LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s like That...When the going gets festive, I choose to get a little bit creative

Today calendars turn to their last page. And for many this means only one thing: Christmas is coming.

Because shops started the celebrations around Easter-time I have put a sort of self-imposed ban on myself mentioning the big day until December arrived.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Scrooge...I like the twinkling lights, mince pies and good cheer as much as anyone. And I love the feeling you get from giving the perfect present. What I don’t like is the high-street hysterics and commercial cunning which pushes everyone to the point of panic.

Meaning you can’t take your time to make sure what you are buying is just right, but instead it turns into a run, grab and get out.

So this year I am endeavouring to make as many presents as possible.

Investing with thought, feelings and time, means – in my opinion – they are streets ahead of anything money can buy. However sometimes finding the time is a problem. Meaning that when the countdown to December 25 starts to speed up, many will have to reluctantly leave their good intentions and elaborate plans unfinished, or not started, put aside with promises to do it next year. I know this, because for the past few years, I have done exactly that...

But this year, I hope, will be different. One friend has even made a request for something made – eight metres of bunting – so I have no excuses.

Last week I was even lucky enough to be invited to West Dean to take part in one of their Make a Gift Days, where I attempted ceramics for the first time and came away with a frost-proof pot to call my own (or rather give as a gift). The only downside to crafting Christmas? The uniqueness which makes the presents so special is exactly what makes them hard to part with.