How we keep Christmas costs down

Ready for a shocker? I don’t “really” buy Christmas presents for my children and husband. Okay, I did say “really” 🙂 Let me explain.

My husband and I have decided that when it comes to Christmas that we should buy as little as possible. What that normally means is that we don’t buy each other gifts and we only buy stocking stuffers for the children.

The stocking stuffers are normally dollar store purchases and fruit. Fruit? Yes, fruit 🙂 The stockings are the one item that the children are allowed to open as soon as they rise. My husband and I don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn, so we fill their stockings with activities and something to snack on…hence the fruit.

Before you get the wrong impression that my children don’t know the joy of Christmas or that they don’t get awesome presents, let me explain more. We have been blessed with very generous family members. They give the kids tons, from clothes to dolls and gadgets. We don’t need to go overboard with presents. They are getting plenty.

What do we do for presents for each other? Well, we normally give gifts that don’t hurt the pocketbook. We do massages and dates. I cash in any points that I have earned through various programs to get a few gift cards. I might dip into my Paypal stash that I’ve earned through selling stuff on E-bay.

My situation may also be helped by the fact that my children have never believed in Santa Claus. They know who each present came from, and they are grateful. They have realized that the presents don’t normally come from their parents, and we have explained this to them. Mommy and Daddy provide for them with presents like food, shelter, and clothing. They get plenty of toys and goodies from everyone else.

We have lots of Christmas fun together that doesn’t involve presents.  On the Friday after Thanksgiving/Black Friday, we dig out the Christmas decorations and blare the Christmas carols.  We put up the tree, and the kids put up the ornaments.  They get an ornament every year from their grandma, and they love remembering the years past.  Fun is had by all, and we don’t spend a dime 🙂

We do buy presents for others for Christmas.  We try to make as many homemade gifts as possible, and the kids normally join in the present making.

I just wanted to encourage you that it is possible to not overdo this holiday. You might not be blessed with such generous family members, but you can still cut back to a reasonable level. Christmas isn’t about greed or how much we can get.  It is about the celebration of Jesus and his arrival in this world.  He is the greatest gift, and we should be content even if we have nothing but Him.

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How to bless your old grandpa

On October 17th, my sweet grandpa turned 90 years old.  I knew that he really doesn’t need anything, and I don’t have much money.  I decided to write a list of 90 reasons why I love him.

The list was filled with all kinds of reasons like:

  • You smell good
  • You served our country
  • You make yummy salmon
  • You love …..
  • You’re kind
  • You’re punctual
  • You play a mean saxophone

The list took quite a while, and I had to enlist the help of my friends and family.  My grandpa’s reaction made it all worth it.  He said that nothing I could have bought would ever compare to how much it meant to him.  He bragged to all his friends about how wonderful it was.

I wanted to share my idea with you, so that you could bless your grandpa, grandma, or someone special with it.  Grandpa told me that I should tell everyone, and I was so tickled by how much he enjoyed it.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming.  Maybe you can try this. 

Have a blessed day!