Holidays

Enjoy the Christmas Season Without Stress

 

Enjoy the Christmas Season Without Stress

December is here now and that means all the fun of Christmas and sometimes it means all the stress of Christmas too.  There are a million things to do and of course, just one more present to buy. All we want to do is enjoy the Christmas season without stress and it seems all there is to do is rush rush rush.  Is it possible?

Slow Down

First slow down grab a cup of tea or coffee, a pad of paper and a pencil and sit down.  Write done all your must-dos. The places that you have to be, any children’s concerts, work parties, or neighborhood bashes. Pencil these into your calendar. Now you’ll see the days that you have left that you can do things that you want to. We always have certain family traditions that I will always want to put in my calendar.

Traditions

Second, make a list of your family traditions. do you go caroling? do you look at lights? Do you have a picnic under the Christmas tree? What are the things that you absolutely cannot do without? pencil this on your calendar these are just in this important as any other thing that you have to do.

 

Now for the things that we have to fit in. Make a list of each selection of things that you need to get done yet.

Shopping

Christmas shopping- do what you can online. You can get many of the same deals if not better online and you can go in from store to store and you save a lot of time. Make your list for whoever you have to by 4 and have an idea of what you want. I always try and start early but if I can’t then at least if I have an idea what they want I can look online for it in different places. I love Krazy Coupon Lady and money-saving Mom for their wonderful deals that they always seem to find.

Baking

Baking-  make a list of all the different kinds of cookies that you have to make. Make a list of all the different kinds of candies. I also include anything that I can make ahead for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I put them in foil containers and put them in the oven from the freezer with the directions on top. That way I’m a little bit ahead and enjoy my guess more. I also try and make up a few dishes to put in ahead for company entertaining. and a few dishes for really busy nights when I don’t have time for anything else. I love doing several crockpot meals in bags and put them in the freezer ahead of time and you can find a bunch of those here.

Extras

Misc-  now what else do you need to put in there you might have a list that I don’t think of. If so write it all down then you don’t need to worry about what you’re forgetting you have everything written down right now.

Eliminate

Now I want you to go back over your list. Cross out what’s what’s not absolutely necessary. I know I always put way more kinds of cookies on there than I actually need to make. I put way more of everything on my list that I actually need to do. so go back over and cross part of them out you’ll know how many you need to cross out. if you don’t you may end up eating Christmas cookies for a very long time. do the same with each one of your other lists what can you cross out. Some of the things that we think that we really need to do or go to or make or buy aren’t really necessary. I know they feel like it, they feel like it to me too. But you enjoy the Christmas season without stress means a lot of these things need to be cut. Be ruthless in cutting. Mary Poppins said, “enough is as good as a feast.” Do you have enough?

Enjoy

I want you to enjoy Christmas. I want you to enjoy Christmas without stress. Look at your list now with things crossed out. Now Planet time to do each thing. If your group like things together it will take a lot less time. Set up one time each week to do your online shopping. Set a time up to do several different cookie doughs you can make one after another in the same Bowl if you make the least flavored ones first and the chocolate ones last left.  when you make one meal double it and put one in the freezer.

 

What do you do to enjoy Christmas without stress? please share your tips.

 

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A Small Budget Christmas

A Small Budget Christmas

Christmas is a big celebration.  everywhere you see big presents, lots of decorations, lots of things to do. A lot of these things have big dollar signs.  is it possible to have a big celebration with very little dollars yes of course it is? We’ve done it many times, it does take a little more work and you have to be a little more creative but you can have a small budget Christmas.

Presents

Presents are the first thing people think of when they think of small budgets. I really want to make a great Christmas present that doesn’t look cheap. A lot of it is in the presentation. And being creative. One Christmas when my husband and I didn’t have very much money and we were spending it all on our kids and I still wanted to get him a Christmas present. I came up with a vitamin a day gift idea. I went to the pharmacy,  this was before Amazon and I bought a large bottle of empty capsules. I went home and made up a list of why I loved him and put them inside each capsule. It took a lot more time than money definitely. And I made up a little label on the front that said to take one each day. It told him all the different ways that I loved him. I usually give him some kind of creative gift every year which cost the least money, take the most time, and he likes the best. You can do the same with your children.  I have made dolls, felt food, Play-Doh, slime, and many other homemade items. Even if your crafting abilities are very small there are still some things that you can make. Baked goods are always a hit with neighbors family and friends they don’t cost very much just a little bit of effort and it shows people that you care.

Decorations

You don’t have to go all out on decorations either. A simple tree is fine. One year we had most of our decorations were cookie cutters tied up with strings and put on the tree because I didn’t have very many of them because they have gotten broke. Homemade paper chains can be beautiful and simple. Pioneers used to string popcorn and berries. Fairies would not be cheap but the popcorn Sherwood plus you get a snack at the same time.

Food

The food. This can cost an enormous amount or you can really watch your prices on this. you can get a turkey for $0.59 a pound and have leftovers. You can get ham for $0.99 a pound and still have leftovers. Mashed potatoes are cheap, dry bread for stuffing and vegetables are always economical. This time of year there are tons of sales on baking products. Last week I got frosting for $0.50 a can in flower for a dollar for 5 lb. you can make cookies without all the nuts and chocolate for a reasonable price. Just make one kind of cookie that’s a little bit extra special word has an extra ingredient in it and make the other couple kinds that are planar like sugar cookies or gingerbread. Decorate them sparingly to save costs.

Presence

It is possible to have a small budget Christmas. Your presence means more to most people including your children then presents.  get creative, there are so many websites with inexpensive gifts to make. you can watch YouTube videos on dollar towards store presents. what’s the sales flyer 4 great buys on your Christmas turkey? What other ideas do you have for a small budget Christmas?

 

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Save Money on Holiday Meals

Money on Holiday Meals

I know I’m looking at some big budget meals coming up and I know most of you are too. Here’s how to save money on holiday meals you want to share and enjoy.

Traditions

We have the same food every year and since I have the menu already planned out. I know what to look for when it’s on sale. We have ham and turkey for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I know to start looking for those sales starting the first of November. Turkeys are going to be cheap and I always get a few extra. Last year they were .59 cent a lb. with $20 purchase. I always get my spiral ham from Aldi’s but I’ve seen hams as low as .99 cent a lb. Christmas Eve, we always have an assortment of appetizers but they are the same every year so when I see an ingredient on sale I get it then. I eat a lot out of my pantry and freezer so I both make room for holiday foods and have room in my budget. Another big thing to save money is…

 

Everyones Brings Something

Have everyone who comes bring a dish. I have a list I send round about a month before and when I know what someone is bringing I write it down. Less expense, less work, and everyone participates.  I can also steer people toward certain things if needed. For instance, if someone is not a great cook,  I suggest a veggie tray, paper products or pop. If I know they are struggling financially right now maybe mashed potatoes or a vegetable. Great cooks bring desserts. Smile.

Preplanning

A lot of this just comes down to preplanning. Knowing ahead of time what you’re having so you can get the sale prices. Letting others help with the work and knowing what to bring. How to save money on holiday meals isn’t all that difficult when you plan it out first.  What do you do to save money on holiday meals?

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Christmas Home Tour

Christmas Home Tour

Here is a small part of my Christmas home tour. Here is our tree. I have been teasing the kids and telling them it’s Italian because it leans. It is definitely time for a new tree but that’s in the budget for next year. I only paid $5 for it at a yard sale at least 6 years ago soI’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth. I like all the metallics and whites on the tree. Lots of gold and ribbons. The children each have a small tree in their rooms that they can decorate how they want. My daughter found emoji poop lights on the girl’s tree. I made the ruffled tree skirt. I am saving putting gifts under it until after a party Saturday.

You walk under the garland in when you walk into the living room. I would love just peace in the home so peace on earth is a huge dream. I have 2 small wreaths on the double doors that lead to my son’s room.

This is in our entryway. I love the grinch printable and the stockings.

I have our nativity scene on the shelf above our television. The pot with poinsettia was a cookie jar that says believe but I broke the lid. Now it holds the flowers. I love the sparkly canvas.

My little village scene is on this shelf. Reminding us it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Today is a day of memories. Memories of what you are thankful for. Memories of who you are thankful for. To remember what the year has brought to you, things changed and things that stayed the same.

I know it’s a cliche, but I am so thankful for my family. We’ve had birthdays, a grandchild born and one buried. I’m happy for the new baby and glad for the time I had with the one in heaven. I remember this was my father’s favorite holiday. Not much to get ready for except food which he loved and family to get together with. So I give thanks for my family, both near and far and even farther in heaven. I was truly blessed to know them.

So today, instead of spending time on all the lists and wants, looking through various black Friday ads (at least while you have family there.) Focus today on thankfulness. Thankfulness for what you have. Make memories with the people around you. Eat pie, laugh and play games and remember that not everyone has that. Reach out to someone else. You have a lot to be thankful for.

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