10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2017/2018!!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2017/2018!!

I do so love winter!

It’s that great time of year.

Christmas!

I love the crispness of the air, the early evenings, the freshness of the cold, and the darkness  when the lights come out.

I love it so, because December is my most favourite month ever, and also the month of my birth!

It was my birthday two weeks ago.

Yay!

It was my birthday a few weeks ago. Yay!
It was my birthday a few weeks ago. Yay!

Just look at my delightful yummy birthday cake. It’s cherries and cream, but it sure does look like cherry tomatoes.

But that would be weird…!

The horror of Christmas shopping – Get me out of here!

And even if you’re not into the horror of Christmas shopping, you are still liable to the festive season.

At least in Europe you are!

However of late, Christmas has been high-jacked by activities contrary to what this season is all about. Everywhere you look there’s some disaster or another, and then in a few weeks, merriment galore, then huge bills!

Yikes!

Let’s make Christmas time as pain-free as possible!
10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2017/2018!!

So let’s make a deal.

Instead of wasting a huge amount of money on things you either don’t need, or probably already have, making the issue of #firstworldproblems completely and utterly true.

Let’s figure out a way to make Christmas time as pain-free as possible.

So come with me as I feature 10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing if you’re broke, and don’t have a penny to your name. And 10 gifts that do, for those who have the dosh, and really want to spend it!

10 CHRISTMAS GIFTS THAT DON’T COST A SINGLE THING, AND 10 GIFTS THAT DO!!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2017/2018!!

Here we go!

  1.  MAKE MUSIC

A personalised mixed tape doesn't cost a single thing!
A personalised mixed tape doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Ha! Ha! Not a measuring tape.

I mean tape cassette!?

Tape?!&%!!

When was the last time that you actually saw a good ‘ol cassette player?

Like never!

Nevertheless, the sentiment remains the same. Why not make a customised mixed playlist from your huge collection on iTunes or Spotify, and make a CD! You can even sing on it….!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!

On the other hand, if you’ve ever wanted to be in your own rock band, and make your own style of music, now you can!

I recommend this really cool RockJam Full Size Electric Guitar Superkit. It even comes with it’s own amp, strings, tuner, strap, case and cable, as well as an association of colours – black, red, brown, and sunburst!

Perfect for the aspiring beginner!

And get this. It’s under £100.00 / €100.00!

Move over Eric Clapton!

If you want one

  • Buy this electric guitar superkit via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy this electric guitar superkit via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy this electric guitar superkit via Amazon.de here!

 2.  MAKE A PHOTOGRAPHY ALBUM

Photographs don't cost a single thing!
Photographs don’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

In todays’ world, pretty much everyone and his mother has a mobile phone. In many cases, a smart phone too.

It doesn’t take a genius to take a photograph or two of yourself, your friends, and family, or even your hobby using stuff like postcards, ticket stubs, old T-shirts, money, etc, making your photography more than just a bunch of photos, but a scrapbook of your life. And theirs!

Then all you have to do is upload the photographs, edit as appropriate, then send off to your loved ones by Email.

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you’re looking for something different, why not get a retro camera for instant photographs with your friends and family. ‘Remember when this was a thing?

I recommend this marvellous Instax Mini 9 Camera – Ice Bluebecause it’s my favourite colour, and so unusual! It also comes in white, yellow, pink, black, raspberry, and grape!

And get this. It’s under £90.00 / €90.00 / $90.00!

How fun is that!

If you want one

  • Buy your loved ones a fun retro camera via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy this fun retro camera via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy this fun retro camera via Amazon.de here!

3.  MAKE YOUR OWN COOKBOOK

Making your very own cook and recipe book, doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

I’m not the best of cooks.

Even though I love eating wonderful food, and I have a whole bookshelf of cookery books.

I SIMPLY CAN’T COOK!

But if you can, why not make your very own cook and recipe book for your friends and family.

Add personalised notes and extra information about why you chose that particular recipe, ‘cos who doesn’t like something delicious. Or even the secret to making a good cup of tea!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

I’m a terrible cook, but I do like writing about food!
How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!

If you fear that you might kill people, leave it to the experts, and buy your loved ones a cookery book instead, so that they can make it like mummy used to.

Properly!

If the pressure is far too much, why not try out some fun cook books, to remind you of your obsession in 2017 instead…

It does. It’s Christmas!!

From the creators of Baking Bad comes the ghoulishly funny spoof cookbook The Walking Bread, inspired by the hit television series that viewers have been hungrily devouring for the past five years.

Fans of the show will be dying to get their hands, on this new pun-tastic, post-apocalyptic book!

It does. It’s Christmas!!

And of course, if you’re as obsessed with Game of Thrones as I am, you simply must get Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine!

Inspired by the hit television series, this Game of Thrones baking book is the struggle for the Iron Scone where chaos reigns throughout the Seven Kingdoms!

Kings, queens, knights, and honest men, battle it out as they play the Game of Scones while Jammy Lannister, by right of birth, blood and dough, lays claim to the Iron Scone of Westeros!

Join him as he fights his way through the kitchen, via desserts such as Unsullied Soldiers (without nuts), Brienne of Tart, Jaime and Cersei’s Family Mess, and Tyrion’s Shortbread!

I highly recommend both books!

And get this. They’re both under £10.00 / €10.00 / $10.00!

So what are you waiting for?

If you want one

  • Buy your loved ones The Walking Bread here. And the Game of Scones via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy this hilarious cookbook The Walking Bread here. And the Game of Scones via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy this hilarious cookbook The Walking Bread here. And the Game of Scones: Das witzige Backbuch zur Kultserie via Amazon.de hier!

4.  GO ON A WALKING TOUR

Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending, in Taiwan! 16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!
Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending, in Taiwan
16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

You’re broke and you can’t afford to travel the world.

Not to worry. Let the world travel to you!

Join a walking tour in a major city near you. Completely and utterly free (except for the tips of course.)

We said save money, not steal it!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment! ©Scott Herder - BoboandChiChi.com
Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

On the other hand, you’ve got holiday time due to you, or you want to surprise a loved one, then don’t be shy take the next train, or flight, and book a hotel to anywhere in the world.

Go on. You deserve it!

  • If you’re in Britain, book a hotel room via Booking.com. here!
  • If you’re in the US, book a hotel room via Booking.com. here!
  • Wenn Sie in Deutschland sind, sie können ein Hotelzimmer über Booking.com auf Deutsch, hier buchen!

5.  MAKE PICKLES or JAM

Pickles, in many cases, don’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

We all eat far too much!

Using the fruit and vegetables from your garden, your terrace, or even your window sill, can give you pickles and jams galore!

Instead of throwing out your excess fruit, make jam and give them to your friends and family.

Instead of throwing out your excess vegetables, make chutney and give them to your neighbours.

And if you’re worried about the effects of dry summers and warms winters, then by all means, go ahead and make your own pickles!

My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
One of the apples from our garden!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

We have a plum-tree, an apple tree, a blackberry tree, and hundreds of home-grown vegetables. We even have our own wormery and compost box!

Fresh produce doesn’t do itself justice, bearing in mind that there are no added chemicals. In fact, no added anything!

Just put in a little sunshine, a bit of water, some basic pruning from time-to-time, a couple of old teabags, crushed eggshells, and dried coffee granules, and you’ve got yourself a vegetable patch, and freshness to last you through the winter!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you’re as bad a cook as I am, get yourself a cookery book and learn how to find fruit and vegetables all around us.

Buy your loved ones inspiring books that show you how to choose good food. Use good food. And eat good food, while at the same time encouraging a degree of self-sufficiency.

Grow Your Own Cake: Recipes from Plot to Plate is not only a useful book, but a jolly good read!

And for the vegans out there.

How about a book that is extremely attractive to vegans who are not, in fact, vegans! Check out Beautifully Real Food: THE DIRTY VEGAN COOKBOOK: Guilt-free, Meat-free Recipes to Indulge In.

Yes, you too can go meat free. For a day or two with Beautifully Real Food!

I utterly recommend both books!

And get this. They’re both under £10.00 / €20.00 / $25.00!

So what are you waiting for?

If you want one

  • Buy your loved ones Grow your own cake here. And Beautifully Real Food via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy this inspiring Grow your own cake here. And Beautifully Real Food via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy this inspiring Grow your own cake here. And Beautifully Real Food via Amazon.de here!

6.  MAKE A HOME-MADE MOVIE

A home-made film doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

If you have a smart phone, a camera, or a selfie stick, you can start making your very own-home movie, starring YOU.

Produced by you, and directed and scripted, completely and utterly by you.

Boy, but what a thrill!

I’m not going to show you any of my own home-movies. I’m not mad you know!

But if you want to see some of my professional ones, click here!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you’re serious about movies and films, and want to take making a movie to the next level, why not go to film festivals for inspiration, pile on the pressure by joining a workshop hosted by the University of Bedfordshire (UK), where you have to make an independent film project in just 48 hours, show your film via Open Screenings and free entrance to the public at the British Shorts Film Festival, or enrol at a film school nearby.

I’m constantly being asked to make some sort of film production, made and produced by myself.

Er. Nope!

I love watching films. I love being in films, but I’m not skilled enough to actually make the film!

And nor do I want to.

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

I love being in front of the camera, rather than behind it!

Last year, I was asked by the BBC to take part in a creative art make-your-own-digital-film project, but I turned it down. The BBC. I know!! However, they were kind of enough to invite me for a BBC4 London radio show instead.

I readily accepted!

Having said that, I love learning stuff which is why I’m always at one workshop or another, and there’s nothing wrong with adding to the skills that one already has. So I might book one of the MET practical filmmaking world-renowned weekend courses after all. And certainly, if you’re serious about this stuff, you should do the same, or get one of your grannies to pay for it!

7.  READ A BOOK

Reading a book doesn't cost a single thing!
Reading a book doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

If you’re clever, getting a book for free is as easy as getting a slice of bread!

All you had to do is search for a classic book online, or go to your local library, and the book is yours. Certainly the Berlin Central and Regional Library (ZLB), yearly library membership cost between just €5.00 – €10.00 a year, and includes being able to borrow DVDs, Videos, Music CDs, Booklets, Audio books, Art related items, and up to 60 books at a time!

On top of that, you have access to every other public library in the city. All pretty much free of charge.

Gosh!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It’s Christmas!!

Why waste time.

Buy your loved ones a kindle, and they can have a book for life!

Kindles are on special offer right now, and they’re much cheaper than an iPad!

I have Kindle on my iPad, and Kindle on my Samsung phone, and a few years ago we bought The Tall Young Gentleman a Kindle Fire Tablet, and he’s still using it!

For children, teenagers and Millennials, Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet, is your man! It also comes in canary yellow, marine blue, and punch red!

And get this. It’s under £70.00 / €80.00 / $80.00!

I really don’t think you can get cheaper than this, with all the extra features!

If you want one

  • Buy your loved ones the next generation Kindle Fire HD 8, via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy your loved ones the next generation Kindle Fire HD 8, via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy your loved ones the next generation Kindle Fire HD 8, via Amazon.de here!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

If you’re a dedicated reader, then a Kindle Paperwhite is probably more useful!

If you want one

  • Buy your loved ones the Kindle bestseller – Kindle Paperwhite, via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy your loved ones the Kindle bestseller – Kindle Paperwhite, via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy your loved ones the Kindle bestseller – Kindle Paperwhite, via Amazon.de here!

Whatever.

Buy a Kindle!

8.  CHARITABLE GIFTS THAT YOU CAN SEE!

Donating an old toy, doesn't cost a single thing!
Donating an old toy, doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

I personally like to donate clothes, books and toys.

I’ve also donated my time by teaching for free, or offering some other service.

At one point, I was a Charitable Director of a Woman’s Shelter in London, and a civilian sergeant in the Engineering Unit of the Territorial Army!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

Most people by their very nature are charitable and want to help others, but sometimes there’s a nagging feeling if you’re really doing what you can?

Is your money going to the people who need it most, or some administrative office in Switzerland?

Some organizations offer more tangible ways to do this.

I’ve donated to UNESCO for children and natural disasters. I’ve also given money to start-up organisations in Berlin, as I like to support up and coming talent in various ways!

I'm a Kiva Supporter

I was first introduced to a company called Kiva.org via my previous company who made a donation of $25 on my behalf, promising to double whatever I donated myself.

Kiva is a non-profit organisation that allows people to lend money via the internet to low-income entrepreneurs to alleviate poverty.

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

I donated another $25 and got to choose who I would give this loan to.

I chose the owner of a small corner shop in South America. She paid me $2.00 every month and paid back the loan.

But not to worry, I didn’t keep the money. It’s put into your account where you can loan it out again!

Well-known charities like Oxfam, allow you to donate a specific animal – a goat or llama – or other basic items needed by the village.  You can also “adopt” endangered animals through animal conservation organisations such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Whichever you look at it, at least it’s a tangible effort to help others, less fortunate than ourselves, in a more sustainable way.

9.  FAMILY HISTORY 

Researching your family history doesn't cost a single thing!
Researching your family history doesn’t cost a single thing!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Research your family history  and ask your grandparents about your ancestry, your roots, and your family history.

You can also go to the local library, local burial grounds, church, place of worship, the town hall or failing that, get online and do some digging via  Ancestry.com! You’ll be surprised at what you find!

Via an old newspaper article, I found out that my dad was the first engineer of colour, in his Northern England unit!

He’s in his 70’s now, so you can imagine what an achievement that was at the time!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

It does. It's Christmas!!
It does. It’s Christmas!!

You can hire an expert historian who will do the digging for you and make your genealogical tree, or you can get your family tested for DNA. After all how do you think I know that I’m descended from royalty. I always tell people that I’m related to the other Queen Victoria.

I’m not. It’s different royalty.

But I might be!

Failing that why not go to Europe and find out. Many of you are descended from people in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia.

Don’t you think it’s time you took a plane and found out!

10.  WRITE YOUR OWN BOOK or START YOUR OWN BLOG

How to write & publish a book! I prefer paper or hard back!
How to write & publish a book!
I prefer paper or hard back!

IT DOESN’T COST A SINGLE THING!

Get yourself a glass of wine, grab some plain  white paper or your laptop, and get writing!

IT DOES! IT’S CHRISTMAS!!

The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.
The Bee Hive by Simon Adepetun.
Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon

Buy the book of someone else.

An ordinary person. Just like you.

And represented by the London publishing house – Austin Macauley Publishers.

Someone like my very own brother, who wrote a children’s book called THE BEEHIVE.

In just three (3) months!

If you want a copy of the book just in time for Xmas…

  • Buy your loved ones The Bee Hive, via Amazon UK here!
  • If you’re in the US, buy your loved ones The Bee Hive, via Amazon.com here!
  • If you’re in Germany, buy your loved ones The Bee Hive. It’s only available in English so buy via Amazon.uk here or Amazon.de here!
How to start a blog in just a mere 10 minutes: A simple guide!

Also, if you want to be like me when you grow up – a well-respected smart British – German blogger, all you have to do is to get yourself a website host such as Blue Host, and open up the website of wordpress.com.

It’s really easy and can be done in all of 10 minutes!

Here’s a simple guide I wrote, about how to start a blog!

If you’re still having problems or would prefer a step-by-step live guide, I offer a personal consultancy which can be done in either English or German! Speaking of languages, have you seen my language tab at the top of the page?

Now you can switch my post to any language you desire!

Nifty!

Me just walking down the road. Thrown into the spotlight LOL!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

So what are you waiting for, Xmas is just around the corner, get to work!

And good luck!

10 CHRISTMAS GIFTS THAT DON’T COST A SINGLE THING, AND 10 GIFTS THAT DO!!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2017/2018!!

This article isn’t sponsored and all opinions and amazing gifts, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for the details!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK next year!

In January, I’ll be visiting Belgium!

I’ll be at the British Shorts Film Festival taking place between 11th – 17th January, 2018. If you’re an aspiring film-maker submission is free of charge, so hurry!

I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week taking place between 16th – 18th January, 2018

I’ll be at the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar – #BritLitBerlin taking place between 25th – 27th January, 2018. If you want to attend or join in, registration is now open!

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in winter, you’re not going to have any sausages!

December is going to be festive!

Yay!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2017/2018!!

Watch this space!

Please note that there are three affiliate link companies connected to this Christmas gift post! Every time one of these services is used, booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself! A win-win for all!

Let’s get ready for Christmas!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2017/2018!!

Which of these Christmas gifts do you like? Do you prefer useful or fun? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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8 thoughts on “10 Christmas gifts that don’t cost a single thing, and 10 gifts that do – 2017/2018!!

  1. Wishing you a warm and Merry Christmas season! A wassail cup of mulled wine!

    Speaking of photos, the Christmas photos of the royal families of Spain, UK, and Sweden are making their rounds on the web. If you’ve seen them, they’re lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Elisa! I wish you and yours the very same with a glass of sparling champagne in hand! 😀

      I haven’t yet got the official photos from Kensington Palace so looking forward to seeing them, and really excited about the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle next year. 😉

      Like

    1. Awww! Thanks so much Agness! Aren’t they great ideas?
      And it’s so difficult to buy things for our parents as they already have everything and more, so jam would be lovely. Or even baking a yummy, creamy cake with lots of cherries, strawberries, fruit on the top, on the sid, etc. Don’t hold back. It’s your mum! 😀

      Like

  2. Happy Holidays to you and the family. Hope it’s filled with love and peace. I love the idea of no money gifts, totally an advocate as l hate the commercialism of it all, especially in the U.S so l am loving the low key one in Spain. I did gift myself a kindle to replace my old reader since l stopped taking the ipad with me when we travel. I’ve donated to Kiva before, thanks for reminding me to do it again :-). Hope 2018 turns out to be a marvelous one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Holidays to you too KemKem! 😀
      Ha! Ha! ‘Trying to keep the Xmas spirit going, so that it’s not all about cash, but about family & thoughts too hence, loaning rather than donating, to small business-owners in the developing world, and the James Bond singing. Ahem!! See you in 2018. ‘Hope it’s splendid for you and your family! 😀

      Like

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