Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Christmas on $20: Part 1

Christmas is a mostly homemade affair at our house: 1) to save money but 2) we enjoy it! The real trick is in the planning. If I give myself enough time to plan and create our children's gifts, then (I think) their Christmas looks every bit as good as those of their friends (except much cheaper)! This year it looks like our total cost for Jessica and John will be $20 (maybe a bit more if David needs more wood).

First up: Jessica's American Girl-Styled Doll for $10. Jessica has been fascinated with dolls that have hair (all of hers are bald). I wanted to get her a doll about the size of the American Girl Dolls because they are so easy to find clothes patterns for, but I did NOT want to spend $95! The Springfield Doll carried by Michaels was perfect at the 50% off price of $10! It is not nearly the quality of the American Girl Doll, but it will be perfect for an almost 3 year old! If at some point we want a better quality doll, we might consider the My Generation Doll carried by Target. It retails for $35 and is supposedly a little better quality than the Springfield Doll.

Next up: John's Shakable Containers for $0. A friend of mine made some similar to these when her little girl was about 6 months old. Both her daughter and Jessica loved them! I used empty cranberry juice bottles and...

things I found in the kitchen: rock salt, oatmeal, beans, and rice,...

things I found in the craft closet: bells, sand, and star and moon confetti,...

colored water with beads, confetti, sequins, etc,...

and oil and oil & colored water!

See? It kind of looks like the surface of a lake!

Since some of these items are choking hazards, I used my husband's epoxy to secure the lids. There is no way the kids can get in those containers, unless they get access to a knife!! My friend suggested coming up with a container to keep them in. What do you think? Do you think I need a container? If so what kind of container would you suggest? I do not plan to leave these out around the house....just in case Jessica finds a knife and manages to open the containers.....it shouldn't be possible, but you can never let your guard down with Jessica around!


  1. I'm also doing Christmas on the cheap-will get all my kids, and nieces, gifts free thanks to Swagbucks and Zoombucks (will use the gift cards I earn to get toys off of Amazon). Then for teachers and grandparents I'm putting together hot cocoa gift bags (making the cocoa from scratch).
    Sara http://myfrugalfunlife.blogspot.com/

  2. Actually, they carry the Springfield doll on Amazon as well. I'll have to look into swagbucks and zoombucks.

  3. very cute. my dd always loved her beads in a bottle over every other toy she had...

  4. Thanks! Btw....I am going to have to check out your site soon when we start getting ready for Jessica's birthday party!!!!!!!