All the CHK Frugal Christmas Blessings in one place!
Sylvia -Old Jeans Up-cycled Into An Apron http://diycozyhome.com/old-jeans-up-cycled-into-an-apron/
Amy - We do a lot of homemade gifts My side of the family tends to purchase things but my husbands side of the family loves to do homemade I just found a GREAT recipe for a shave cream I’m going to make for the men!
Cherlynn – Sharing your canned up foods can be a great gift too!
Sylvia – http://www.purlbee.com/… A friend shared how you can make an apron from an old pair of jeans! Looks easy. She used this pattern for the apron and a leg of a pair of jeans, opened up for the main part of the apron.
Molly’s Sketchbook: Adjustable Unisex Apron – The Purl Bee – Knitting Crochet Sewing Embroidery…
Sarah – http://beingfrugalsally.blogspot.com/…
I’m thinking of making these super cute gift boxes for my nieces this year. Looks like a great way to reuse soda bottles.
Being Frugal Sally: Recycled 2 liter Bottle Penquin Gift Boxes
Amber – We don’t send Christmas cards anymore. Seriously, a stamp is almost 50cents now
Terri J. – Last year I put together gift bags containing an assortment of home-processed jams, tuna, dehydrated fruits and hot chocolate mix… knitted dishcloths for all the women, too.
Lori L. – A couple of years ago I went to dollar tree and got Christmas containers and the boys and I made hot chocolate mix and Russian tea mix and cookies and gave them to people. Get a family photo to take to walmart and get the Christmas card made. WE do not have money to buy gifts and it’s the cheapest way to let people know we are thinking of them
Jody – making different kinds of jellies for all my brothers and their families
Jennifer – There have been years when my brothers and sisters and I chipped in together to get my mom 1 big gift that she really wanted rather than several small gifts. It became hard to buy for them because if they needed or wanted small items, they just went out and bought them. Secret Santa is a favorite in our large family. Instead of everyone buying a gift for each family member, names are drawn from a hat and each person buys a gift for 1 person. There is also a dollar limit. Usually the limit is $25 that you can not go over.
Our old church had us bring in any cards for people who normally attended to church and the teens passed them out. This meant that those card did not need mailed and saved on postage. It was also a great way for the teens to be of service.
Sarah B. – Put double sided tape on a candle and roll in glitter. Its easier than glue, and cheaper than buying a glitter candle.Instead of buying new Christmas couch pillows, tie some pretty ribbon around your pillows and make them more festive. Looks pretty, and you don’t have to spend extra money on new pillows that you use only once a year.
I thought they were very lovely, and could also be used as a gift.
Sylvia – Gifts in Jars are always very appreciated. You can find whole websites devoted to mixes and decor.
Tina C. – If you enjoy sending cards but don’t like the cost of postage send postcards instead for half the price! You can even use old cards for this just by cutting the picture half off and using that.
Jennifer – We have also bought joint gifts for our kids as well. Things like Wii games or board games. One year the Wii itself was a total family gift.
My tip for today is to download and print off Flylady’s Holiday Control Journal. I do this every year. I find it very helpful in organizing my Christmas holiday and keeping me in budget. She usually suggests doing it the day after (American) thanksgiving but I will be juggling a new baby by then so I’ll probably start it early this year.
Look at thrift stores for nice coffee cups and run through the dishwasher and then use as a base for homemade gifts. I like to fill mine with hot coco mix, or tea bags.And a few pretzels dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles. A gift I often give to teachers.
One of the ways that my husband and I changed the way we looked at Christmas and therefore changed our Christmas “habits” (ie spending/gifting) was to do daily advent devotionals. Back when we started this in 1990 our Pastor gave us a weekly guide for daily readings, candle lighting, etc. By changing our hearts about Christmas from worldly to Godly it gave us the freedom in our hearts and our heads to only spend $10 total on Christmas gifts that year. We spent $5 each on one another and we didn’t spend an extra penny on any other family members or friends, yet every single person was given a gift. (we had friends and family that had fruit and nut trees that needed picking, so we picked and picked and picked and made baskets from multiple layers of folded paper grocery bags and gave everyone beautiful fruit and nut baskets with cinnamon scented pine cones that I collected and made. They were beautiful and free and all of the got used, not tossed in a drawer or closet to be forgotten. This changed our whole perspective on Christmas. Christmas for our family is about celebrating the birth of our Savior. We do not center on gifts. We each get one gift (relatively small) and our stockings. We have friends that say “oh, but your kids get gifts from their grandparents, etc” even if they didn’t it wouldn’t change for us. We want the focus on Christ not presents.
I like to use natural items for decor at Christmas. I cut small branches of fir, cedar and magnolia to decorate with, also nandina berries. I spray the nandina berries with hairspray to keep them from falling off the twigs and keep them shiny for several weeks.
I make lots of gifts and find great bargains at thrift stores. This year I am making pillows and blankets for the dolls in my two youngest granddaughters’ dollhouses and getting some great books like new at the thrift store for 69 cents each buy 4 get one free. And if I go in Tuesday I get a 20% discount!
I try to make homemade gifts for my children’s SS teachers and homeschool COOP teachers. This year they will be receiving zucchini pineapple preserves and a loaf of homemade bread. Last year they were gifted apple butter and homemade bread.
One thing we do all year is save the comics from the newspaper. This is used at Christmas as well as birthdays as wrapping paper. If you subscribe to the newspaper anyhow, this means you are getting to read it as well as recycle it.
From Karen -
I’m already setting a small part of each grocery budget to cover all the food stuffs from Halloween candy thru New Years Eve Buffet. The idea is to snag as much on sale as possible.
Halloween Hershey kisses are in great holiday colors for Thanksgiving.
From Sylvia -
Host a Cookie Exchange! Here’s how: This is a private post because it is info from my Christmas Planner Ebook but you are welcome to it!
From Jennifer -
Make gifts… I loved when mom would crochet things like scarves for me as well as others. In fact, I am going to try to make scarves for my kids this year.
From Gail -
Buy used books (so many look like NEW at the thrift store, plus if you buy them at a charity thrift store you are “donating” to a good cause!). Tie a stack of them up for each person on your list & make a personalized bookmark for each person. You can papercraft them or crochet or even stamp with permanent ink (or write with Sharpie) on strips of leather for masculine bookmarks. Here’s a picture of a bookmark that fits over the corner of a book page. You just need a 1 1/2″ X 6″ strip of decorative scrapbook paper printed on both sides (so you can get 16 out of a 12×12 sheet!). Fold the strip in half, open it up, then fold each end strip to the fold mark to make the pointed top. You can tape the two end strips together or make some kind of medallion & glue it across the two strips to keep the bookmark folded.
From Nada -
This may sound cruel but remember that very young children don’t really need gifts. For my daughter’s first Christmas, she was only 7 months old and all we have her was a hand-knitted stocking. At that age the paper and lights are intriguing enough. We will be doing the same for our son this year as he will only be 2 months old at Christmas. They get enough from their parents and grandparents anyway.
From Rose -
I made lotions for my boys girlfriends last year. Coconut oil, vitamin E oil and essential oils. I also made gel air fresheners for the boys. They all seemed to like them.
From Pam -
For my Christmas baking I budget a certain amount each week (ie:$20) that I use to buy ingredients for my baking over a course of about 8 weeks. This way I get the ingredients I need but it doesn’t cost me over $100 in one trip.
From Amber -
Brown paper wrapping, I always let my kids draw on brown paper bags, or if I had it a roll of craft paper. We would wrap grandparent gifts in the paper
From Jennifer ~
We buy 5 gifts for each stocking and spend no more than $2 on any gift. Most come from Dollar Tree for only $1 each.
From Sylvia ~
Plan a Christmas Carol party. Start now printing up lyrics and have a rehearsal or two. Call around to nursing homes or retirement homes and ask if you can come.
Make Basic Cookie dough, shape into rolls and freeze. When you’re ready to make cookies, take it out, defrost it and slice off cookies, bake and you’re done!
Basic Cookie Dough:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Ribbon Cookie Additions You’ll divide half the dough recipe into 3 equal parts and add some of the additions to each part.
1 ounce chocolate, melted
1/4 cup chopped pistachios or pecans
green food coloring
1 teaspoon rum flavoring
red food coloring
Blend butter, sugar, egg and vanilla thoroughly. Add flour and mix well. Divide dough in half if you will be using any of the Additions above.
To make Basic Cookies:
Shape dough into 2 rolls, then wrap with plastic wrap, label and chill for 2 hours. Freeze.
To use immediately without additions:Slice the rolls into 1-1/8 inch slices, bake at 375*F til done, 5-7 minutes. Touch the cookies with your finger lightly and if there is no imprint left, they’re done.
To Use Frozen Dough Without Additions:
Defrost dough slightly or completely in the refrigerator. Slice dough into 1/8-inch slices. Bake on ungreased baking sheet 5 to 7 minutes. Test for doneness by lightly touching the cookie with your finger, if no imprint remains, they’re done.
To make Ribbon Cookies With The Additions
Divide half of the dough recipe into 3 parts.
To first part, mix in 1 ounce of melted chocolate.
To second part, mix in 1/4 cup chopped pistachios or nuts, along with a little green food coloring.
To third part, mix in 1 teaspoon rum flavoring and few drops red food color.
Roll each part out on a lightly floured surface and shape into rectangles, 8×3 inches. Layer rectangles, placing green dough in center. Gently press the layers all together.
Wrap well and then chill at least 2 hours.
You can freeze the layered dough on a cookie sheet, then store it in a ziptop bag in the freezer til you’re ready to use it.
To use the layered dough immediately, Pre-heat oven to 375°. Cut dough crosswise into 1/8 inch slices. Bake on ungreased baking sheet 5 to 7 minutes or use the finger imprint method to determine if they are done.
To use the frozen layered dough, defrost the dough in the refrigerator, and then slice and bake as above.
Makes about 4 dozen ribbon cookies.
From Amber ~
I took this from a friend with 6 kids. Each child gets 3 gifts each. No exceptions. We have 2 kids so I can stretch it a bit. We get 3 gifts each and I usually buy a few board games for them to share.
For Christmas dinner I make everyone’s favorite dish. I have a loose menu and they get to choose the sides. So if one requests mac n cheese they’ve got it. If the little one wants a dish of M&M’s that’s good too. Its about making the day special, not about what you receive. And if everyone gets a little comfort/favorite food well happy tummies equal happy times.
From Marg and Cindy ~
From Sylvia ~ http://christianhomekeeper.org/simplify-gift-giving/ Some simple gift ideas from last year Save pretty glass jars and lids to put Christmas gifts in. Bean Soup, brownies in a jar, cookies in a jar, etc. , all look nice if they’re in decorative jars.
From Jennifer ~ For a young couple or someone who has recently gotten married, I one took a plastic recipe box and filled it with some of my favorite recipes. She loves is and still uses it now.
From Lori ~ To celebrate Christmas with our closest friends, we have a potluck each year. I generally host it, and as host I provide hot beverages and a hot main dish…..everyone else can bring whatever they like. Some bring appetizers, some bring desserts, some bring soda and wine…..and it changes year to year. But to celebrate Christmas with our friends we have enjoyed this tradition for over a decade….and we generally have around 20 people here, and I never have more than $20 out of pocket.
From Jennifer ~ My kids used to give my mom home made ornaments. It usually was either foam paper or construction paper with a picture of the child on it with a loop made of ribbon.
From Pam ~ Last year in October I bought a large leather crafting kit. The kids made bookmarks, key fobs, luggage tags, belts, and wallets. We learned the art of leather crafting and we gave their creations as Christmas gifts.
From Lori ~
1 (16 ounce) jar peanut butter
1 (16 ounce) package buttery round crackers
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
Spread 1 teaspoon peanut butter on a cracker and top with another cracker.
Place chocolate in top of double boiler; stir frequently over medium heat until melted.
Place cracker sandwiches onto a fork and dip into the chocolate. Drain excess chocolate and cool on waxed paper. Store in refrigerator or cover and freeze until ready to serve.
From Sylvia ~ Simple desserts that are tried and true and really tasty are much better than the elaborate and expensive desserts that many try to make once a year and sometimes flub!
From Jennifer ~ One year my sister made gift cards for her sister in law. They entitled her to free babysitting services. Some were 1 hour. Some were 2 hours. It was something she could give free of charge while still helping her sister in law.
From Amberr ~ My grandpa has a sweet tooth. So I always gift a couple tins of homemade candies. Almonds are generally cheap at Christmas time so I always do toasted almonds rolled in Turbinado sugar.
All the Frugal Christmas Blessings can be found here.
From Nada ~ If you have well treated house plants like aloe vera, spider plants, or various herbs, why not do up potted plants for gifts?
From Cherylynn ~ Sharing your canned up foods can be a great gift too.
From Sylvia ~ A friend shared how you can make an apron from an old pair of jeans! Looks easy. She used this pattern for the apron and a leg of a pair of jeans, opened up for the main part of the apron. http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2011/8/11/mollys-sketchbook-adjustable-unisex-apron.html
From Sarah ~ I’m thinking of making these super cute gift boxes for my nieces this year. Looks like a great way to reuse soda bottles. http://beingfrugalsally.blogspot.com/2012/08/recycled-2-liter-bottle-penquin-gift.html?m=1
From Jennifer ~ Cocoa snowmen. Use 3 jars stacked on top of each other. Put peppermint candies in the bottom, cocoa mix in the middle one and marshmallows on the top one and decorate.
All previous Frugal Christmas Blessings can be found here: http://christianhomekeeper.org/all-the-frugal-christmas-ideas/