Frugal Holidays 2008 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 389 Old 06-14-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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I don't know if you would enjoy this kind of advent calendar or not but my girls LOVE it. We bought ours but it would not to be too hard to make one. It's a picture of a stable and a sky with the numbers all around the outside. Every night we open another box and add something to the scene. Ours is magnetic but you could use anything to make it stick. There are three stars, plus the big one, camels, cows, donkeys, sheep, shepherd, innkeeper, on and on and Christmas Eve of course, there's baby Jesus. My girls love opening it and creating the story every night as we go along. Just an idea!
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#62 of 389 Old 06-14-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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sunnylady - it sounds beautiful! are you able to please post a picture of it, or a link of where you bought it from? i love this wooden nativity advent calender... it is stunning, but pricey..

http://www.child-advent-calendar.com/img/wac%204.jpg
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#63 of 389 Old 06-14-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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This is it. http://www.alsto.com/product/122434.do DEFINITELY not frugal. I don't think we paid that much though so you might find it cheaper if you look around. And I wouldn't think it would be hard to make something like it. Good luck - it is so much fun and so meaningful.


ETA: I HATE HATE HATE Walmart but here it is for less than half the price. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=6340440I might be tempted - especially since I think it would cost that much to make it.

ETA AGAIN: Of course I just saw they don't sell it online. Oops.


ETA One More Time: Here it is again. http://www.catholicchild.com/prodinfo.asp?number=32053 I'm going to stop looking obsessively and go clean. Can you tell I'm in cleaning avoidance?
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#64 of 389 Old 06-14-2008, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the chalkboard idea, you could even buy a small can of chalkboard paint and paint some old piece of wood, or even part of your wall. Chalkboards give me the willies, but they do look nice

Do you sew? Could you make your daughter doll clothes? Maybe you could find them on some kind of swap if you make something else. If not on this site, I really like Craftsers.org and they do swaps.

For music, maybe you could hit up the 1/2 price book store and buy some simple music book or sheet music.

As far as the bookstore, my kids love books and last year I was able to get them a whole bunch there for like 50cents to a buck a book.

If you do craft supplies, wait until August and stock up before school.

For your three year old, would she like Felt food? That is pretty simple to make or swap for.

We also always do Pajamas. Sometimes I can find them at the 2nd hand store, and sometimes I order them new from like Old Navy. Even at full price, they usually aren't too expensive...or Children's Place always has them too.

Do you knit or crochet? My grandma always made slippers for us...They were the BEST!!

For grandparents, I found this cool idea to have your kids put their handprints on pillowcases in some sort of nice color that would match the recipient's decor. I think I am going to do a whole sheet set for our families. And you can buy really nice 100% sheets from IKEA for like 12 bucks for a whole set.

I really like to sew, so a lot of my gifts will be made like potholders and wall quilts.

I will probably make ornaments too and have the kids help. I have purchased a lot of holiday books at the used book store for 3 or 4 dollars a piece over the last couple of years, so I have more ideas than I could possibly make!

If you use tins, hit up garage sales this summer and Good Will...that's a great place to find them!
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#65 of 389 Old 06-15-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnylady303 View Post
The older one really likes dress up so I can hit thrift stores looking for that stuff for her. She also likes dressing dolls and such. Anyone have any ideas for that? She also likes musical instruments. We have friends who let her play their trumpet and sax. Ideas for this?
Does she like making things? I bet it would be really simple (and cheap) to get her a supply of scrap fabric and decorations and some glue and she could make her own doll clothes... maybe with cute box to keep all her "supplies" in?

ETA: Eureka!! What about this? She's a perfect age: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-...e.pl?id=071607

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There will be much consternating because we usually get all a calendar with pictures of the girls but that usually runs us $200 for 5 so that's out.
Maybe you could find a cheaper way to still do the calenders?
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- calendars with photos in them (last 2 years I have gotten them from Lakeside Collection and they are cheap but OK and you can use regular 4 x 6 photos in them).
Or try:
? I've never used them, but it looks like you can get photo calenders for less than $12 each... that would end up being only $60 for 5 so quite a bit less than $200!

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we are doing an advent calender (non-chocolate one) and i need some ideas for cheap daily fillings for a then would be 4yo and 2yo (both girls)... haven't been able to think of much except christmas themed stamps and stickers.

any ideas?
Hmm... It might work better for older girls, but maybe you could do something similar, but what about some sort of kit to make something for the holidays like beads for a necklace or something? One bead or charm per day, with one day being ribbon to string it? Or maybe patches to put on a special x-mas pillow case?

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...I really like Craftsers.org and they do swaps.
That address didn't work for me...

ETA: You must have meant Craftster.org (no 's') right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by holidaymama View Post
For grandparents, I found this cool idea to have your kids put their handprints on pillowcases in some sort of nice color that would match the recipient's decor. I think I am going to do a whole sheet set for our families. And you can buy really nice 100% sheets from IKEA for like 12 bucks for a whole set.
For anyone (but esp. kids) it's really easy to sew nice fun pillow cases! It's all straight lines and a simple shape, so even a novice sewer could do it. You can find all kinds of cute fabrics and they don't take much so it's not too pricey. I like using flannel because it seems softer to me. but most people don't seem to notice other fabric being rough...

To make them a little fancier, I like doing a "French Seam." Seems fancy, but it's really simple to do! (BTW, that's not my blog, I just found it googling 'french seam.')
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#66 of 389 Old 06-15-2008, 10:57 PM
 
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Every year for our DS we have re-done his bedroom .. yup every christmas.

We make him sleep in a different part of the house for a few days before and I re-decorate his room and give it a real thorough cleaning and move the furniture around and usually get him new bedding etc. .. just like on the decorating shows ..... I know that would sound stressful but its not for me and he has looked forward to that every year ... and when money was tight that was the bulk of his present .. and I usually had new pj's and slippers for him to sleep in - in his new bedroom. I would usually decide many months ahead of time what I was going to do to his bedroom and look for items that went with the theme (ie - one year we did a whole jungle theme and I found really good deals on pillows with different animals on them)

One year I went through all our photo albums and had photo copies done in black and white of my favs and decoupaged them onto a box for him for his keepsakes ... he still uses and loves that box.

You could slowly work on it all year .. checking out garage sales and bargains in the stores.

It was always fun on Christmas Eve to blindfold him and take him to his "new bedroom".
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#67 of 389 Old 06-16-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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I really need this thread too... I really like making things but its hard for my family... all of them are pretty into minimalizing "stuff", and most food gifts are out because A) my SIL does goodie bags every year, and B) there are several special diets in my family. I AM thinking of learning how to can stuff this year... one of my brothers LOVES the jars of Lemon Curd from Trader Joe's so I was thinking of making some homemade lemon curd for him.

As for the rest of my family I'm pretty stumped. And I have to shop for:

Mom
Dad
Brother #1
SIL
Nephew #1 (6 by x-mas)
Nephew #1 (2.5 by x-mas)
Brother #2
Almost SIL
Half niece #1 (13 by x-mas)
Half nephew (14 by x-mas)
Half niece #1 (12 by x-mas
Best friend and her husband
almost niece (2.5 by x-mas)
almost nephew (due in the next few weeks, so 6 mo by x-mas?)

The younger kids are easy for me to shop for, but I hardly know the older ones so they're pretty tough. My mom I can usually figure out something for, but my dad is impossible to shop for (though I think I might have an idea this year for once!) as is brother #1, and SIL. Brother #2 and Almost SIL are a bit easier, but still tough, and Best friend and her DH are also really hard!

So in short... I really need to start planning/shopping now!
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#68 of 389 Old 06-16-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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There will be much consternating because we usually get all a calendar with pictures of the girls but that usually runs us $200 for 5 so that's out.
Check ebay for coupon codes!!! Last year there was a promotion on amazon where you got a free calendar from shutterfly (iirc) with certain purchases. Anyway, on ebay people were selling the coupon codes. I got 3 calendars for I think $15. Anyway, it's worth a shot to see if you can get something like it this year.
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#69 of 389 Old 06-16-2008, 02:41 AM
 
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This is a great thread!

I have a lot of "obligation" gifts to give each year...friends, family, work. I try to give some food item I've made...I did Limoncello two years ago, and that was a hit (it's an Italian liquer...you soak lemons in vodka for a couple of weeks, strain them out, and add a simple sugar syrup)...last year I did 7 Layer Cookies and these other "cookies" that are just Peanut Butter Mini Ritz Bitz, dipped in melted chocolate bark (with a white drizzle) or white chocolate bark (with a dark drizzle). I found some nice round Christmas containers for them that weren't cheesy (at Walmart, of all places!)

This year I'm thinking bath stuff...I've been having fun making my own sugar scrubs and bath salts (since, heaven knows, I can't afford to buy that kind of thing), and I think I can come up with something everyone will like.

Holly

So...I'm 43 and pregnant with #3 - how'd that happen?  

 

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#70 of 389 Old 06-16-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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we just had a daughter in Jan, so I decided to make scrapbooks for her 3 grandparents & godparents (4 books total) for this yr. i got the supplies on sale at jo-anns for less than $10.00 each not including the pics.

I will pry make the hanging crocheted towels w/washcloths and food for everyone else.

for DD, we are only giving 3 items. Not sure what those are yet. Depends on what she likes as she gets older.
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#71 of 389 Old 06-16-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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We got our calendars last year through Vista Print. I think they were $8 each.

Me+DH (2006)
DS (2005)
DD (2008)
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#72 of 389 Old 06-17-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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Here's the chai mix that I've made. It's super yummy!

1 c nonfat dry milk powder
1 c powdered non-dairy creamer
1 c French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
2 1/2 c of white sugar
1 1/2 c of unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice

mix all ingredients, then put one cup at a time in a blender or food processor until mixture is the texture of fine powder

Stir 2 heaping tablespoons in hot water.
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#73 of 389 Old 06-19-2008, 02:27 AM
 
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my only idea so far...

buy a few flower pots when they go on clearance and then force some bulbs, maybe like paperwhites, and give as a gift. i thought this would be nice for grandparents
wdyt?
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#74 of 389 Old 06-19-2008, 03:08 AM
 
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my only idea so far...

buy a few flower pots when they go on clearance and then force some bulbs, maybe like paperwhites, and give as a gift. i thought this would be nice for grandparents
wdyt?

One year growing up we PAINTED those terracotta pots. they are like $2 for the big ones at walmart or the craft store. We had stencils, special paint and finish coating. It was great and all the relatives loved them. Cheap and pretty much homemade from the kids... you can either plant bulbs in them, fill with seeds and such, its a great versatile present.
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#75 of 389 Old 07-16-2008, 05:26 PM
 
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Does anyone have the link to the thread from last year about making homemade holiday gifts? I tried searching but couldn't find it. It had tons of ideas for simple, cheap, and homemade gifts that I think everyone here could really find inspiration from.
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#76 of 389 Old 07-16-2008, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't have it either but if someone finds it will you post it?

Also, let's all keep trying to be creative together!!!!!
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#77 of 389 Old 07-16-2008, 11:10 PM
 
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For those looking for a cheap, chocolate-free idea, we do a story advent calender. I've been collecting holiday stories for years and for DS's first Christmas I wrote the titles of my 25 favorites and put them in numbered envelopes. We read one story every night until Christmas. The library would have tons of books you could check for this purpose if you don't already have a collection.

Love this ideas on this thread!

B.
Mama to : July '06
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#78 of 389 Old 07-16-2008, 11:17 PM
 
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This one?
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=746569

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

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#79 of 389 Old 07-16-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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Im looking at spending very little this year on holidays since our new baby will be very young.. I want to do something special for DD though.. I had two ideas both I know she will like:
1) Homemade puppet theatre and puppets
2) Dress up closet with dress up items- I already have a cinderella, belle and auroa costume as well as a Jasmine one.

Either way I can get a book shelve that I can convert to work for either for around 9.00, then probably 6-10.00 worth of fabric and about 20 for other misc items for it. Overall I dont' think thats too bad.

Other than that, my DH and I are exchanging one gift and everyone in the family is getting pictures for Christmas. We already have a fake tree (real ones are way to expensive over here) and tons of decorations. Instead of a Advent calander Im going to read parts of the Christmas story for each day until Christmas.

~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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#80 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 12:20 AM
 
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no that's not it, but that is a good one. The one I remember was several pages long (mine settings show 100 posts per page), and it started for the 2006 holiday season, then was bumped up the next year. I found tons of gift ideas from it, and I thought I had subbed but I guess not b/c I don't see it in my user CP.
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#81 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 07:58 AM
 
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With a baby due in December, it's defenitely going to be a more laid back holiday. I started buying things at garage sales already, lol. After summer ends, I'll tally up the gifts I have, buy the few odds and ends to make them up, and then it's on to baking for everyone else. Which isn't too bad since I'm in a major nesting mood lately anyway, lol.
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#82 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 08:45 AM
 
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Last year I did glass marble magnets with funky fabric backs for all the boys' teachers, and they were a HUGE hit, so I'll defintiely be doing those again, with a handbound journal or set of handstamped cards. THe magnets I get at michael's with a 50% off coupon, the glass flats are from Dollar Tree, and I've got mountains of fabric - so 80 magnets runs about $10, and I give each teacher a set of 6 in an altoid tin (gotten from my dad, who is an altoids freak and eats 2 tins a week, LOL!) I cover the tin with pretty paper.

For family, I'm still ruminating...I'm loving that loaf pan carrier! I think that some homemade molasses bread or banana bread in a tin with a carrier would be a nice gift!
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#83 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 09:17 AM
 
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no that's not it, but that is a good one. The one I remember was several pages long (mine settings show 100 posts per page), and it started for the 2006 holiday season, then was bumped up the next year. I found tons of gift ideas from it, and I thought I had subbed but I guess not b/c I don't see it in my user CP.
OK I have 2 others bookmarked, neither began in 2006.... sorry. But still good ideas here!

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=695265

and this one is longer

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=216812

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

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#84 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the links!!!!!


I was thinking about some other ideas and I am making rag baby quilts for the baby showers there always are during the school year, but I was thinking they would make GREAT Christmas gifts for adults. I would think you would need about 8 yards of fabric to make a lap quilt...I have been using flannel. I guess you would want to make sure you found a good deal on it or you would be spending a LOT of money!

However, I know Walmart usually has a lot on clearance for about $1/yard...so you would have a nice gift for under $10

Also, JoAnn fabric always has fabric on clearance...I know they have their flannel for kids/babies at 2.99/yard, but I have a coupon for 40% off...so if you bought one cut of say 8 yards...then it would be 40% off that one cut...so instead of say $24 it would be $14.40-not bad for a nice gift. And I am going to try and get one more coupon so that I can get 16 yards and have two different fabrics for large blocks and get two blankets...so two gifts for under $30

I am sure you could get old flannel shirts at Goodwill too...not sure how much they would be though.

Anyway, that's my idea for the day!:
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#85 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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Thank you so much for the links!!!!!


I was thinking about some other ideas and I am making rag baby quilts for the baby showers there always are during the school year, but I was thinking they would make GREAT Christmas gifts for adults. I would think you would need about 8 yards of fabric to make a lap quilt...I have been using flannel. I guess you would want to make sure you found a good deal on it or you would be spending a LOT of money!

However, I know Walmart usually has a lot on clearance for about $1/yard...so you would have a nice gift for under $10

Also, JoAnn fabric always has fabric on clearance...I know they have their flannel for kids/babies at 2.99/yard, but I have a coupon for 40% off...so if you bought one cut of say 8 yards...then it would be 40% off that one cut...so instead of say $24 it would be $14.40-not bad for a nice gift. And I am going to try and get one more coupon so that I can get 16 yards and have two different fabrics for large blocks and get two blankets...so two gifts for under $30

I am sure you could get old flannel shirts at Goodwill too...not sure how much they would be though.

Anyway, that's my idea for the day!:
If you can be at a Jo-Ann's during the early hours of Black Friday all of their Snuggle flannel prints & solids are .99/yd.

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#86 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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I just got a flyer from joann's with a bunch of 40% of coupons good 7/20-7/26 cuts of fabric, craft items, and i think sewing notions. 3 of each so you can really stock up...
i will be getting yarn like i need yarn
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#87 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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My husband and I both work higher-end retail. His jobs have amazing discounts, and mine gives me free products for meeting different "goals." Stuff from our stores will probably make up the bulk of what we give for xmas (except to the little one). We also brew meads and cysers and such and have given those in the past. This year, we're thinking about soapmaking. Oh, I also crochet hats for people, and dh gives away prints of his paintings.

For the little one, we've gotten things from Freecycle and Craigslist before, but I'd guess that the bulk of what he gets is from thrift stores. He's ten and loves thrift stores.

I also find things to give as presents while decluttering. I have a set of retro mushroom mugs that I'm thinking would be perfect with some hot cocoa mix or something.... Maybe for my brother and his wife....

I'd say we never spend more than $200 on xmas - generally much less. We've probably got about a fourth of our xmas gifts ready, so far. :

Come visit us on Tangled Hill! One small family in a big, big world.
Peace through homemaking.
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#88 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 09:24 PM
 
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Has the current state of the economy affected even more how you might do your winter holidays than otherwise?

I've decided I'm ONLY going to get gifts for my goddaughter and her sister (kids are 3 & 1). Aim to spend no more than $30 with mailing (they are moving out of state in a few weeks). I only buy books for them, so mailing will be simple. No gifts at work, very few cards from stash I have. Mostly free e-cards.

That means this Christmas will be about $50, including several apple pies I might make to take to Christmas dinner/parties.

Caveat: I'm single, so I don't have to worry about others in my immediate family.

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#89 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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Has the current state of the economy affected even more how you might do your winter holidays than otherwise?

oh yes very much so...
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#90 of 389 Old 07-17-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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Has the current state of the economy affected even more how you might do your winter holidays than otherwise?

oh yes very much so...
So, how much are you going to be cutting back?

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