Christmas is so expensive, what are you buying your kids etc? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 89 Old 10-17-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies so forgive me.
I asked DS1 (5 1/2yo) if he could only have 1 gift under the tree, what would it be? I've asked him a couple different times to make sure that's what he wants and it's always the same answer. So we will be getting that for him.
He will get more than that gift as we already had a couple things for the boys. But this year will be a LOT smaller than other years.
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#62 of 89 Old 10-17-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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Each year, we try and cut back on number of gifts and amount spent. Coming from a family where Christmas was all about gift-giving (it literally took several hours to open gifts in my family when I was a child- and I was an only, there were 5 people total!), it's a big departure for me. But I truly believe the kids enjoy and value what they receive when they're not overwhelmed with dozens of gifts.

That said, we do tend to buy what they want; last year it was a Wii for the 8yo, this year DS wants a Nintendo DS and Fisher Price Smart Cycle. I like them to get what they really and truly want, and as they get older, the stuff does get more expensive. This year, I'm going to try and shoot for $300 per child for the older 3, and a few small things for the baby so that the kids don't get sad about her not getting presents, too (she'll be about 4mos by then), plus stockings, which run about $50 per person for us.

We don't exchange gifts for adults- DH and I don't get each other anything, and we do buy for the kids' teachers, but that's about it. We used to buy for my parents, grandparents, and aunt (usually around $150 per person) but nobody can afford it anymore, so we just concentrate on the kids.

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#63 of 89 Old 10-18-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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I have browsed this thread to get ideas. Dd (7.5) has said she can't think of anything she wants and is being no help at all. As a family, we have been wanting a nice telescope, but waiting for dd to be responsible enough to handle one. I'm pretty sure that will be for next xmas as it will be a few thousand and we don't make purchases like that without saving up purposefully. We could buy it, but just won't.

So, other than that, nothing has been mentioned by dd and I'm at a loss of what to get for her. She doesn't see commercials and hates to shop, so never goes to the store with me, and perhaps she just doesn't know what's out there. I'm surprised she hasn't gotten ideas from her school mates, though. Whatever we buy her will be completely within our budget and we don't go overboard. Dh and I don't exchange gifts.
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#64 of 89 Old 10-18-2009, 12:34 PM
 
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I do love Christmas. Like many who posted, for our family it is the whole experience-the lights, decorations, special cookies and dinners. We do buy presents-about 6 each, and a hefty stocking, no expensive gifts, really at all-books, clothes, some toys and a few handmade things.

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#65 of 89 Old 10-18-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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I have browsed this thread to get ideas. Dd (7.5) has said she can't think of anything she wants and is being no help at all. As a family, we have been wanting a nice telescope, but waiting for dd to be responsible enough to handle one. I'm pretty sure that will be for next xmas as it will be a few thousand and we don't make purchases like that without saving up purposefully. We could buy it, but just won't.

So, other than that, nothing has been mentioned by dd and I'm at a loss of what to get for her. She doesn't see commercials and hates to shop, so never goes to the store with me, and perhaps she just doesn't know what's out there. I'm surprised she hasn't gotten ideas from her school mates, though. Whatever we buy her will be completely within our budget and we don't go overboard. Dh and I don't exchange gifts.
I think part of it's the age, DS is that old and we're having a tough time coming up with things for him as well. One thing I did see at TRU that we got for him is a Dot's maker. You know the itty bitz or dot's ice cream stuff you get at the store? It's a machine that makes those - and you can use fruit juice or something if you don't want to go dairy based products. It ran roghly $25, so not terribly pricey either. Just a thought!
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#66 of 89 Old 10-18-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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I just found out about this, this year. It's what we'll be doing...out of necessity.

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Originally Posted by 3*is*magic View Post
We do 4 gifts - a want, a need, something to wear, something to read. Recently a friend of mine adopted the same policy for her six year old, and when she told her that there would be 4 gifts and not more, her daughter didn't even flinch. Could you do smething similar, and perhaps grandparents/aunts/uncles could go in together for one of the other things she wants?

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#67 of 89 Old 10-18-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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I think part of it's the age, DS is that old and we're having a tough time coming up with things for him as well. One thing I did see at TRU that we got for him is a Dot's maker. You know the itty bitz or dot's ice cream stuff you get at the store? It's a machine that makes those - and you can use fruit juice or something if you don't want to go dairy based products. It ran roghly $25, so not terribly pricey either. Just a thought!
SHE.LOVES.THOSE!! I am so there to buy her one. She will be thrilled! Thank you for the idea. Every time we go to the Zoo, I think it's more for the Dippin' Dots than it is for the animals!
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#68 of 89 Old 10-18-2009, 05:51 PM
 
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That said, we do tend to buy what they want; last year it was a Wii for the 8yo, this year DS wants a Nintendo DS and Fisher Price Smart Cycle.
If you haven't already, check out the DSi. We bought 2 of the kids DSi's and 1 a DS and I really wish we had spend the extra on the DSi for all 3 of them. He really wishes he had the camera and web browser/ability to download games like his siblings. I much prefer to buy points and download because they don't get lost like the small game cartridges and are a lot cheaper. Like the wii games, though, there aren't as many options so we do buy the physical games, too.

Also, we have had good luck at GameStop off of Coors. We bought a used DSi for quite a bit cheaper than the new ones, and it was very much in like new condition. I wish we had looked there before buying a brand new one for DD. If you get a membership card there it's 15%, too.

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#69 of 89 Old 10-18-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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DW, thanks for the tip re: GameStop! I'm in Target often enough, it'll be easy to run in there and check out what they have

DH and I have debated a DSi for DS- but then the girls will be seriously peeved that their 4yo brother has a DSi and they only have DSs I was going to try and find a gently used DS on newegg.com or similar to bring the cost down a bit, too. I wish the DSi had been available when we bought the other 2- keeping track of the games is the bane of my existance!!

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#70 of 89 Old 10-18-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KayleeZoo View Post
DW, thanks for the tip re: GameStop! I'm in Target often enough, it'll be easy to run in there and check out what they have

DH and I have debated a DSi for DS- but then the girls will be seriously peeved that their 4yo brother has a DSi and they only have DSs I was going to try and find a gently used DS on newegg.com or similar to bring the cost down a bit, too. I wish the DSi had been available when we bought the other 2- keeping track of the games is the bane of my existance!!
oh, I totally get it if you already have one child with a DS. If all 3 of mine had DS's it wouldn't even be an issue b/c they wouldn't see on a daily basis what they were missing out on - LOL. We made the mistake of buying the DSi's first, then assuming the 4 yo would be okay with a DS.

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#71 of 89 Old 10-19-2009, 02:19 AM
 
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My oldest (8) just got a PSP for his birthday, so he's asked for two PSP games for Christmas. We're also getting him a Club Penguin igloo playset thing he wants (which I'm really surprised he wants, since he isn't so much into toys anymore), some art stuff, and a few books. I still have to think of some things for his stocking.

My daughter (4) is getting a nice wooden toy box, an EZ bake oven, a Groovy Girl doll, some books, and maybe one other little toy. She'll get jewelry and hair accessories in her stocking.

My littlest DS (2) is getting a wooden toy box, and from there I'm drawing a blank. He is sooo hard to buy for, because he doesn't really play with toys. Anyone have any ideas for a toddler whose favorite things to play with are a rocking horse (which he already has) and a giant blow-up hammer that he won at a carnival?

We don't plan to spend more than $400 or so for all three of them.
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#72 of 89 Old 10-19-2009, 02:30 AM
 
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Re: Santa effected by the economy. My 5 year old gets this concept. He was saying today how he misses applebees of all places. We went there a couple times for lunch, just he and his baby sister and I when my car was being serviced. it's right next to the car dealer. anyway it has since shut down and we drove by where it used to be and he commented.

So we talked about it. How we as a family can't afford to go out to eat any more, which he knows. And that there are lots of families just like us, who also can't afford to go out to eat. Because fewer people are eating out, restaurants aren't able to sell enough meals to pay their bills and they have to close.

If it comes down to it, Santa is going to wind up being effected by the economy as well. Fortunately my 5 year old and my 2 year old have not asked for expensive gifts. I scored a whole pile of kids books at a garage sale for 10 cents a piece recently. And those are going to be gift wrapped and enjoyed on Christmas morning I'm sure. I also got each kid a hooded towel/washcloth set at Kohl's with a coupon that I know they will love, and so I consider myself done with Christmas shopping.
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#73 of 89 Old 10-19-2009, 10:47 AM
 
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I just did most of my xmas shopping the other day, for my two kids and for my nephew (who I spend on as if he were one of my own, since he lives next door and we see him daily). I bought each of the big kids one large item (large in my budget equals $20-$40 per kid), and then bought several smaller ($2-$10) items for stockings. For the preschoolers, the smaller things were little kid-sized tools, kid-sized cooking implements, and little music boxes to crank, all from a montessori website. For the baby, I will probably just do clothing only, because 1) he's a baby with a ton of toys already, and 2) he couldn't care less what he gets, as long as he gets to chew on the wrapping paper.

However, my situation is influenced by the fact that my MIL is an over-the-top xmas FREAK, who spends half the year each year paying off her xmas debts. I feel like my kids get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of presents as it is, without my contributing to it. Also, DD's bday is a month before xmas, and her coolest present for the year (a little kid acoustic guitar) is going to be given at that event. That is her one and only birthday present. I'm over the buying a bunch of junky toys she will never play with thing, I'd rather just get one or two good presents and be done with it.

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#74 of 89 Old 10-19-2009, 11:06 AM
 
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Were on a very tight budget, this year I'm planning on doing an idea I got from MDC for each kid,

Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
Something to read

Then stockings but those things get $$ even when its just stuff from the dollar store.
I like this idea as a good guideline!

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#75 of 89 Old 10-23-2009, 02:12 PM
 
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My kids are 2 and 4 and I've always kept their expectations really low.

This year, I want to get them one joint gift to share, that's fairly big. (I'm hoping for a wooden kitchen, but I need to keep it in the under $75 range. Any suggestions? We may end up having to build one.)

My 4 year old son wants a Transformer, I think because my husband keeps talking about this awesome Transformer he had when he was a kid. I also want to get him a carrying case for his little cars.

I don't know what to get DD, who's 2. I haven't decided yet.

I want to get them each a nice cup/bowl/plate set, because they don't have one and I fear for my glass plates. I saw a beautiful set in the Nova Naturals catalog.

I am planning to make them a few gifts this year, getting ideas from the toy catalogs for that.

I'm probably going to spend under $150 total on the kids, and then we will spend about $5 each on our 5 nieces and nephews. No one else will get gifts. The only decorations we buy each year are one ornament per child, it's a tradition.
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#76 of 89 Old 10-23-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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My kids are 2 and 4 and I've always kept their expectations really low.

This year, I want to get them one joint gift to share, that's fairly big. (I'm hoping for a wooden kitchen, but I need to keep it in the under $75 range. Any suggestions? We may end up having to build one.)

Oh my gosh. Someone on here posted last week a picture of a kitchen she made herself. It was AWESOME. I'll see if I can find it, but if anyone else remembers that, please help find the post, lol! It was made out of a shelving unit and had real turning knobs and a cute red skirt to hide the food and stuff.

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#77 of 89 Old 10-23-2009, 03:12 PM
 
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This has got to be the most awesome and inexpensive kitchen I've ever seen. This mama rocks!! There is a link for a pic in this post.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...5&postcount=34

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#78 of 89 Old 10-23-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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Thanks for posting that Chicky! That is super cute, and gives me a ton of ideas. Hmm....time to start thinking about where I can get some stuff like that.

It also makes me remember a ton of homemade kitchens I saw at Ohdeedoh a few years ago, if anyone else is looking for some ideas.
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#79 of 89 Old 10-23-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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This year, I want to get them one joint gift to share, that's fairly big. (I'm hoping for a wooden kitchen, but I need to keep it in the under $75 range. Any suggestions? We may end up having to build one.) .
Stalk craigslist! I got a handmade wooden kitchen on craigslist last year for $40, and it came with 2 other wooden pieces of children's furniture. I was going to make one, but the materials would likely cost more.
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#80 of 89 Old 10-23-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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Stalk craigslist! I got a handmade wooden kitchen on craigslist last year for $40, and it came with 2 other wooden pieces of children's furniture. I was going to make one, but the materials would likely cost more.
Here's another kitchen option that doesn't break the bank. I totally recommend this guy off etsy. We have an ironing board set and a play kitchen from him. Lovely work and great prices!

Oops...the link helps: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php...ng_id=29361190
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#81 of 89 Old 10-23-2009, 09:09 PM
 
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This has got to be the most awesome and inexpensive kitchen I've ever seen. This mama rocks!! There is a link for a pic in this post.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...5&postcount=34
Thanks so much for the compliments on our play kitchen . It's sooooo easy to do if you can find some inexpensive shelving components. We just snapped everything together and spray painted white. My husband cut a hole for the faucet and sink bowl and then we just added a few details like curtain and knobs. We just love it!
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#82 of 89 Old 10-23-2009, 09:22 PM
 
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Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Why? Everyone else showers them with so much stuff they get sick of opening presents. So why bother?

Liz

Wife, and mother to a small fairy, a demolition expert, a special new someone this fall and a small dachshund.
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#83 of 89 Old 10-23-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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Has anyone linked to this thread yet? If they did, I missed it. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...&postcount=133 It's a listing of homemade toys. That thread is where I found this link for a play kitchen , here

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#84 of 89 Old 11-02-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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I plan to collect gift cards towards my x-mas purchases for the kids. If you do swagbucks- swagbucks.com you can redeem 45 points for a $5 Amazon.com gift card.

I also use Mypoints.com which gives me points redeemable for cards by clicking on stuff through my e-mail. I redeem these points for target gift cards. Other people get money back by using cashbaq.com or mrebates.com- for shopping this would work on things you have to buy like pet medication or printer ink.
We use our credit card rewards and MyPoints and Swagbucks as well. I've been raking in the Swagbucks by "code chasing" using this method:

http://www.ehow.com/how_5598848_swagbucks-codes.html
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#85 of 89 Old 11-03-2009, 02:06 AM
 
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I just wanted to post a few super cute ideas I found. Apologies if they've already been posted!!

A playhouse using felt. She said she bought about 7 1/2 yards of felt, and right now it's on sale at Fabric.com if anyone is interested in this idea. I think it's on sale for $4 a yard, making this project around $30, and if you spend $33 on Fabric.com, you get free shipping. (Also be sure and check around the rest of this woman's site if you haven't already! The absolute CUTEST things!)
http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/2...playhouse.html


A homemade memory game. (By the same woman as above, but on a different blog. She used wooden tiles, but I'd guess you could also use stiff cardboard, too, to keep the price down farther.)
http://www.oneshetwoshe.com/2009/09/...-she-jill.html

An idea I saw but didn't get a link: button "wreath" ornaments. I know a lot of people have button collections, and I also see enormous jars of various buttons at flea markets/antique stores for just a couple of bucks. These would be good when you have to give something to someone but it doesn't have to be huge. Basically it looked like they strung buttons on a thin wire, bent it into a circle, and tied a bow around the top. A bit of wire was on top to hang on an X-mas tree. They were super cute. I'm planning to scout out some buttons so I can make these.

My son's dearest ambition is to be a mailman when he grows up, so I'm planning on doing something like this for his x-mas present. I bet a lot of other kids would like it, too:
http://nothingfancyschmancy.blogspot...il-center.html

I thought these were super cute, too, and would be great for organizing toys or hair pretties or whatever. Jill (of the first two links, and my new crafting hero) used old jeans for hers and they came out awesome:
http://vintagericrac.blogspot.com/20...h-buckets.html
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#86 of 89 Old 11-03-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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Last year, we did one big present. Even though the kids were happy with what they got, I didn't like it.

This year, I am going back to 3 Christmas presents, and one from mom and dad. The kids (I have five) are doing a pollyanna between themselves. We try to focus on the thought that goes into the present, thinking about what the other person would like, their interests, their wants. Research where to buy it, and THEN go shopping. Not just show up at the store and find whatever we can.

I'd love to do homemade or consumable gifts - but my older kids are not there, and I still want them to be happy with what they get. Often we stick to things we can DO. Museum passes, movie tickets, etc.

Then again, I am a minimalist and don't like STUFF...
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#87 of 89 Old 11-03-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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we are going to be using household things to make presents. unfortunately my ex and his parents raised their expectations super high so I feel like they are going to be disappointed this year. so that's going to be hard. but there's nothing else for me to do about it. no other choice. i'm making a coffee can into an art kit and knitting and felting some moccasins and sewing up a little more felt food and using old clothing and cloth scraps to make doll clothing and bean bags. I hope it goes well. I've been searchign threads like these for homemade toy ideas.

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#88 of 89 Old 11-03-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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I read this on here a few years ago, so someone may have mentioned it already, but I really love it. I started when the kids were toddlers and it is still working. We do the "Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read" for each child and also do a small stocking with small treats and inexpensive toys or gadgets.
Last year's example

Something You Want: Both boys received a joint gift of a large electic train that can circle the Christmas tree (we actually "regifted" this to them, someone gave it to us when they were babies, lol).

Something You Need: We usually do something that has to do with sports or hiking, so they both received headlamps for camping/hiking

Something To Wear: They both received fleece vests (so did Mom and Dad)

Something to Read: I chose a Caldecott winner for each of them to add to our collection

They were thrilled. This year, my oldest asked me, "why do some kids get tons and tons of toys for Christmas and we get none?" I told him that everyone celebrates holidays differently and for us it is more about spending time together and celebrating the birth of Jesus. I said that having lots and lots of gifts leads to lots and lots of broken junk and for our family, we would rather have just a few nice things. I told him that he could spend time choosing a special toy for his "something he wants" this year and that seemed to satisfy him. So far, he wants a gumball machine (yuck!) Oh well!

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#89 of 89 Old 11-03-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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I just reread some of this thread and something that occurs to me, I think people overcompensate with material goods to make up for what society lacks at Christmas time- traditions. For example, my great-great grandmother used to tell us about "amazing" Christmas times during the depression. She received an orange and a piece of candy from her church. That's it! Nothing from her family that she can recall. The idea was that every year, she could look foward to that orange. I was thinking about this and realized that kids today typically get whatever they want, whenever they want. Including oranges, lol. If you only tasted an orange once a year, you would really look foward to it! So I guess I'm trying to say that depriving your kid of certain things (including unseasonal or distant growing fruit) throughout the year, could benefit you and them at the holidays. So my four year old loves pomegranates. First thing this year, we saw them at the grocery store and he wanted it, so I bought it. Why not save that moment and sneak it into his stocking for a Christmas treat?? Same thing with something like a candy cane or even watching a Christmas movie. If we made time for more traditions (I remember only seeing Charlie Brown's Christmas once a year and I really, really looked foward to it) instead of giving the kids what they want as soon as they want it, it would make Christmas more memorable. I am even thinking of postponing Christmas cookie making all month and maybe making a batch just the few days before Christmas, so that the cookies are something to remember and look foward to. I think I am getting repetative, but there are lots of ways to use this idea to have a more frugal and meaningful Christmas.

homebirthing organic mama to three crazy boys very blessed!!
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