I have always believed that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus's birthday. As a tangible testament to this we always baked a birthday cookie for Him. The cookie was shared after we sang happy birthday.
There have been a number of articles written in the past years explaining how to remove stress from the Christmas season. I wrote one myself for a local newspaper I contributed to each week. But, even I, did not address the need to have a frugal budget. I had one, I just didn't think about the cost. Fast forward to 2009. I am very aware of the cost of Christmas.
I found a blogspot that had a terrific idea to decorate the front of the house for no cost. The blogger cut branches off of her pine trees and placed them in the empty urns that held summer blooms. A ribbon was attached and the results were elegant and free. This caught my attention. I continued on to read other submissions on Christmas. I was stunned to see her Christmas budget for the family and extended family was $1330. I was happy to see she saved cash to meet her goal. Since all things are relative and the blogger has reduced her budget and is paying cash, I say you go girl!
My budget is a bit less. I have designated $250 to spend on our four children, their spouses, three grandchildren, my husband, the mail lady, hair stylist, and newspaper man. I donate time to pack Christmas boxes and will donate any free items I have accumulated over the past few months.
The adult children will get one gift each and a basket of home made goodies (cookies, bread, body scrubs, room sprays, etc) per family. My husband is getting warm things to keep the chill out. The grandchildren each will get a book, a toy or two and an outfit. The others will get food from the kitchen. This may go over well because I own a small cookie company (uGly Cookies) and they, hopefully, will consider this gift a prize.
Dinner will be scrumptious. We typically have a turkey, yams, green bean casserole, etc. The normal fare. I will bake the desserts and we will enjoy each other's company over a game and a movie or two.
And Christ? He will be in everything I do - including the cookies!
What do you do for Christmas? What's your budget? Do you have any free or close to free decorating ideas? Please consider sharing them with us.
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