Sunday, October 11, 2009

Money Saving Monday: Christmas Gifts

Yes, I know. This makes two Christmas posts before November, but like I said, you have to start early when you do a homemade Christmas! Truth be told, not ALL of our Christmas is homemade, but this year most of it is. When we first got married (and made $11,000 the first year), we had 38 people to shop for and obviously no money to do it with!! I scrounged together $38 and did a pretty decent job in my opinion!

Perhaps because of that first Christmas together and perhaps because of how commercialized Christmas has become, David and I decided that (at least as long as we can manage it) Christmas for our children will be a mostly homemade affair, like it used to be, but more about that in another post. Today I wanted to talk about some of the different ideas I have used for Christmas gifts when we didn't have a lot of money to spend.

1. Cracker Barrel!!! If you have never checked out Cracker Barrel's after Christmas sale, you are totally missing out!!!!! They have adorable ornaments that they sell for 75% off after Christmas. They make great gifts for the next Christmas (or if you are celebrating late), and you can often get an adorable ornament for $1 or less!

2. Walgreens also has great after Christmas sales. I have been known to buy Christmas decorations 75% off and give them for Christmas the next year: dishes, card sets, small trees, winter house sets, photo albums, etc. They also frequently have blankets, pj pants, etc. on sale for 2 for $5. You can then personalize these items if you know how to embroider. I gave my great-grandmother one of those blankets and emrbroidered "Grandmother" on it. She absolutely loved it and used it until the day she died. She always commented on it whenever I came to visit.

3. Walmart also usually has great sales on movies and computer games. I have seen some for as little as $1!

4. I often do baskets of homemade hot chocolate mix, mugs, homemade chocolate spoons, etc. I usually get supplies (baskets, mugs, etc.) for these either at dollar stores or on sale after Christmas at places like Garden Ridge. These also travel very well, and if i do say so myself, no store-bought hot chocolate mix holds a candle to my homemade mix!!!

5. We have recently done some woodworking and sewing for different Christmas gifts: pizza paddle, wooden basket, wooden spoons, napkin rings, cloth napkins, puzzle, blocks, etc. I have also received some lovely homemade gifts from my sister and my mother: pajamas, gorgeous skirts, afgans, etc.

6. For neighbors and people who live close by, I usually give edibles. Some of my favorites are: homemade hot chocolate mix, homemade boiled custard (It's like egg nog only better! You can only get it in Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, I believe. I will share more about that later as well!), cookies, fudge, etc.

I am very excited about the gifts we have planned for this year! It is going to be a lot of fun getting everything made! Stay tuned to see what is going on in our franchise of Santa's Workshop!!!!

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