Heather NunnMid NorfolkCM 1

Mid Norfolk CAP Debt Centre urges Christmas simplicity

Heather Nunn who manages the Mid Norfolk CAP Debt Centre is encouraging people across Norfolk to enjoy a simpler, less expensive Christmas this year to avoid getting into financial difficulty.

Heather Nunn (pictured) manages the Mid Norfolk CAP Debt Centre based at the Fountain of Life Church in Ashill.  This year she is urging people to be smart about the festivities.

Heather said: “The TV and shop windows are full of adverts trying to convince us that Christmas is about buying and impressing. However, encouraged by campaigns by Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis and others, many people are turning away from the excess of Christmas and choosing a simpler way to celebrate.
 
“It’s tempting to take out credit and pay it off through the coming year but none of us knows what 2019 will bring. So, our advice is simple: have the Christmas you can afford. It takes all the stress out of it and there’s loads you can do that is more affordable.”
 
Christians Against Poverty has published its top ten tips for a simpler Christmas as follows:

  1. Keep the list of those you buy very short
    We promise you, your kid’s teacher won’t die if you don’t get them a pot plant, nor will all your workmates shrivel up if you don’t get them all something. Try a children-only rule for presents or set a target amount for each.
     
  2. Plan for a great get-together
    On the big day aim for a loving atmosphere rather than the focus being on presents. Get your teens to produce a Christmas playlist in advance, make a list of family games, write some thoughtful cards to be given on the day expressing your appreciation of each other.
     
  3. Manage expectations within the family
    Tell them that you are doing it differently this year and explain why – they may well be more understanding than you think. If your offspring ‘needs’ a more expensive item, see if you can club together with other members of the family.
     
  4. Share the meal preparation
    Some of the best conversations are made when you’re side-to-side, like when you’re chopping carrots or washing up. Do your bit, not just to help the cook, but for the chats. It’s the perfect way to connect with your nearest and dearest.
     
  5. Seek ways of giving your attention
    If modern society is starved of something, it isn’t things, it’s attention! Put your phone down, stop staring at the screen and join in. Find out how Great Uncle Bob really is, ask all the things you’ve always wondered. Play a board game with a younger sibling. Make a point of visiting someone on their own at Christmas.
     
  6. Crafts and cooking
    Spend time making something. It’s not about the result so much. It’s about the doing of it – especially if with others. Make bread, or Christmas biscuits, cut out strips of magazines or junk mail and make paper chains to decorate the house.
     
  7. Connect with church
    If you want all the Christmas meaning with none of the cost, surely church is one way forward? A warm welcome, togetherness and support from your community and mostly likely a range of things you can opt into, be that a carol service or a kids’ party.
     
  8. Do simple things together
    It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to be worth doing. Grab a Christmassy film and a fancy hot chocolate or organise a supermarket pizza and games night for mates.
     
  9. Go radical: postpone Christmas
    Put it off for a couple of days and you will have cheap food, cheap presents, cheap decorations and it could be the most fun you’ve had. You can even get the Queen’s Speech on iplayer.
     
  10. Give to charity
    The season of goodwill is more about giving than receiving. Christians Against Poverty helps some of the poorest families in the UK. Will you help send them an emergency food parcel this year?  

 

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