Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Christmas Crunch and Christ

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.


  1. What a terrific blog! I'm so happy to have found it. I emailed you with my more elaborate comments. *Chuckle* I didn't think they would fit in this box!

    I shop for Christmas all year long. For me the focus is finding that perfect gift for someone on my list. And it makes no difference to me whether I find that in January clearance sales or now in November with what some are calling: "The Great Recession" sales.

    But all my frugal choices (so far 32-81% savings) have one thing in common: they're actually gifts I love to give and the recipient will love to receive. No crazy colors, nothing that will not be cherished, or sit in closets untouched.

    Since I have 364 days to shop, I can really focus on finding that one perfect gift for cherished family members, relatives or best friends.

    Who knew this year before-Christmas clearance sales would be so incredible? So yes, we will have "stuff" under the tree, but the love and joy of us all being together for Christmas will be the best. My sister's family and my family haven't spent Christmas Day together since 2004 soon after my husband died.

    But this year,knowing my own special angel in heaven takes delight in seeing us all together in joy and grace in 2009--and not pain and tears like 2004-- will be the best gift of all.

    Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka everyone!

  2. Jenny's Mom: I'm holding tears back. Your angel will always love and be with you.

    You just may get the prize for the 81% off gift! It is fun isn't it? Recession year certainly does have great sales. Keep me informed.

  3. CD, How exciting. Family is such a blessing. Have fun!

  4. haha you can tell me if it's a blessing after you eat my food!!

  5. LOL I'm sure it will be just great, CD. CD you are reading mom's blog?????? I like ham. I'll bring the cookies.