Actually, I think it will all be rather fun!

This year, I dug a little tree up from the woodland on my property and potted it in some earth, we’ll dig it back into the ground once Christmas is over and I’m watering it every day. It’s small and spindly but it’s our own tree so that is kind of nice.

Please share what you are making! I’d love to hear!!

C xxxxx


10 thoughts on “Busy getting ready for Christmas

  1. Wow! That’s an impressively frugal budget. I take my hat off to you. I’m pretty sure I saw someone making Murkey in the recent BBC series of Wartime Farm. I thought it looked rather delicious – I rather agree with your kids that stuffing is one of the best bits of Christmas dinner.

    • Hey Joanna- the frugal Christmas is out of necessity really but it’s doable with a little forward planning. The children still enjoy $50 worth of gifts each and we do have nice things and a nice time 🙂 C xxx

  2. I like your tree stars, the white ones. They look really stylish. Plus, I like your dog! I’m glad you didn’t take your interest in war time too far, and get rid of your pet at the beginning of the experiment! Many many pets were put to sleep in 1939 because families feared they’d be unable to feed them. Such a shame when dogs are such a cheap source of pleasure, happiness and comfort. I bet many widows regretted the decision and longed for something warm to cuddle at night.

    • Hi Joss- when I came across this particular information on line and how many dogs and cats were destroyed I had tears rolling down my cheeks….how sad that so many people did this but I guess they thought they were doing the right thing. An awful decision to make and I absolutely think you are right xxxx

  3. Stuffing is always the best bit of Christmas lunch! You home looks fabulous and cosy and that is the sweetest, most Christmassy tree ever – also, if your dog is looking that content, you’re doing something right. Thanks for sharing your preparations. Inspiring.

  4. Yes, I would love to know how to make those delightful stars. Please share… Your tree looks stunning too Rosemary x

  5. I have loved reading your comments and thanks for kind words… my house tends to get a bit higgeldy piggeldy and messy at times but I do try and keep my living room area tidy and nice- somewhere to escape to even though the chairs are lumpy!!

    I WILL do a posting later about the stars and put up the link to the instructions. I saw this on a friends wall on Facebook and had to have a go!! They are surprisingly quick and easy to make once you have made one or two!!

    C xxxx

  6. I love your Christmas tree. We are also on an austerity budget for Christmas but it will still be as nice as we can make it.

    One of my dearest friends grew up in Glasgow where she spent the war years. We always talk a lot about that time. Her memories are as fresh as if it were just yesterday.

    In the last year of the war she said everyone was so tired of rationing (it had been going on for so long) that it was difficult to get up any enthusiasm even for Christmas. That year was particularly sparse for her family because her cousin became a war bride (baby on the way) in November so the family had to pool together a lot of their rations for the wedding cake. They were planning to just ignore Christmas dinner. The day before Christmas her older brother showed up on the doorstep. They had not seen him in over a year. He was not a soldier but was working on a farm. He brought Christmas with him – a large chunk of mutton, a chicken, vegetables, eggs, honey and a whole salmon . They poached the salmon because it was poached lol!

Leave a Reply