Frugal Holidays 2010! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 10-14-2010, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm starting to really seriously think about Christmas this year. I'm really broke, but am looking forward to a great Christmas with my sweet babies who will maybe actually care about it this year!

I'm making loads of candy and treats, as I do every year. I pass it around to family and friends and we have a great time delivering it a day or so before Christmas.

I'm making a bunch of soft balls for my little boy, who is obsessed with throwing right now.

I'm making a soft doll for both of them.

I'm not sure what to make for my little girl, but I did see a really cute stuffed tea set made from felt. Maybe I'll do that!

I'm going to do a picture collage for my Mom and Dad, and probably my kid's other grandparents too.

I've still got to think of gifts for my brothers and sisters, and a few very close friends.

I look forward to your ideas!

Welcoming our twins :: born February 21, 2009 at 33 weeks! :
C-section due to pre-eclampsia and HELLP:
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#2 of 27 Old 10-14-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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You may want to check out this thread in Arts&Crafts -- http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1221316

Lots of ideas for homemade gifts!
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#3 of 27 Old 10-14-2010, 08:34 PM
 
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Your younger kids might not understand this yet, but for parents of older kids who read this thread....

dp and I just started making an advent calendar for ds. We took a foam board (less than $1 at walmart) and using construction paper we made 25 little pockets. Each pocket will have a number (1-25) on it. We decorated it with winter stickers we already had. In each pocket we'll write (or print if I can find some cool paper around the house) an activity for that day. I'm still making a list of activities but so far we have....

-make cards for grandparents
-decorate tree
-make cookies
-walk around neighborhood to look at lights
-drive through the horse park (they decorate it with tons of lights)
-buy and donate gifts to Toys for Tots

I can't think of what else we have..... and I'm open for more ideas if anyone has any!!!

Pretty much everything is free (except buying the gifts for Toys for Tots)... we'd really like to focus on time as a family this year instead of having the "gimmies".

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#4 of 27 Old 10-14-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Your younger kids might not understand this yet, but for parents of older kids who read this thread....

dp and I just started making an advent calendar for ds. We took a foam board (less than $1 at walmart) and using construction paper we made 25 little pockets. Each pocket will have a number (1-25) on it. We decorated it with winter stickers we already had. In each pocket we'll write (or print if I can find some cool paper around the house) an activity for that day. I'm still making a list of activities but so far we have....

-make cards for grandparents
-decorate tree
-make cookies
-walk around neighborhood to look at lights
-drive through the horse park (they decorate it with tons of lights)
-buy and donate gifts to Toys for Tots

I can't think of what else we have..... and I'm open for more ideas if anyone has any!!!

Pretty much everything is free (except buying the gifts for Toys for Tots)... we'd really like to focus on time as a family this year instead of having the "gimmies".
What a good idea. I was planning on making an advent calenar for my dc, but wasn't sure what to put inside the pockets. You've given me a great idea! Thanks!
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#5 of 27 Old 10-14-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Your younger kids might not understand this yet, but for parents of older kids who read this thread....


-make cards for grandparents
-decorate tree
-make cookies
-walk around neighborhood to look at lights
-drive through the horse park (they decorate it with tons of lights)
-buy and donate gifts to Toys for Tots

I can't think of what else we have..... and I'm open for more ideas if anyone has any!!!

Pretty much everything is free (except buying the gifts for Toys for Tots)... we'd really like to focus on time as a family this year instead of having the "gimmies".
How about caroling as a family or with a group? Even if you just visit a few people you know this could be fun.
How about a service project? Serve at a soup kitchen or help pack food baskets.
Make cards or decorations for a nursing home.
If you have snow, snow angels, snowmen, or sledding.
You could make luminaries to line your driveway with paper bags, sand, and candles.

Wow, this is fun!

Mom to Sam (3/2007), Bekah (4/2009)hbac.gif, Jedidiah (4/2012)hbac.gif, and expecting #4 in March!
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#6 of 27 Old 10-14-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mom2SammyJoe View Post
How about caroling as a family or with a group? Even if you just visit a few people you know this could be fun.
How about a service project? Serve at a soup kitchen or help pack food baskets.
Make cards or decorations for a nursing home.
If you have snow, snow angels, snowmen, or sledding.
You could make luminaries to line your driveway with paper bags, sand, and candles.

Wow, this is fun!
Great ideas! Keep them coming!!!

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#7 of 27 Old 10-15-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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Steph,

I love this idea; advent activities calendar!


-Make snow flakes for the windows...the more glitter, the better!
-Make hot chocolate and listen to carols.
-Have a cookie exchange with your kid's friends and families.
-Thread popcorn and cranberry garland and hang on the tree.
-My kids LOVE to make a cranberry garland to hang outside, for the birds.


More...more! Now that's the holiday spirit!

Vegetarian Hindu, mother to L,P and R. 
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#8 of 27 Old 10-15-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jyotsna View Post
-My kids LOVE to make a cranberry garland to hang outside, for the birds.
That reminds me- also on our list is making some sort of bird feeders (many ways to do this- peanut butter on a pinecone with bird seeds stuck to peanut butter is one). Also could do "reindeer food" on Christmas Eve (which in our house is bird food, cereal, etc (things that birds/animals will eat overnight).

Love the snowflake idea!

Will probably do a movie night (Charlie Brown Christmas? Rudolph? Frosty? Not sure yet what we'll watch).


Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#9 of 27 Old 10-15-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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We also do an advent calendar. I wanted to do another (mostly) handmade holiday, but I'll have an itty baby, so it's not happening this year! This is timely, too. I wanted to get this all set up and ready before my Edd.

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#10 of 27 Old 10-15-2010, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the handmade Christmas link!

I love the idea of an advent calendar. Mine are a bit too young yet, but I love simple homey Christmases and will definitely use that idea in a couple of years.

Welcoming our twins :: born February 21, 2009 at 33 weeks! :
C-section due to pre-eclampsia and HELLP:
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#11 of 27 Old 10-15-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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I made some jam that I'm planning to give away to the family members that appreciate handmade/homemade gifts. (There are some that do not appreciate those sorts of things)


I made an activity Advent Calendar last year. It went over pretty well.

We cut our Christmas tree at a small family-owned tree farm where any size tree is $25. They sometimes throw in a free wreath too or we make our own wreath from the trimmings and decorate it with pinecones and dried berries and things from our yard.

I'm always looking for more ideas!
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#12 of 27 Old 10-16-2010, 01:54 PM
 
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I've been doing swagbucks for amazon gift cards to buy each kid one thing for Xmas (and dh).

With our family, we are doing homemade gifts for them (probably a variety of chocolates or something because I can only cook and not crafty in any other way).

That's it! we have no money this Xmas.
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#13 of 27 Old 10-16-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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SummerLove,

How is swagbucks going? I'd do it but I have earned nothing so far...and can't figure out how to do it. Am I an idiot? LOL

Vegetarian Hindu, mother to L,P and R. 
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#14 of 27 Old 10-17-2010, 05:05 AM
 
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SummerLove,

How is swagbucks going? I'd do it but I have earned nothing so far...and can't figure out how to do it. Am I an idiot? LOL
Not summerlove, I know.. but.. use the toolbar, do the daily poll, add SB on your Facebook so you can know when a code is being offered for a limited time, use it for your searches, etc. I make between 10 and 50 SBs per day on average. I try and get more referrals, but that's not happening lately. That can earn you a lot though as well.
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#15 of 27 Old 10-17-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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I've budgeted $100 for Christmas and have used a variety of methods to get nice gifts for the family (17 people!) for that. I've been keeping track of my $100 holiday on my blog and have used lots of deals! Here's what I've done so far:


I’ve spent $36.99 and have purchased:

$3.99 on a thrift store doll cradle for Sweet Pea (my 2 year old daughter)
$2.50 on a razor sharpener for Mr. Penny
$5.50 on a razor sharpener and John Wayne movies for my dad
$25 on a Groupon coupon for $100 Picaboo photobooks, and a 50% off coupon code, which made three photobooks for Mr. Penny, my parents, and my mother in law

I’ve acquired for free:
wallet for my brother (mystery shopping)
razor and accessories for my dad (drugstore freebie)
transformer-style remote control robot for Peanut, my 5 year old son (free Kohl’s cash for buying groceries)
manicure set with lots of nail polish for my mom (mystery shopping)
Personalized photo T-shirt, Tote Bag, Calendar, Mug, Sticky Notes, and Return Address Labels for my mother in law (coupon code at Vistaprints)
$50 in men's clothes from a mail in rebate promotion with Sears for Mr. Penny

I’ve made from my stash:
art caddy for Peanut
doll quilt, diaper bag, apron, and dress for Sweet Pea

I have credit to use:
$495 at Franklin Goose (They did a deal in March where for every review you posted, they'd give you $5 credit, and if you "banked" it for 6 months, you got another 10%; I reviewed everything I'd ever touched and have a nice credit now!)
Swagbucks that I’ll use at amazon.com (it's working for me! )
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#16 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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Here is the Advent Calendar dp and I made for ds this year. It's not fancy, but it'll get the job done We had most of the stuff at home already (just needed the foam board we used for the back and that was less than $2). Each pocket will have a family activity for that day

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#17 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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I have credit to use:
$495 at Franklin Goose (They did a deal in March where for every review you posted, they'd give you $5 credit, and if you "banked" it for 6 months, you got another 10%; I reviewed everything I'd ever touched and have a nice credit now!)
Swagbucks that I’ll use at amazon.com (it's working for me! )

Have you used the FG credit yet? Because I got an email a few weeks ago saying they were suspending the use of the credit until after the holidays due to supply issues...

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#18 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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AllyRae- I just got that e-mail. Bummer! That could have been communicated a lot more clearly. I'll be re-evaluating my gift plan, but still staying on budget.
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#19 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so excited! I found a huge little tikes kitchen at goodwill for $30. My kids will go nuts for it! And my MIL is getting them some wooden food. Yay!

Welcoming our twins :: born February 21, 2009 at 33 weeks! :
C-section due to pre-eclampsia and HELLP:
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#20 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Here is the Advent Calendar dp and I made for ds this year. It's not fancy, but it'll get the job done We had most of the stuff at home already (just needed the foam board we used for the back and that was less than $2). Each pocket will have a family activity for that day
Oh.... that is too cute, I may do something similiar with DS if we get settled in our new place in Nov. I would call it a 'holiday calendar' or similiar. I think DS would get a kick out of it.

Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

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#21 of 27 Old 10-23-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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#22 of 27 Old 10-23-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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Im trying to do as much homemade stuff as possible this year. I am doing an advent calender (I picked up the fabric for it today! They had the Christmas fabric on sale for 50% off so I picked up enough to make one for us and one for my In-laws). My girls are young and don't want for much so Im doing small things I know they will love and they are sharing two of their three gifts each (their big gift will be an indoor playcenter, more than I would usually spend but it rains here ALOT and it will be well used and their second shared gift will be dress up trunk I got most of the stuff either made from recycled materials or gotten at a thrift store when their Halloween items were 50% off with an additional 50% on your whole purchase).
My family I wasn't planning on giving to but my hubby wanted to so I am. Im making all their stuff and getting things on sale/clearance to make it with. Ive found the local 100 yen store (kind of like a dollar tree) has a big sewing area where Im getting the items that add up fast (buttons, thread, needles, etc).

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#23 of 27 Old 10-23-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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for those that use swagbucks to amazon credit, have you signed up for amazon mom? It is free and you get 3 free months of amazon prime which means free shipping on a lot of items.

Here's what my gift/holiday fund looks like:

32.xx$ remaining balance on a bass pro g/c
10$ jcpenny g/c from my points (it only took me 7 years to earn that one, gah)
5$ target g/c, I do the grocery g/c deals that i need and will save all the g/c for xmas gifts

I also plan to take all the accumulating change and convert it to dollar bills and use that for xmas.

But I haven't really begun shopping only made lists, really don't know what to get ds, I am really trying to cut down clutter so i imagine a board game, maybe a movie, some new shoes, i don't know for sure.

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#24 of 27 Old 10-23-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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we'd really like to focus on time as a family this year instead of having the "gimmies".
Thats kind of what we do!

We call it the 12 Days of Christmas!

We have a list of 12 traditional activities that we do on whatever day makes sense during the month of December (I tried to make it all work out on the 12 days before Christmas, but going to births just didn't let that happen and its so much more enjoyable with the 12 days spread out through the month).

Thanksgiving weekend we take out our holiday movies and music while decorating. (I have a very large collection of holiday movies...one of my favorite things I own. )

-Cookie Bake-off with friends (freeze dough in balls and put in ziplocs so we always have easy access to fresh baked cookies all season)

-visit a Live Nativity, taking the long way to see all the lights while drinking hot chocolate and listening to Christmas music

-Go to the neighborhood tree lighting

-Cut down our Christmas tree at the same place, on a horse drawn wagon then decorate

-St. Nicholas day (fruit and candied nuts in the kids shoes)

-Gingerbread house decorating

-Birthday cake for Jesus and read about his birth from the bible

-special Solstice family dinner

-Lovely Cheese Pizza/ marathon (lazy day watching all the home alone movies while eating "lovely cheese pizza's, just for us!")

-a night of Hannukah with our friends

-family gift exchange (we usually draw names, but the kids want a pollyanna this year, but with the age range and littles I don't see that going well...)

-some kind of Santa Sighting (we don't usually go to the mall, but there is always some opportunity to catch a glimpse)

We also do an Advent Calendar, and each kid gets one gift on Christmas plus their stockings. Another tradition is Christmas pajamas, but I give them out on Thanksgiving to get use the whole season.

The kids want to incorporate "Winter Berry" into our 12 Days somehow...its from a song on a Bear in the Big Blue House cd we got years ago. We have to make something up though, and have yet to come up with an activity. (The song is about the last berry in winter, and what you would do with it if you found it - share it, etc.) So we are thinking on that one...

I LOVE the holidays! And am really excited to be talking about them. Woohoo!
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#25 of 27 Old 10-24-2010, 08:50 PM
 
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you ladies have fabulous ideas!!

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#26 of 27 Old 10-25-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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Love all these ideas...please please keep it coming. I'm writing a list, checking it twice! Of course my list is full of free things we can do while at home, but I really want to make the holidays fun for the kids. Anyone have a great lawyer so I can get my kids home for all the holidays this year? : ) I don't see them from about the 20th till the 25th.

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#27 of 27 Old 10-25-2010, 02:29 AM
 
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I'm a knitter, and all year I've been picking up yarn on sale or at garage sales.

Mom is getting a doiley thing for her table & ??
MIL is getting a doiley thing and a hat
FIL is getting a hat


In the end, it only cost a few dollars and a bit of time!

"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"~Mary Oliver

RT knitting mama  to 3 (& 8 who didn't make it) wife working on 13 years to a silly man who drives me crazy.
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