A Canny Christmas

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

adjective adjective: canny; comparative adjective: cannier; superlative adjective: canniest. having or showing shrewdness and good judgment, especially in money or business matters. "Canny shoppers came early for a bargain"

The one thing that really excites me about life in France, is the total lack of commercial day light robbery at Christmas! It is incredibly quiet though and you do have to make your own fun but essentially Christmas is for family and food right?.


Absobloodylutely!


I think in many countries, especially in the UK, it is tough to shut out the noise of the adverts and push for you to empty your bank account every Christmas. I've always loved Christmas time but have come to loath the pressure and debt it brings. Still, I also find it hard to be frugal as I am naturally a generous human, which my husband hates. I can't blame him really, money is hard to earn and easy to spend. Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves and all that! A great saying, eh?


This first year and our first Christmas in Canada, possibly our last, we can't even afford the flights for our kids to fly in, as we had stupidly left it too late to book at a 'doable' price! The sky should never be the limit should it? Very easy to reach for the credit card and tell yourself it will be okay in the end. Will it?


We were all very disappointed, of course. It's very tough being far from home and having not seen my kids for 9 months, I couldn't help but shed a tear. In the end a friend here suggested flying them into New York, which is infinitely cheaper! We can drive from here to get them, takes 8 hours or so, but it is better than not seeing anyone until we are back in France! We also decided to tie this in with our youngest daughter's 18th and part Christmas gift. Him and I also haven't celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary which was in Spring this year. So, this will be a one stop celebration trip! Works out lovely in the end thankfully! However, this means the Christmas stockings will be more than scant this year and thats okay. Personally, I'd rather have an 'experience' I will never forget, than a gift I could buy myself, if I wanted too.


In this day and age its hard to be thrifty, but try it and you'll soon get addicted! All easier when one has a goal to achieve! Once you stop endlessly buying 'stuff' you'll wake up to where your money is going and how to protect it better. We have to keep the 'Wreck' budget in mind and really focus on making it happen next year. Stop paying other folks rents all over the world and finally go home.


I haven't bought much this year really, as every year seems to be a 'moving year' and next year will be no exception. Our lease here is up in January and we can't/won't stay here, it is what it is. So today, we started the hunt for real and saw two houses, neither were suitable. Both had decent gardens though which the dogs absolutely loved! We've been without a garden since we arrived in Canada and it's been totally tedious. It wasn't supposed to be that way, but the promise of a fenced secure, noise reduced garden never materialized, thanks the house developer. It's been quite a disappointing and expensive lesson in not taking a home, with a bag full of promises to finish it in the near future. Such is life.


The problem with the rentals we saw today, was generally the lack of decent finishes and problems with flow. They just didn't 'feng shui'. The rooms in both were 'higgledy piggledy' in the extreme. The layout did not make any sense whatsoever! One was way too small and the other had enough space but not in the right places. The second one had a pool that was in severe disrepair and back doors we couldn't open. The one thing that has driven us mad here, is not being able to just step outside and let the dogs out. So not going there again. Also there's a limit to what one should invest in making a rental a home, don't you think? I realize we will possibly have to paint but I think beyond that, it would be a further waste of money. Anyway, the search goes on. Luckily we have started early in terms of the market here, so there is at least a little hope. Wish us luck!


Donna x



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