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I am a stay at home mom who finds little snippets of time to craft and create.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas, traditions, and gifts on a budget

Hamman Family 2010
My boys

Tayrien and momma

Santa baby

Ben age 2

Nathan and Benjamin

Making cookies for Santa

I did not have time to post this before Christmas, so maybe you can all tuck the ideas away for next year.

Gifts for Jesus is an idea I came up with so we can appreciate the Savior more during this holiday season. I wanted a way to give Jesus a gift, since it is His birthday! So I started with an old oatmeal container and I drew some labels and cards up. If you want a copy of the label and name plates just leave your email in the comments and I can put your names in and email it back so you can print it out.
First I wrapped the oatmeal container with wrapping paper and then cut out and affixed the label with photo tabs. Then I cut out the name plates and mounted them on colored card stock. I will place a huge bow on top of the container and the name plates are put inside. On Christmas day you pull out the cards and write the year and what you are going to "give" Jesus this year. An example is reading your scriptures every day or sharing with your siblings. I made the cards big enough so you can probably get a decade on one card and then make new ones. This way you can always see what you gave Jesus!

Because we do not have a chimney for Santa to climb down, we have a special Santa key that we hang on our front door Christmas Eve so he can deliver gifts! I made a bag to house it during the off season and the key hangs on the tree up until the day!

Another new tradition I started this year was the Christmas Cracker. You do not eat it, it is a gift in the shape of a tube and when pulled it snaps and treats are revealed. I used sanitized toilet paper rolls to support my tubes. I cut the right amount of wrapping paper to go around the tube and enough to make ties on the ends.
I couldn't find the crackers anywhere here so I ordered them on-line. I just googled Christmas Cracker and picked the one I liked. Next you place the cracker -strip of skinny cardboard- in tube and tape one end to the wrapping paper. Tie that end with string and then place treats inside. Tie other end closed and trim the remaining cracker ends off. I also googled the Christmas cracker story and read it to the family before they opened them. You have to firmly grasp the ends and pull slowly to have a successful pop. They were a big hit!

The gifts I gave my children this year were either hand me downs, bought on garage sales, or bought the day after Thanksgiving. I started buying gifts on garage sales this summer. Here is the break down:
Radio flyer tricycle: $7 and a little cleaning
Mickey mouse painting easel with supplies: $0 hand me down
Candy land game: $4 black Friday
Tool belt with tools: $0 hand me down tools, hand made tool belt wit left over fabric
Total: $11


two sets of stackable bowl - one for tub, one for play: $0 hand me down
Total $0

Boys stocking stuffers

Ice age #1 and #2 : $4 black Friday
3 land before time movies: $6 black Friday
Total: $10
Subtotal: $21

Christmas was a success! I can't wait till next year!


ALYN said...

Way to go on the gifts! It's way to easy to go overboard, so kudos to you for making a great Christmas while not buying into the commercial explosion!

I think the Christmas crackers are a Brit tradition. We'll have to do that sometime. Nathan went on his mission to England.

Kori said...

That is so awesome how frugal you were! The kids don't know any different and it's good to start young. Better to focus on Jesus anyway.

Life as a Greenstreet said...

Kudos on being so frugal! You're awesome and it's such a wonderful thing to do when your kids are so small and don't care a lick anyway! One smart Mama!

Michelle Church said...

Christmas was fun! Loved your crackers and thank you for sharing the idea of the Gifts for Jesus!! Great job being frugel!