Christmas on a budget III

This morning I received a call from my Dad. He told me to turn on the TV because they were taking about frugal wrapping paper. He got me thinking about our Christmas on a budget series. If you think about wrapping paper it is ripped off and thrown away never to be seen again. Here are some they discussed and a few they did not.

1. This is frugal tip I have done for years. Gift bags and the tissue paper I save over the year. I iron the tissue paper and put it in the bag and store until I am ready to use, easier storage and it looks like you went out and bought the bag and the tissue paper.

2. This year many are going green and many stores in the near future are not going to have plastic bags or they will charge you 5 cents for each bag. Why not buy some reusable shopping bags put your gift in it and attach a bow and they will have 2 gifts in one.

3. You can wrap in newspaper or how about a map you can receive free maps at AAA.

4. I don’t have the ambition this year but How about after Christmas pick up Christmas print fabric and make fabric bags. I know for little ones it is about the ripping of paper, but when they are older I think they would be happy with this idea.

4. Baby blankets for baby gifts

5. A scarf perhaps and it can be another two in one gift.

6. colorful fabric which can be fabric, bandanna’s, or dish towel.

7. We have done this paper the kids decorate. You can use a paper bag cut open, the kids decorate then ready to use.

8. Boxes or tins you have received from years past

8. Wrapping paper is 1/2 off at the end of the season, so if you just can’t part with the tradition of  wrapping paper.

9. If you make a gift basket you can leave it unwrapped and present it that way.

I save the bows from Christmas and reuse them. I bag them up and use them all year.

I want to thank my Dad for getting me thinking again about Christmas on a buget.

I have been learning so many new things on the internet and I am amazed at all the neat websites out there. Many of these sites I think  “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?” Here our a few and thought I would share. For those of you that are starting to get to know me I love tips and came across this site called Tipnut This is a well thought out site and has tons of tips and crafts. Check it out.

Another one of my favorites is frugal Village This is where I spend a lot of my time talking to others just like me. Frugal tips, ideas on saving, recipes and friends.

Another Valuable Lesson For lessons you learn in your life time. You are always welcome to add you valuable lessons.

If you had the chance to send that letter you cannot send what would you write? Well here is your chance The Letter I Cannot Send

Check out these site and let me know what you think. Contact me at

Series Christmas on a budget 2

The last time we talked a lot about Christmas party ideas, we only touched on Christmas gifts. This time I want to talk more about Christmas gifts.

Gifts in a jar– These are mixes that you make put into a jar that you decorate. These mixes can be food items you layer and look great with a fabric covered lid or bath salts in a neat glass container that would look wonderful in any bathroom, frugal but elegant. Here is a neat site with some recipes and printable gift tags.

Homemade Gifts- Grandparents love items their grandchildren make. I touch on the few different things we do in our home, but I thought of a few more.

Family Calender-Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a calendar with you family pictures on it and all the special dates for your family. There are businesses you can give them the information and they will produce your calendar and there are programs you can buy and produce it yourself.

Hand-printsHere are a few different ideas for hand-prints.

  1. Clay in a coffee can lid and the child puts their hand-print before dry put a hole in the top for hanging. When dry  spray paint it, we have gold hand-prints and have hung them under each of their school pictures. It is hard to believe how much they have grown!

  2. We have used hand-prints a lot for ornaments. Hand-prints traced on white paper outlined with glitter for angel wings. Hand-prints  traced on green construction paper and cutout and arranged as a wreath. Hand-prints and a footprint traced on brown construction paper and made into a reindeer.

  3. Hand-prints with paint on a hand-print poem framed we have done this for both grandma’s. I noticed there is a footprint poem also.

Teacher gifts– Here are a few of the different ideas we have had.

  1. Teacher mug filled with candy. Saran wrap and tie up with a bow.

  2. Clear glass plate and Christmas fabric we mod podge it to the back and trimmed used for a plate of cookies and candies. *note these plates cannot be washed because the fabric will come off, just wipe clean after use. Here is a site I found for you to see what it looks like I just used Christmas fabric.

  3. How about a kitchen whisk filled with candy kisses that says -We whisk you a Merry Kissed mas! (remember there is no Christmas without Christ!)

  4. Teachers also love things they can use in their class like stampers and stickers or a gift card to a teacher supply store.

More to come!

Series: Christmas On a Budget

Today is the start of our series Christmas on the budget. I think many of us will be on a budget due to job loss, retirement or like my family, the closing of our business.

I grew up in a family that the holidays were always way over the top. Many happy memories and my mom always made them very memorable and my kids will have those happy memories from my mom like I did.

Here are a few thoughts on gifts:

Gift Cards: My parents always love Gift cards but, this year with many stores closing I will need to be aware of the financial state of each restaurant.

Homemade Gift Cards– In my Sunday school class we make homemade gift certificates. Mind you they are only three but they love to come up with ways to help Mommy or Daddy. Example: Gavin will help do dishes, 1 free hug, Make my bed and we make a cover for them and staple them together.

Gift of Time: I clean houses for a living and I have given my mom a gift certificate for a free cleaning and when she had a party it helped her out and me because it was just the cost of a little time and gave my mom time to work on other things.

White Elephant: On my husband side we always have a white elephant and we have a max and minimum amount you can spend and you only buy one per person. The first year we tried this we had such a wonderful time laughing and enjoying each other. Here are the rules if you would like to try this year.

Time Together: This year on my husband side we aren’t exchanging gifts because last year there was 42 people and the exchange took 2 1/2 hours and we really didn’t get to visit. We are opting for time together this year.

Gift exchanges: when you pick a name out of the hat and you only buy for that person. This way everyone gets a gift and you can stay in your budget.

Host a Cookie Exchange: This is a great way to get a variety of cookies with the minimum of effort. You have to make a set amount of cookies and your guest make the same amount and you each get 1 dozen of each. This would cut baking of varieties and cost of all the different ingredients. I found a great site and here are the rules for a cookie exchange.

Gift Baskets: This is one of my favorites. I would make a gift basket for my Mother in law of all her favorite things. She loved to take pictures. This would be a some of the things I would put in her basket; film, VCR tapes, batteries, photo album and maybe a picture frame. She also loved the lottery so I would add a few tickets.

Homemade Ornaments: We have made Huner Originals for about 17 years. We make one style of ornament each year and give them to Grandma, Aunt and Uncles. I think my mom would be happy if that is all she got, she looks forward to them every year. What is neat about this idea is we have one special ornament for each year.

Look for more ideas in the coming weeks!