Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Contemplations-Frugal and otherwise

While my photograhy  skills still need work, I figured I would follow Syd's lead. Although I want some more decorations, I've tried not to go to crazy this year.  Our village has outgrown it's table and next year I will either have to divide it into two sections or come up with another solution.  I've been looking for another piece to add to our town. Unfortunately Department 56 pieces are not cheap-all the above were received as gifts.

Well, my limited entertaining demands are finished.  As I talked about here, these were mainly frugal and low stress events.  In both cases the groups were relaxed and more all about the companionship. Last evening I had eight for lasagna, garlic bread, brussell sprouts, salad, and key lime pie. Oh, and wine, a fair amount of wine. As I've said before, my contribution was the home and the lasagna. I love being able to get out my Christmas wine glasses and dishes and celebrate.  For this reason I usually volunteer for the Christmas dinner. However, I'm glad I only do the entertaining thing twice during the season, and rotate holiday celebrations.  Now I can relax. For the rest of the time, Christmas goodies and dishes are for immediate family and drop ins (although I did volunteer my guest room for Christmas eve if it's needed).

Today I'm enjoying the season and chilling, as the younger generation would say.  Eggnog (which I will have to walk off tomorrow), some mini Quiche appetizers that I forgot I had in my freezer, and the newspaper have kept me busy. Add the football games (Tim Tebow, you're gonna give me a heart attack) and some casual quilting and life is good.  Sometimes the best things in life really are (almost) free

Now I can concentrate on frugal and creative Christmas pastimes such as gift giving and cookie baking.  For me, both of those are stress free-mainly because my family is comfortable with small and homemade gifts and appreciate the little things.  Even though I gift lots of people, I generally find giving to be pretty stress free.  Also, although I shared my $500 holiday plan earlier, I am always trying to be more creativel and frugal. I keep my eyes and ears out for frugal, creative ideas.  Adult men seem to be the most difficult to buy for, even with a list.  In a moment of temporary inspiration today, I found some logos for Avalanche beer, which my brother in law loves.  I copied them to a word program.  Then I printed them out on fabric, and these will be coasters and beer cozies.  I was really  looking for something original to add to his package and this will fit the bill.  I got this idea by looking at these tile coasters-a project  plan to put to good use in my kitchen.  Another frugal Internet visit

When it comes to the kitchen, I try and keep it as low stress as possible. Not sure how many kinds of cookies I will make, but I will do a little each day, using all the stuff I have on hand. Most will be for immediate family. Some will be taken to our large Christmas day get together. Others will be taken to a Christmas event at church, or to my women's party. My goal is also to make some jarred gifts such as Cranberry Walnut conserve, but I'm not sweating the small stuff-if I get there I get there.
All in all as we move into the final days towards Christmas I'm feeling pretty frugal and pretty stress free overall. I'd still like to get in a Nutcracker performance, be it ballet or orchestral-and I'm more than happy to see a local performance. Other than that, days will be spent on book trips, sewing, baking, and planning the post Christmas trip to Denver. Evenings, I'll be reading, drinking more eggnog than I should, and watching as many Christmas films as I can.

It's definitely Christmastime.


  1. By agreeing to go with our daughter, son-in-law and three grandkids to northern Arizona for the few days up until Christmas we have managed to avoid all the decorating and a large part of the stress. On Christmas Day we will take my dad to dinner and give him a small gift.

    Adults are not exchanging gifts this year so another source of upset and expense has been eliminated.

    Come to think of it this is shaping up as one of the calmest Christmas periods ever.


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