A compassionate single mom who has been low on cash has created Britain’s most frugal Christmas tree – and it is made entirely of inflated rubber gloves.
23-year-old support worker Maxine Oliver says that she endured a tough November after being unable to pick up many shifts at work—and she feared she would have to cancel Christmas altogether.
But the mom-of-one came up with an ingenious way of keeping costs down by creating a handmade tree that cost just £2.
“During November there weren’t many shifts that I could take. They were all 12 or 14 hours long, or were really early or late which just couldn’t work with my childcare arrangements,” said Oliver. “I got a bit behind on bills, so this month I had to catch up and as a result there was no Christmas fund.”
“I got really upset for a week and told myself that I wasn’t even going to do Christmas this year. But then my stubbornness got hold of me and I decided we were going to have a Christmas no matter what – [and] if I put my mind to something, I tend to do it well.”
Oliver started working on the tree after her son Charlie went to bed at 7:30pm and worked right through until 5am.
The tree was made out of Oliver’s own medical gloves; the ornaments were made from paper cupcake cups found at the back of her cupboard; and the hanging decorations were made from paper and tinfoil.
She said she hopes her innovative creation will show people that they don’t have to spend tons of money to get into the Christmas spirit.
“I wanted to get it done by the time he came down in the morning so he wouldn’t see a half-finished tree,” says Oliver. “His reaction was amazing, he was shouting ‘Christmas tree, Christmas tree’, pointing at it and screaming.”
Oliver, who is from Madron, Cornwall in England, has received a slew of praise after she shared a picture of her tree on Facebook, and she was shocked by the amount of positive feedback received.
“I haven’t had one negative comment and people have been so lovely,” says Oliver. “It has reminded everyone of what Christmas is all about, and [it has] spread the mindset that you don’t have to spend loads of money to make Christmas special.
She even had people offer gifts to her and Charlie, but she says she would rather have people donate them to charity.
“It’s been a tough month but we can afford to put the heating on and have food in the fridge. Some people don’t have that.”
“We have had a lovely time making our Christmas decorations and presents for everyone, and Charlie won’t go without some presents this year, as his family always gets him gifts every Christmas.
“I am so very grateful for everyone’s lovely gestures of kindness wanting to send us presents. But honestly, the best gift anyone could give us is to donate the money they would have used to get us something, to a local charity in their area.
“I would much rather the money goes towards making their day a little brighter,” she added.
“Our Christmas is a little hard, tight and by no means perfect this year—but it is perfectly imperfect, and we are happy.”
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