The Purge Before The Splurge

By Alison November 12, 2007 8 Comments 4 Min Read

Goodness, tis all very well filling your Christmas Planner with all manner of scrumptious ideas, delicious recipes and inspired gift ideas, but if you find yourself in a demented rush to buy seven types of Christmas Pudding and every roll of Baroque style wrapping paper you come across before your pumpkin has even gone moldy, mark my words you will live to regret it in a home not yet prepped for the injections of frippery and nonsense the festive season thrusts upon it…
And so before the splurge must come the purge. In a world where even babies are now  considered jeopardy to our dubious green credentials, we have something of an obligation not to add too frivolously to the mountain of debt and badly chosen gifts that Christmas always leaves in its wake and perhaps more pertinently, for our own sanity, we need to  clear the decks  on every level, emotionally, physically and spiritually before  we will be really up to  donning our party hats, stuffing the turkey and dancing the Christmas polka…
So just for this week, curb your festive enthusiasm and lets detox house, home, and proverbial hearth and take stock of what we’ve got before the countdown to Christmas really begins…
1. Food first (because I’m greedy).  It’s time to live out of the freezer. While this may make for some wacky meal combinations for dinner, it is essential if you are going to find the room for cranberry muffin dough, chestnut butter, and other swoon making indulgences. Start now. Have frozen carrot omelet with fishcakes for supper tonight. You know you want to.
2. Take stock of the basics. Flours, butter, lard, sugars, spices, dried fruits, alcohol etc, etc. Use up the dregs, clean out tins and jars and leave open to air dry. Seek out Christmassy tins and line with greaseproof paper ready for festive baking sessions and give all baking and roasting tins and trays a thoroughly good seeing to with a baking powder and lemon scrub…
3. Get Christmas decorations down and see how the festive land lies. Are your lights working? Have all your baubles survived hibernation?   Forgot you had that? Thought you had more? Don’t leave it to the last minute to be disappointed. Throw away what’s past it’s best. Decide what can be recycled and re-invented. What needs to be lovingly wrapped back in tissue paper for another year and replaced to grace this years tree. This should prevent too many “just had to have it” incidents in your local Winter Wonderland….
4. Get the arguments over with once and for all. Establish your festive plans now and let all concerned know exactly whose Christmas dinner you will be devouring and who you want to be kissing under the mistletoe. If you are having a buy nothing Christmas warn the family. Tell the person cooking you’ve become a vegan. May as well get the hissy fits over and done with so you jig your way into December on an atmosphere free cloud…
5. If you have read “The Secret” (and who hasn’t?) you will know that if you want all your dreams to come true you’ve got to make room for them… So if you are eeking out the dregs of your last bottle of Chanel, chuck it all down your cleavage instead, et voila! room for more perfume in your Christmas stocking! Should also work on rubbish men, holey underwear and worn out dreams. Clear the decks and make room for oodles of scrumptiousness…
6.   Lie to the kids. Tell them Santa only brings more gifts if there’s room for them. Give them a box each and watch in wonder as it fills up with toys they are willing to sacrifice. Book a day in your diary to deliver the boxes to local charity shops and make other little ones Christmas special…
7. Trust me re-gifting isn’t a sin punishable by a life-long jail term. T’isn’t even social suicide unless you are really stupid and re-gift something gruesome right back to the one who oh so generously bestowed it upon you in the first place. Scour the house for stuff you already own and are more than willing to offer to a more grateful home. Nobody but you will know.
8.  Work out what you’ve got left over from last year. This goes for cards, gift wrap, tags, ribbon, stockings, Christmas linen, crackers, candles etc, etc. Buy nothing until you rooted around your imagination and used what you already have.  If you’ve got an abundance of brown paper, joy of joys you are having a brown paper Christmas, liberally livened up with all manner of scrumptious vintage ephemera or some oh so chic french christmas ribbon
9. Set yourself a challenge. Tell yourself your festive budget must be in line with  funds raised through an Ebay marathon. Get rid of your junk and use the pennies sitting happily in your paypal account to  fund Christmas.  No more, no less. Now theres an incentive to  detox the nonsense and save yourself a small fortune if ever there was one
10.   Use up all the old bottles of shampoo, bars of soap, air freshners, washing up liquid etc, in fact, everything comsumable before you allow yourself to spend a single  penny on Chrismas scented  luxury. Yes, you are contractually required to indulge yourself with the most scrumptious of everything in December but only when all the bottles you’ve got clogging up your bathroom cabinet are in the recycling bin…


  1. Ali says:

    I dug out all the Seasonals today. We definitely need more. I like a leisurely pace into and out of the Holidays so for me, this is the right time to start.

  2. Sasha says:

    Oh my goodness, yet more fabulous pearls of genius wisdom!
    I somehow always manage to get it all back to front though – I have already been lulled into buying Xmas scented fabric conditioner (oh yes my friend!) from M&S, and umpteen Xmas scented air fresheners and oils, and new napkins, and table centre pieces, etc etc, just so I'm ready to turn the house all festive on Dec 1st – even though we are somehow (???!!) rather lacking in funds…. oh dear. Should have read this months ago…
    Trouble is, because I am always clearing out and making space, I have nothing left worth selling on e-bay! What's a girl to do?
    I have SO been living out of the freezer and store cupboard for a few weeks now, that practically EVERYTHING is going to need replacing and stocking up – and that's not even for Xmas stuff!
    I am in a pickle, and I haven't even started gift buying yet.

  3. Gena says:

    Oh fabulous advice Darling! incidentally I live and breath "The Secret" book and dvd, just need the t shirt!

  4. TX Poppet says:

    I have printed this up and will follow instructions as indicated. Thank you for this virtual prodding.

  5. Vee says:

    This list makes the best sense I’ve seen lately. Everything else is a rehash of 1956, 1967, 1978, 1982, you know what I mean! I’m feeling inspired, truly inspired. Thanks!

  6. Lisa says:

    I love that you consider alcohol a basic!

  7. Ali says:

    Meant to say, I really enjoyed the Buy Nothing For Christmas site. I've passed it onto some friends.
    Ali x

  8. Victoria says:

    Thanks for the great advice, I love the pre-Christmas detox and the never quite knowing what random dinner my mum will prepare me! I am living the secret this year and my Christmas list was created with visual images to welcome them to me.

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