to be jolly. And to begin thinking about Christmas things. I know that some of you are probably cringing right now because it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. But I’m one of those people. The kind that starts getting excited about Christmas as soon as it starts getting cold outside. The kind that writes out lists and lists of people she wants to give presents to, starts looking up new recipes to try out and buys ingredients for old ones that are already printed in my head, dreams up guest lists of intimate dinner parties, etc. This year I’m even going to try and make my own ornaments for the Christmas tree. My momma and I made some when I was in high school that are really sweet because they celebrate all of the different names that God is called in the Bible. I’m going to use that idea for my very first Christmas tree of my own.
It’s my first Christmas as a married lady! My first holiday season with Adam. I’m very excited. And about all of this Christmas stuff, just let me say that I don’t know where I get it from. The only reason my mom even did the tree and stockings and chocolate peanut butter cookies every year was because of my insistence that it wouldn’t be the same without them. Maybe from my Memaw. But I know more than anything WHO the whole reason for celebrating is, and I’m ok with it being a whole 3 months of preparing for this day. God get’s all the glory in my family.
On to some thrifty thoughts about this season. (I would give some tips for Thanksgiving, but we are going to a friend’s house and will probably only have to bring a dish or two to share. It’s going to be great on our budget, and really really great for our souls.)
1. Make your own ornaments, as I mentioned above. We used to put all of the ornaments we made as kids on the tree growing up until we made the Godly ones, but I don’t have kids yet. Every year my Memaw gives all of the grandchildren ornaments to keep for when they grow up so I do have those. But if you are on your own and need a start this is a great idea. All you need is some different color paper (I’ll probably stick to browns, golds, and whites), glue, scissors, a hole puncher, and some pretty ribbon. Use your imagination.
2. There are GREAT homemade gift ideas out there that don’t look homemade or cheap. I would like to share what I’m giving away, but since some of you will be receiving those gifts I don’t want to spoil the surprise! And from the heart, food is always something that I like to get. I would be happy if everyone I know just baked me their favorite thing in the kitchen… preferably dessert. :)
3. Use black Friday. I know this seems like such a consumerist thing to say, but it’s really an honest money saving option. If you aren’t into waking up early the day after Thanksgiving just to be met by tons of other people wanting the exact same things you do, you can get a lot of the same deals online the Monday after Thanksgiving. The best part is that you can go ahead and tag the stores you want to buy from, stay in your pajamas in your cozy house, go back to bed, and wait while the goods are delivered to your front doorstep. I personally like to do the whole 4 am thing out in the cold with all of my cousins. And I’ve saved a lot of money on gifts that I normally would not be able to afford.
4. Make homemade wrapping paper. This is probably my favorite. I really like to wrap up gifts with magazine articles or pictures, newspaper and pretty ribbon, a scarf, or a picture that I’ve colored or drawn. All of these things I can usually find at my house or in the recycling bin of one of the neighbors.
5. One of my family’s traditions is to entertain ourselves on cold December nights by cooking up some hot chocolate to go and drive around town looking at Christmas lights. This was always thrilling to me as a kid, and I’m guessing it will be really sweet with my husband.
6. Christmas movie marathons on tv.
7. Christmas caroling! Hello?! It’s free and it’s fun. It’s better if you have a good group because that way you won’t feel like your singing a solo to the neighbors. But this is so delightful to do. I’ve never actually had carolers at my house before though, but I always imagine it would be really sweet. Two really good options are:
a. Caroling at people’s houses that you know. Maybe they will invite you inside for some cookies.
b. Caroling at nursing homes or children’s homes. It is one of the sweetest things to share songs with people who maybe do not have families to be with.
8. Make a fire in your fireplace. Maybe roast marshmallows! We don’t have one of our own, but we have friends who do. I could sit in front of a fire for a really long time reading or talking or playing games.
9. And finally for now, magazine subscriptions as gifts. Real Simple is my favorite magazine, and Adam’s parents gave me a year subscription for Christmas last year. It’s a great gift for about $20, and it gives 12 times.