2007 Frugal Holiday "Challenge" - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-09-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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But I'm going to be diplomatic about it! Well, as diplomatic as a loud mouthed, outspoken, sagitarius momma can be!

Oh is that my problem, its being sagitarius? I'm loud mouthed and outspoken too and always wondered why.

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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Old 08-09-2007, 02:09 PM
 
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Oh is that my problem, its being sagitarius? I'm loud mouthed and outspoken too and always wondered why.

Oh, yes! one of the characteristics of sagitarians are we "are honest to the point of being blunt." Can you imagine such a thing?
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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Subbing and sharing.

I'm not 100% sure what to do for this year. Last year, I had some success keeping our costs down by making a few gifts. I made a puppet theatre for DD, and a quilted "road" playmat for DS. I ended up spending $100 total on random stocking stuffers and small gifts. We still ended up with a few clunky items that are never used.

This year, my goal is to keep it small for the kids - in size. We just don't have room for large gifts! So that's my main challenge. I'd like to keep the cost below $100 again.

For the others, my tentative plan is:

DH: Sew a laptop bag - something I've been promising to do, and Christmas is a good excuse to finally get around to it.
MIL: No idea
FIL: No idea
My parents: NO clue!
Sister 1: usually prefers cash or gift cards. Any gift I've gotten her in the past sits untouched and gathering dust for years.
Sister 2: thinking of sending her baked goods - old treats that my mother used to make, that we don't get anymore.
Brother 1: Gift card, for sure. He's a videogame fiend and that's all he'll want.
BIL: No clue
SIL: No idea
Best friend: She's getting married this year, and will have a spiffy new last name. So I'm thinking of making personalized stationary for them.

There are a few other siblings we're not really in touch with, and never exchange gifts with. I don't think I'm forgetting anyone, though...
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Here is my list....
DH: Not sure yet but not too hard to shop for
DD#1 and DD#2: I have several ideas of things they would like. I'm looking to pick up some stuff gently used and am keeping my eye out now. We've thought about getting them something bigger to share like a doll house or train table.
MIL & FIL- I think I want to do a basket for them together that has several smaller item. Decorated clothespin magnets for artwork from the grandkids, food items etc I haven't gotten very far on this idea.
My Mom and Dad-something with pictures of the girls. I saw some neat coasters from Target that you could add pictures too. I'm not sure how much they'd cost. My dad likes mugs with pictures and such to have at work.
My Grandmother: I'm going to make a care package with practical stuff like stamps, note cards, probably some candy and pictures. She'll appreciate this a lot.
My Grandfather: He doesn't like anything so I don't know nor am I going to stress about it.

I'm going to try and learn to knit. I'm starting on a scarf this weekend. I figure it is possible that I could knit scarves or kitchen towels for people if I pick up on the knitting. We'll see.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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Any frugal ideas that can include something to do with dinosaurs? My ds is crazy about them. He will be 6. For all of our gifts this year, I'd like to do homemade things if possible.
A couple dino ideas. Last year I got some plastic dinos at the dollar store. I also got some bar soap and grated it up with my box grater. Then I put the soap in a bowl, added a little oatmeal and water until it was a dry clay consistency. I then molded the soap around the dinos until they were completely covered roughly egg shaped and let them dry. As the kids used the soap, the dinos appeared.

I've also heard of mixing sand with plaster of paris and burying dinos in that. Then give the kids a small hammer, brush, etc and let them dig for dinosaurs.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:00 PM
 
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So I've started a list. I need lists. Its much easier for me

DD- Im planning on picking up a toy and/or game used, trade and/or cheap in cost (not product ). I've been watching the thrift stores and ebay/TP/swap forum and such. Nothing yet.Im planning on making this Journal Jar and including a cute journal and pen. http://organizedchristmas.com/childs-journal-jar
And Im planning on getting her a used book (The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood by Shelley Noonan and Kim K. Zach) and/or renewing her subscription to New Moon mag. I might sew (if im not sick of sewing) some cute kitty slippers with a pattern and fabric from stash.
DS- I've already found some wooden lacing stuff and a nice train puzzle. $12 total, shipped, on the TP! Im planning on rounding up some dress up stuff from the thrift/trade and decorating/painting an old trunk in our basement. I would love to buy him one of those cute capes from an etsy mama. Im not up to making one of those this year. I'd also like to get him a mag. sub. to baby bug or wild baby animals.
DH- Im going to paint a cute collage/mixed media piece of us, inspired by this artist http://www.collageartist.com/ and Im planning on sewing him a stuffed typerwriter. something like this http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/gold-school but I have yet to really figure out how or search for some type of pattern.
SIL- Im going to attempt to make some yo-yo flowers and vase with things from my stash. http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/pho...yobouquet.html
If this fails, Ill probably tie dye (with dyes from stash) a sheet set I have laying around in my linen closet or make a cute collage piece of her, like DH.
MIL- Take 3 pics of the kids, 1 of them together and 1 of them alone. Each pic Holding a sign to say I Love Grandma. I'll find a frame that holds 3 pics at the thrift.
FIL-no idea
Mom- Im working on a set of patchwork place mats from fabric scrap stash
Dad- No idea
younger sis- Sew comfy pj pants. I have a pattern from stash that I'll use but need fabric. Im hoping to find something nice but cheap. Keeping my eye on the TP and look at thrift stores.
middle sis and DP- ?
nephew (2)- bath goodies in a bag. Make bath crayons, bath fizz tablets, http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...th.html?page=2
find cheap bath squirters and make or buy (thrift) terry cloth puppet. I might make the dino egg soaps too.
My Nana- A gift basket with pictures and handmade items by DC. Handmade candles and some yummy cookies. Probably the fortune cookies. Some yarn (from thrift) for her knitting projects.
My best friend-? ( I have some ideas but don't wanna post them. She may see them here. Shes an MDC mama too )
Best friends DS- The same bath goodies in a bag as nephew.
Other friends- Mixed CD (themed) with art work covers/track list and a big fortune cookie.

Every year the DC make things for all these people too. Last year, DD made everyone something from left over oriental trading company kits. A mama on the TP was selling them. This year both DD and DS will try their hand at tie dying (from our dye stash). Probably just socks, hand towels, pillow cases ect., handy things.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:25 PM
 
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Lists are a GREAT idea:

turtle: We're giving each other tattoos and stocking stuffers--not cheap, but it's what we really want.

brother: Tie-dye shirt (he's said that's all he wants)

SIL: Haven't a clue. Maybe an iTunes gift card.

New baby niece: hand-made bear, by our own FiberLover, traded for it; maybe some other stuff off the TP, depending on how the current craft swap shakes out

Mother: bath stuff, traded for on the TP

Father: something from turtle's job, where we get a discount

Small Friend L: fairy stuff, traded for on the TP

Small Friend H: tie-dyed soccer socks and some small things turtle will procure

Small Friend O: tie-dyed socks, necklace by turtle and some small things turtle will procure

Small Friend C: gift card for books, tie-dyed socks and some small things turtle will procure

Village Adults and other friends and adult family members: hand-dyed kitchen towels, my famous holiday cookie selection
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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I almost forgot about trades! Thanks for the reminder Frog!
I received most of the DC's gifts last year from trades! Im, for sure, going to be doing that again this year.
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Old 08-11-2007, 06:10 PM
 
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For those wondering if the jewelry site was legit, it is! I got what I ordered yesterday and it was just as it looked on the website and my credit card was only charged $5.99.

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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Old 08-11-2007, 09:13 PM
 
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I checked out a Christmas craft book from the library and found a neat gift. You take Pringles, dip half of the chip in melted chocolate, and set it on wax paper to harden. Then, you cover the container in cardstock or construction paper, decorate it, and put the chips back inside (or at least the ones that will now fit). They're called "Kringles!" I usually buy a gift for my friend's four kids, but I know they'd get a kick out of this.

On a completely different note, I think I'm going to cut some of my DD's drawings into strips, laminate them, punch a hole in one hand, attach a ribbon, and give them to the grandmas as bookmarks. Our local library has a really cheap laminating service, so I'll have it laminated there.
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:10 AM
 
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For those wondering if the jewelry site was legit, it is! I got what I ordered yesterday and it was just as it looked on the website and my credit card was only charged $5.99.
Does it feel like good quality?

Mom to (5) (9)
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:59 AM
 
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My Grandfather: He doesn't like anything so I don't know nor am I going to stress about it.

I'm going to try and learn to knit. I'm starting on a scarf this weekend. I figure it is possible that I could knit scarves or kitchen towels for people if I pick up on the knitting. We'll see.

For Grandfather, I always gave mine a pack of hankies with his initial, you can pick them up at kmart or target for a few dollars. It seemed cheap, but it is very practical and most old men use them. Now I don't have a grandpa to buy hankies for anymore...so maybe you can carry on the tradition for me
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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I used to buy my great-grandfather gift certificates for the nearby restaurant he frequented. Before they had gcs, I'd call them and set up a line of credit for him. He was in there so much that it was no trouble for them.
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Old 08-13-2007, 06:20 PM
 
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Got my jewelry too. The charges on my credit card were correct - nothing extra. I'm not a big jewelry person but they seem nice. I got a necklace and earrings each for SIL and MIL. I did have to buy the chain for the necklace separate but it was only $4 or $5. I'm going to put them in a nice box and type up a fancy description about the healing properties of the stones in each of the pieces. I'm very please with my purchase. :
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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I was thinking about using my pottery skills to make gifts for Christmas. The main problem is that pottery can get heavy and my family is spread out from New Mexico to Maine. Postage would eat me alive. Perhaps I can make ceramic jewelry that's small enough to mail inexpensively.

Bobbie
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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I had a major family function last weekend and I have another next weekend--anyone involved will receive an enlarged photo of them and/or a loved one in a frame for Christmas this year. Photos by me, frames by the thrift store.
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Old 08-13-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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Got my jewelry too. The charges on my credit card were correct - nothing extra. I'm not a big jewelry person but they seem nice. I got a necklace and earrings each for SIL and MIL. I did have to buy the chain for the necklace separate but it was only $4 or $5. I'm going to put them in a nice box and type up a fancy description about the healing properties of the stones in each of the pieces. I'm very please with my purchase. :

I got my second one today and really like it, too. It's a ring.

I just found out that my MIL and SIL are both allergic to silver though! AHHHH ... so back to scratch... and wasted money.

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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Old 08-13-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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Does it feel like good quality?
I'm not sure what you mean by feel, but it was heavier than I thought it would be, I remember thinking that when I picked it up.

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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Old 08-13-2007, 10:01 PM
 
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Dad- No idea
younger sis- Sew comfy pj pants. I have a pattern from stash that I'll use but need fabric. Im hoping to find something nice but cheap. Keeping my eye on the TP and look at thrift stores.
How about made of flannel? Maybe look for nicer flannel sheets at the thrift store or on sale?

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Old 08-13-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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How about made of flannel? Maybe look for nicer flannel sheets at the thrift store or on sale?
great idea!
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Old 08-14-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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I was thinking about using my pottery skills to make gifts for Christmas. The main problem is that pottery can get heavy and my family is spread out from New Mexico to Maine. Postage would eat me alive. Perhaps I can make ceramic jewelry that's small enough to mail inexpensively.

Bobbie
I love those rings that go on light bulbs that you put essential oils in. You could get some EOs from the next Frontier co-op to suit different personalities.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:55 AM
 
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I'm going to try to get my MIL and her husband to make DS1 a pair of stilts and DS2 a wooden lacing thing. Does anyone know where I can get patterns?

They made him a beautiful balance beam one year, but the other years have given him loud plastic stuff that just does stuff (chicken dance elmo: for example), so maybe these suggestions will get them back on track.
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:58 AM
 
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Does anyone have any frugal/cheap ideas for one of those digital picture frames? I wanted to get one of these for my dad last year but just couldn't afford it. This year its still the ONLY thing I can think that would be useful but I just can't spend that much.

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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Does anyone have any frugal/cheap ideas for one of those digital picture frames? I wanted to get one of these for my dad last year but just couldn't afford it. This year its still the ONLY thing I can think that would be useful but I just can't spend that much.
There was an article recently in usa today about these. Still can't get one for less than $100. I was just coveting one in the target circular at like $120. They're not expected to go down for a few years yet. But I would say if you are a braver soul than I, keep your eyes peeled for those Black-Friday-wake-at-4 am-stand-in-line-for-an-hour-to-get-one-of-limited-quantities-specials and you'll be in business. I can fully envision one going for around $65/$75 this year on super christmas sale madness special. Man, they'd make killer gifts though!
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Old 08-14-2007, 10:35 AM
 
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I just found out that my MIL and SIL are both allergic to silver though! AHHHH ... so back to scratch... and wasted money.
You could sell or trade them on the TP to recoup your money.
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Old 08-14-2007, 12:26 PM
 
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So I think for SIL I might give her some gift cards to the movies that we got as a gift from Dh's work but never used. It's just for 2 tickets so I was thinking I could add a bit to it and make it $20 so that she could get some sort of snack too. She is 21 and in college so this might be an OK gift??? She's really picky and I can just never think of anything to get her. She usually turns her nose up at most things so I just want something simple and cheap honestly.
Do you guys think this would be an OK gift? If so, Any cheap ideas to go with it? (and I mean cheap!)

Mama to (DS 7) and (DD 5), wife to DH

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Old 08-14-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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But I would say if you are a braver soul than I, keep your eyes peeled for those Black-Friday-wake-at-4 am-stand-in-line-for-an-hour-to-get-one-of-limited-quantities-specials and you'll be in business. I can fully envision one going for around $65/$75 this year on super christmas sale madness special. Man, they'd make killer gifts though!
I've been eyeing these and had the same exact thought about Black Friday! I think one would be perfect for my grandparents, but it's way out of my budget, so I'm considering asking the whole extended family to chip in $5 or $10. My grandparents live in 3000 square feet of clutter, so I think one gift from the entire family would be a good idea any way.

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So I think for SIL I might give her some gift cards to the movies that we got as a gift from Dh's work but never used. It's just for 2 tickets so I was thinking I could add a bit to it and make it $20 so that she could get some sort of snack too. She is 21 and in college so this might be an OK gift??? She's really picky and I can just never think of anything to get her. She usually turns her nose up at most things so I just want something simple and cheap honestly.
Do you guys think this would be an OK gift? If so, Any cheap ideas to go with it? (and I mean cheap!)
I think it's a great gift for a college student. Instead of adding more money to the gift card, what about throwing in a $1 or $2 worth of candy for her to sneak in? : If her theater has a "Bring Your Own Bucket" night (for popcorn), you could put the gift cards and candy in small $1 bucket. It would still be cheaper than the $7-10 needed to buy popcorn and soda.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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subbing!

AP Mom to 5 knit.gifhomeschool.giftoddler.gif
 
  

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Old 08-14-2007, 07:55 PM
 
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So I think for SIL I might give her some gift cards to the movies that we got as a gift from Dh's work but never used. It's just for 2 tickets so I was thinking I could add a bit to it and make it $20 so that she could get some sort of snack too. She is 21 and in college so this might be an OK gift??? She's really picky and I can just never think of anything to get her. She usually turns her nose up at most things so I just want something simple and cheap honestly.
Do you guys think this would be an OK gift? If so, Any cheap ideas to go with it? (and I mean cheap!)
I think thats a great gift for the picky 21 yr. old! I also like the idea of giving her candy as well. You could even add a box of microwave popcorn to the gift or one of those movie review guides. They sell for cheap used on half.com or amazon.
I've even seen something similar to the girlfriends guide to the movies or something. LM go look and I'll post a link.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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Here is the one I was thinking of.
http://www.amazon.com/Cinematherapy-...7128174&sr=1-3
and its only 17 cents!
This author has other Girl guides to the movies.
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