Get your Christmas Tradition on.

Looking to start some new Christmas traditions?

Why not look to the past for inexpensive, traditional ways to celebrate the holiday season with your loved ones 🎄❤

Some of you may have traditions handed down from generation to generation which is fantastic, but if you are looking to add some the best place to look is for vintage holiday traditions from all over the world.

Research your family’s heritage and the customs which evolved from those countries. Here are some example from around the globe..


Many Christmas traditions were banned for quite some time in Scotland, due to government regulations, starting from 1647. This is why it is so important for their traditions to be carried through and celebrated now.

If you like baking bread then a Yule bread is the one for you! A loaf of unleavened bread is baked (or if you are feeling extra keen – one for each person in your family) and the person who finds a trinket in their loaf will have good luck for the year to come.

For those who are not so keen on all the baking, a lovely tradition is to place candles in your window to welcome strangers and comfort those searching for shelter and warmth.

The New Years Eve tradition of the “First Footer” – the first visitor through the door bearing gifts of peat, money and bread to symbolize warmth, wealth and abundance was originally a Christmas one. Why not bring this back to its origins and carry it out on Christmas day too 😊


If you love to sing, this one is for you, since the 16th and 17th Century in England people walked to their neighbours homes to sing Christmas carols outside. When they had finished they were offered a traditional spiced apple cider or beer known as wassail to warm them up 🍻

Personally, I love the idea of bringing back “Sugar Plums” – candy-coated nuts or herb seeds. I think a bowl of those in the centre of the Christmas Eve table wouldn’t last long in our house 😊

Ringing bells to welcome in Christmas Day at midnight, is a vintage tradition, although….you might want to wait until everybody’s awake for this one!


Why not bring some mistletoe into your house or garden to celebrate the sacred traditions of these groups. They believe that, as Mistletoe bears fruit during the winter, and stays green, that is holds magical powers.

It is said to cure infertility, ward off evil and cure disease.

Decorating your home with evergreens and natural materials looks great and you can go foraging for pine cones with your family to add to another fun family day out on a budget. If you live near a beach why not add some decorative shells to your creations.


Lights are a big part of Christmas traditions all over the world but the Phillippines really do it in style. They hold a giant lantern festival on the Saturday before Christmas. They are made from all different materials and laid in elaborate patterns but were traditionally made from origami paper and lit by candles. This is something you and your children could have fun making at home, then add to your decorations.


If you have some horror movie buffs at your house you might like this one.

In Austrian tradition, a creature called Krampus captures the naughty children while St Nicholas rewards the good boys and girls.

In the first week of December people dress up as Krampus frightening children with chains and bells…not for the faint-hearted 😬


On December 6 in the middle of the night, Nikolaus travels on his donkey to deliver treats to the Children’s shoes or boots left out the night before. They awake to find treats such as toys, chocolate, coins and oranges.

He also visits schools and homes where the children give him a drawn picture, recite a poem or sing a song in exchange for a small gift.

This sounds like a fantastic tradition to share the holiday season with those less fortunate and bring others joy.

Whatever your chosen tradition, have fun with it and give the gift of love and laughter this holiday season ❤🎄😊


2021-11-10T08:55:03+13:003 December 2020|Advice|0 Comments

Tips for Great Present Giving

Tips for Great Present Giving

We are gearing up to one of the biggest celebrations of the year and some of you may be stuck on what to get a certain person…fear not, I am here to give you a few handy tips on great present giving!

1. Be a great listener…

This is the best tip when you need to find out what your friends and family really love to do, or are passionate about at the moment. Is there a hobby that they love to spend time on or one that they would really like to take up but don’t have all the gear? A book about that topic or a starter pack to get them going (as long as it’s not going to cost an arm and a leg). You can find many small bits and pieces that connect to any kind of hobby, for example…Fishing…how about a small tackle box and some sinkers and flies? Or do they enjoy sports or would like to take up a new one? A good present would be some accessories or a ‘how to’ book. An avid baker might like a vintage cookbook or some out of print ones that can no longer be found in your retail shops.

There are clues in your conversations with them, and spending quality time with them will make you feel happy and geared up about the season ahead, so it is a win win!

2. Look for clues

How do they live their day to day life? Is it super busy? Are they big fans of a certain sport or past-time?

Busy people may enjoy a present for a relaxing activity, something they rarely get to do or something that they used to do but never have the time for anymore. These presents have great health benefits and can boost the receiver’s spirits, how can you get any better?

Do they mention things that they used to have or miss from their childhood? This one can bring back fond memories and could be a cherished present for years to come. Personally, this would be my favourite type of present!

Sports fans are pretty easy to buy for as you can find so many things these days which are printed with favourite teams logos, from socks to jerseys, drink bottles to bedspreads. The choice is endless. A big sports fan won’t be able to stop from telling you about their favourite team and how they did at the weekend. have a great range of personalised logos which can be tailored to your receiver.

3. You don’t need to go expensive.

As a big fan of op shops throughout our area, I can tell you that I have often found things that have long since stopped being manufactured in the latest stores and are often in new or as new condition!

There are so many 2nd hand shops throughout the country and they often have some gems, all you need to do is go in with an eagle eye and an open mind and you can find your treasure. I follow a Facebook page which is dedicated to op-shopping and they have the greatest finds on there! A great place for ideas and they often share where you can find certain vintage items, so you can go straight to the source.

A great place to find vintage books and lots of new looking books for all those hobbies you have found out about. Some receivers treasure an old book much more than a brand new one.

4. Buy Handmade

This is an avenue which means you support your local makers and small businesses and get a product which has time, love and effort put into making it the best it can be. If you are buying for someone special and contact the makers, they can often tailor the handmade item to the receivers favourite colour, flavour, hobby and even personalisation can make it super special. We even welcome these kinds of requests!

You are getting a one of a kind product which not many if any, people will be able to match with a mass produced item. As a maker, I know they put a lot of love and time into making a product just right and there can be no better way to show someone you love and care about them. You can check out some of my makes on Instagram @sewsweetnz and @sweetsensationsnz, or on my website here or Facebook at:

If you are crafty put your skills to the test and get making! It’s a great time to develop skills and enjoy the process.

5. Do your research

Look around and try different avenues for those special items, just remember to order well in advance if you are looking offshore for special items not found here.

New Zealand is a treasure trove of small businesses who have so much to offer you to help you give the best gift at Christmas and all those other special occasions. Ask around, use facebook handmade groups, search google, use those listening and detective skills you acquired earlier on in this blog.

I believe in you and know that you can become the best gift giver ever, enjoy the process and have a very happy holiday season!

2021-11-10T08:55:03+13:0022 November 2020|Advice, Xmas|0 Comments
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