Category Archives: Holidays

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Day 5 – Frugal Christmas Blessings

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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 egg 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.

Find all the 2013 Frugal Christmas Blessings HERE

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All The Frugal Christmas Ideas

red bird.1All the CHK Frugal Christmas Blessings in one place!

 

From Nada:

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.

http://www.flylady.net/i/pdf/hol_coj.pdf

 

From Margery:

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.

 

From Lori:

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.

 

From Sylvia:

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.

 

From Helen:

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!

 

From Melissa:

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.

 

From Jennifer:

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

 

 

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Day 4 ~ Frugal Christmas Blessings

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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 Cindy –
Have a t-shirt your tired of?, cut it off under the arm pits, and use the bottom half to make a fringed scarf..all sorts of directions on pinterest..and it is basically free for a sweet looking scarf, because you already have the tshirt

From Sarah –
I plan on making homemade air fresheners this year. I use orange peels, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, and water. Put them in a mason jar with instructions to boil on stove top. I also use lemon peel and rosemary. I love making lip balms, so I plan on making a few of them. I just use coconut oil and beeswax. Melt them together and pour into a small container. Its great for your lips.

Find all the 2013 Frugal Christmas Blessings HERE

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75 Days Of Frugal Christmas Blessings – Day 74

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Today’s Frugal Ideas……….

From Nada

My tip for today is to forgo Christmas wrapping paper. Use gift bags instead. We only ever use gift bags for our gifts because they are so easy to reuse! We have a whole steamer trunk filled with gift bags for all occasions and in all sizes. They are reusable, don’t get torn and just require a clip or two to keep them sealed. Environmentally friendly to boot!

 

From Sylvia

1.Do as much baking ahead as possible for Christmas. It frees you up to enjoy more time with friends and family.

2.We make our own gift tags using all kinds of materials; old Christmas cards, colorful paper, ribbon and more.

From Gail

I keep the last years Christmas cards and let my Grandchildren cut out pictures and verses from them and I help them make place-mats using construction paper and cover them on both sides with clear contact paper.

From Lori

Yesterday I mentioned making cinnamon pine cones. I have done this many many years and they are wonderful! I get small to medium sized tight pine cones (the tighter the “leaves” are, the better the scent stays) and put them in a plastic trash bag. I add cinnamon fragrance oil (I get it in the candle making section of our craft stores) a table spoon at a time (the amount used really depends on how many pine cones and how tight they are-I do it by scent….and if after they are dry they don’t smell enough, I’ll add more and do them again) and shake it around in the bag until all of the pine cones are WELL coated. I let them hang out in the bag for 24 hours (I do seal the bag), then put them on newspaper on a countertop or tabletop to dry the rest of the way (usually takes a few hours….I usually set them out after dinner, and then put them away the next morning). I store them in a paper bag for gift giving, or to make my own house smell wonderful, I put them in a basket on my hearth or by the front door.

Do you have frugal ideas for Christmas to share?

 

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75 Days Of Frugal Christmas Blessings

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For the next 75 days, visit Christian Homekeeper to learn about frugal ways to make your Christmas bright and cheerful!

I’ll be sharing links, ideas, instructions and more from the ladies at the Christian Homekeeper Facebook Group ….. Here are this week’s offerings………..

From Nada:

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.

http://www.flylady.net/i/pdf/hol_coj.pdf

 

From Margery:

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.

 

From Lori:

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.

 

From Sylvia:

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.

 

From Helen:

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!

 

From Melissa:

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.

 

From Jennifer:

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.

 

Come back tomorrow for more Frugal Christmas Blessings! And stop by our Facebook Group and join in the conversations there:  Christian Homekeepers on Facebook