Monday, December 7, 2009

How do I have Christmas on a Budget?

With the economy worse than it's been in literally decades many folks are unsure exactly how to celebrate Christmas at their house this year because now they have a budget whereas before they could just "do it up" bigger and bigger.

Well I will share with you tricks that I use :) so hopefully I can help some of you who have never had to worry about this before see that it's not really a worry!

Santa Pictures:

Look at this great Santa Picture!! Aren't those boys adorable? They are my friend Faedra's children. So Sweet!! Thank you Faedra for letting me use your picture!! (I don't have mine

back yet!)
Having pictures taken with Santa can REALLY destroy your budget... So seek out the free deals...
Bass Pro Shops has an avalanche of freebies! You can Go here to learn about their Winter Wonderland that lasts through December 24th.

Some things they are offering include:

*Free 4x6 Photo with Santa.
*Free Craft every weekend till 12-20

*Free Games & Activities

Christmas Decor - If you just don't have any Christmas decorations - maybe you lost yours due to horrible circumstances. I am so sorry if that is the case.

You can still decorate for Christmas :) You just have to be creative and think outside of the box....

*Go Old fashioned - Hang oranges and apples on the tree along with popcorn garland (maybe some cranberry garland too or use childrens cereal like trix or cheerios or fruit loops!!) Use candy canes on the tree...You could make paper mache ornaments and paint them (or if you make them with strips of colored paper you dont' have to paint them :) )

Do you see Barbies little mini tree to the left? That was my dad's Christmas tree for a few years. You can put it on the mantle and sit your presents by the mantle. I think the thing cost $3.00 at Big Lots or something. It is fiber optic and even has lights. Or buy it now then give it to your kids after Christmas as a toy - This tree would maybe make a good tree to play with with action figures...(if my child were not 2!)
If one of your kids toy sets has a Christmas tree you could borrow it and make up a story for your kids...
for example:

We have to use your little Christmas Tree because this year Santa sent a
letter to Mommy and Daddy telling us that he is training a Mouse this year how to be Santa Claus for the mice!!! That way all the little mice families in the world can have
good Christmases too. Santa needed an extra-special child to have a mouse
sized tree so that Santa Mouse won't be scaredwhen he delivers their gifts!! Santa picked you!!

Follow your little story up with the cookies and milk and CHEESE for the mouse. :) So cute!!

Go Green and get your kids involved!! - Most kids if you tell them "We are doing this to save the environment" are all kinds of gung ho about stuff. OR if you tell them you are doing something because you want to help the birds the kids will be more than happy to help you. Pick a tree in the front yard and decorate it instead this year. Put popcorn garland around the tree, You could probably string day-old bread shapes up on string (cut them with a cookie cutter) and the Birds would gladly peck at them!!! Toast them first for more stability
Find pinecones or other natural objects in the yard (Sticks would work!) and coat them with a substance like peanut butter then roll them in birdseed and hang those also. Follow up with a paper tree on the wall in the house to put your gifts under!!
Gifts are my downfall every year. When I have money I am tempted to spend all the cash I have on Christmas gifts for people.
This isn't going to be beautiful but I hope it will be useful.
Gift Ideas:
Dig through your stockpile and give beautiful baskets or gift bags of stuff people love. I know someone who LOVES Clam Chowder. I probably have 10 cans of clam chowder upstairs. I dont' like it. I can put those cans of chowder in a bag (or even just 7 of them) and get some oyster crackers to top the bag off and give it with a note.
Make Homemade Marshmallows and give with a jar of homemade cocoa mix or go my route - snatch hot chocolate up when it's BOGO and you'll pay roughly $1.00 a box...then give some beautifully packaged homemade marshmallows with storebought cocoa. I'm not perfect ;)
Give some gifts in a jar.
Some of my favorite "gifts in a jar"
Orange Creamsicle cookies in a jar (Got a favorite UT Fan? I do - but he'd never make the cookies)
Adult's journal prompts in a jar (pair with a cute blank book and you have a gift!!) could call them "Tasty Thoughts" and give these with your homemade marshmallows and cocoa and maybe bake some cookies.
You could really go all out and throw some Candy Cane bath salts in there so your giftee could run a hot bath and throw in some salts and have some hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows and eat a cookie while thinking about how much you love them!!


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