Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Gift Plans

"Do the holidays-NOT BUY the holidays!"

This has been my goal every year for the last several years.  It has been a down shift every year to see how we can continue to simplify and yet get more joy out of celebrating Our Saviors Birth.
We drew names at Thanksgiving again this year for gifts with our kids and my sister’s families. This has really cut down the amount we spend and people we have to buy for. It has been a lot more fun which relieves a lot of stress and I can give nicer gifts. I hate buying gifts that I am not sure people really need or want and most people have way too much stuff anyway.  
I only have three people to buy for this year.  I am buying for my gift exchange person and my oldest son since he still lives at home but most of my budget will get spent on my youngest son who is 16 years old. My husband is doing most of the shopping for him so I don’t have a lot to do there. We will go next Tuesday to buy our gifts for our exchange person. My husband and I will spend a Saturday gift shopping together but since we won’t have much left we will see a movie and go out to dinner.
I am happy with this arrangement since I prefer to give small token gift like baked cookies, homemade candy, or a small crafts during the month of December to people. They don’t expect anything and I don’t expect to get anything back so it is fun. I can spend my time making token gifts to give away and everyone is happy to get one nice gift in the gift exchange.
As one of my gifts I am helping my oldest daughter organize her apartment with my youngest daughter’s help. We went over this past Saturday and worked all day on my 6 month old granddaughter’s room and I plan to go back to work on other rooms throughout January. I am printing pictures for some frames for my granddaughter’s room, hanging some stuff on the walls, and painting some furniture which I plan to have done before Christmas along with cleaning and organizing the room since it needs a second day. This will be a double gift for my oldest daughter and granddaughter.
My youngest daughter and I plan to use the time to find out what my granddaughter need so that we don’t over buy on her first Christmas and get stuff she doesn’t need. One thing we are working on is buying dresses, leggings, and sweaters for her since my daughter prefers to put her in dresses so we are looking at thrift stores and are each going to put together three sets each.

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Almost No Spend Gifts

I made homemade red peppermint scented play dough for the 3 girls that my youngest daughter nannies, her fianc├ęs 2 youngest sisters, and my oldest daughters nephew. I spent $1.50 on a pack of 6 cookie cutters from Wal-Mart, and I used plastic deli style tubs that I got at GFS for another project to store the dough.

I used the Best Ever No-Cook Play Dough Recipe but did need to add more flour and salt to thicken it up along with kneading it vigorously as the directions call for. I made the recipe 3 times to fill my tubs. I made 6 gifts for little ones at practically no cost using supplies I had on hand with a minimal amount of time.

I used paper bags that I have had for years and folded them down, punch two holes and tied the cookie cutters on with green yarn that was in my stash.