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An outdoor evergreen tree decorated for Christmas.

Didn't Have Much At ChristmasChristmas means a lot of different things to different people. One Christmas, my husband and I were really down on our luck, but I am a firm believer in things happen for a reason. I also believe that Christmas isn't about charge cards and buying and material things.

 

A Christmas tree with wrapped presents underneath.

Ways to be Frugal During the HolidaysStaying on a budget during the holidays is important. Therefore, to make it through this season of giving, there are several ways to shop for the best prices. One way to help your budget is to start your holiday shopping now and spread your spending over several weeks or months.

 

A natural display for Christmas

5 Tips to Simplify ChristmasTo save time year after year, save all Christmas cards received and start an electronic database on your computer. Then print out all address labels and use pinking shears or decorative scissors to cut the labels out into charming shapes.

 

A Christmas present purchased at a small local store

The Store Next Door (Poem)This is a poem I wrote that I hope all will keep in mind this holiday season and every day of the year.

 

A reindeer in the snow

My Son's Christmas MemoriesA couple of years ago, when the latest recession hit, I asked my then 21 year old son, who was home for Christmas, what his favourite Christmas gifts were when he was a child.

 

Red Christmas ornaments on a tree bough.

Enjoying a Family ChristmasThe Christmas of 2005 was the best I can remember. That's saying a lot since my Dad had just died, and Mom was dying! Since my two sisters and I had our own families, it had been a long time that ALL of us would go to Mom's for Christmas.

 

A Christmas present all wrapped up.

20 Weeks Until ChristmasI was shocked to see the first of the Christmas goods appearing in some of the stores in recent days. I suppose it is because I am from the generations for whom Christmas didn't appear on the horizon until the days became noticeably shorter and colder and the teachers broke out the glitter and glue.

 

A plate of cookies and milk for Santa

How We Keep the Santa Magic AliveOur daughters are now 13 and 20, but neither one has ever asked us if we are Santa Claus. From the time they were very young we tried to do magical things to keep the spirit of St. Nick alive.

 

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My Frugal Holiday: Support Your Local EconomyI have read and heard things while giving this much thought. I believe Christmas has been taken way out of what it is suppose to be about. We can make a difference, start new traditions, save money and maybe help out local businesses while buying gifts.

 

Wrapping paper, bows and supplies

After Christmas Eco-SavingsYou spent months calculating and saving on the perfect Christmas gifts. Now, it's time to save a little after Christmas. Other than the usual after Christmas sales, think about environmental savings.

 

Christmas Ornament

Fun and Frugal Family Holiday ActivitiesThis holiday it won't take money to create great family memories. There are so many family activities that can be done for less. So, forget about the expensive Martha Stewart decorations and the Rockettes on Broadway. Instead, pull together some real family memories.

 

Decorated Christmas Tree

Robin's Christmas TraditionThis year, on November 2nd, my father passed away. Needless to say, I miss my dad. It's Christmas time and he's not here, but I am grateful for all the Christmases I got to have with him.

 

Teaching Kids About Holiday Giving

Teaching Kids About Holiday GivingHere are some ways to move away from the materialistic side of things, and keep your children focused on family by teaching them about the true spirit of giving.

 

Photo of someone making an ornament.

Homemade Christmas OrnamentsDecorating a Christmas tree is a fun event that can involve the entire family. By creating homemade decorations, it can involve the family even more. A night spent making ornaments could be the moment when an heirloom is created, or at least a family memory.

 

Classic Christmas BooksAny one who knows me knows that I am a big one to give books for Christmas. I believe that books can become our friends and that a well loved book is a happy book. So in the spirit of Christmas I give you 25 days of Christmas books.

 

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red flowering kalachoe

Kalanchoe: A Festive Alternative to PoinsettiasOver the past few years, these happy little succulents have enjoyed a steady gain in popularity as houseplants and Christmas-flowering gift plants, and it's easy to see why.

 

Real Christmas Trees Are Green

Real Christmas Trees Are GreenNot everyone likes the idea of sacrificing a living tree for the sake of celebrating a holiday, but it doesn't change the fact that trees harvested for the Christmas tree industry are a renewable and sustainable resource.

 

Family gathered for Christmas

The Family Christmas ListIt's difficult shopping for members of your extended family, and the number of people makes it expensive. Worse is when the family asks you for gift ideas. Make it easier on everyone and think of group gifts that can be purchased for the entire family.

 

Keeping Your Christmas Tree Bug-FreeLive Christmas trees provide insects with a wonderful place to wait out the snow and cold of winter. Unfortunately, this means that occasionally hibernating insects get indoors by hitching a ride on your Christmas tree.

 

Gloves, garden tools, and ornaments in the snow.

Holiday Gifts Ideas for Every GardenerGardeners are a varied lot. Some prefer growing flowers and herbs and others prefer growing vegetables. Some follow detailed plans, while others prefer to "let the seeds fall where they may."

 

A stocking full of little gifts

How to Fill a Holiday Stocking for FreeStockings don't have to cost anything and are supposed to be filled with small trinkets and goodies, not things like $50 gift cards and iPods! Remember when we used to get clementines in there? What happened with that?

 

Christmas package

Eight Ways To Have A Greener ChristmasHere are some great tips on having a planet friendly Christmas. You can reduce your carbon footprint a lot by using just one of these ideas. We also need to think about changing our habits. Going green can save you a lot of money.

 

CD Wreath

CD Christmas WreathThis is a Christmas wreath using old CDs for sparkle. Can be used with or without greenery

 

A decorated Christmas tree

Christmas Tree CareHere are some very simple ways to keep your Christmas tree green and thriving through the Christmas season. Many of us are lucky enough to live in an area where you can actually buy a Christmas Tree permit and go and cut our own trees.

 

A pine cone dripping tree sap.

How to Remove Tree Sap from Just About...Spring and late summer are the prime seasons for sticky, gooey, tree sap. The stuff seems to ooze onto everything with ease. Getting it off, however, can be a whole different matter. Here are some sure fire methods for removing tree sap from just about anything.

 

Photo of a Christmas ornament hanging on a tree.

Saving Money on Christmas OrnamentsTips for saving money on Christmas ornaments as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. Every year we make new ornaments of a completely different style. Christmas decorations don't have to be expensive to be beautiful.

 

Photo of a picture tree.

Saving Money on a Christmas TreeTips for Saving Money on a Christmas Tree as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. We had a Christmas tree for almost thirty years, that we got at a garage sale. I bought another tree, at a garage sale, that didn't have all the pieces.

 

A classic red felt Christmas stocking, ready to be filled.

Stocking Stuffer SavingsSometimes it's the little things that cost the most; stocking stuffers fall into this category. Rather than spend a fortune on small but expensive gifts, be creative and find some great savings on tiny tidbits. It makes it more fun for everyone.

 

Saving Money on Christmas

Saving Money on ChristmasOne way to prevent Christmas from being a financial burden is to plan ahead. Here are some tips from the ThriftyFun community to help you save money on Christmas by planning ahead.

 

Pictures Are Worth More Than PresentsWith 3 children, son-in-laws, several grandchildren and a hoard of steps there were too many family members to purchase a nice present for all. It came down to gift cards for everyone. We realized the presents the adults liked most were family pictures.

 

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Santa and young boy

Our Trip on the Polar ExpressLast year, we gave our boys, then 7 and 5, a trip on the Polar Express. We were unable to do it on Christmas Eve so we did it the day before. It was a total surprise. The train was in Hood River, about an hour away from our home.

 

How To Afford Your Child's Wish List

How To Afford Your Child's Wish ListI have two boys that look forward to that magical Christmas season. They understand all about receiving and opening gifts, maybe too well. The wish list gets longer and more expensive every year.

 

Small Gift Cards Can Equal Big SmilesI've learned to limit my new year's resolutions. Too many is daunting, and it's too much like work. This year one of my two resolutions is to give better gifts.

 

Gift Grabbers AuctionEach holiday season we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as exchanging gifts, festive foods, and family get-togethers. We traditionally do this in my family by me screaming at the children to clean their rooms for a week.

 

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Do It Yourself Outdoor Christmas DecorationsOur do-it-yourself outdoor Christmas decoration began as a way to recycle things that our college age children had left at home. With three teenagers away at college, you can imagine all of the items that I had been stuck with.

 

red present

What is Boxing Day?What is Boxing Day? What's Boxing Day mean to thrifty folks, the people who are trying to save time and money? Read some tips and ideas.

 

Small gift exchanging hands.

Christmas is the Season of GivingHave you ever wondered at Christmas how you could make a difference in a world where so many are afraid to give? Well, I am going to give you some ways that you could really make a difference in someone's live this year for Christmas if you are willing to try.

 

Santa luncheon

A Santa Theme Christmas LuncheonWith the holidays almost upon us, I like to give my girlfriends a little time off. So I invite them all over for a little holiday luncheon that is a fun way to take a break from all the baking and Christmas shopping.

 

Christmas books

Books for ChristmasChristmas is a time that sparks the imagination of all who celebrate. As parents we are always looking for things to do the same thing and books can do the trick. Here is an article about shopping in one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. The used, and yes I said used, bookstore.

 

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Set Up a Christmas Tree OutsideOne of the most frustrating things about putting up a Christmas tree is attaching the stand and stringing the lights. A few years ago I came up with the idea of doing it all outside on my patio.

 

A child opening a box in front of a Christmas tree.

A Thrift Store ChristmasIn these hard times, shopping at the thrift stores may be that the only way some of us will be able to afford a Christmas for our families. So here are some ideas of what can be done with thrift store bargains to turn them from "Trash" to "Treasure".

 

Santa craft

Twelve Days of Christmas SavingsOn the twelfth days of Christmas, my true love gave to me - savings. Try these holiday activities that bring people together and cost nothing but time.

 

artificial Xmas tree

Pulp vs. Petroleum: The Debate Over Artificial...I know people who struggle with cutting down live trees for Christmas, because I'm one of them. I can't stand the thought of cutting down a gorgeous tree just to uphold a holiday tradition.

 

The Perfect Gifts Don't Have to Cost a FortuneWe've all heard that it's the thought that counts, but what could have more thought than a handmade gift. The craft-impaired need not worry. These gifts are easy, cheap, and perfect for the holidays (any of them!)

 

Caring For A Christmas TreeCaring For A Christmas Tree. Nothing says Christmas quite like walking into a room filled with the fresh scent of pine needles. To keep your holiday tree fresh and looking its best throughout the New Year, follow these simple tips for Christmas tree care.

 

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Buying A Christmas Tree

Buying A Christmas TreeFor many people, Christmas trees are the focal point of decorating a home for the holidays. The very act of selecting and buying the tree is a special part of the season and another great opportunity to make lasting holiday memories.

 

Holly branch.

Holiday Decorating With Transitional PlantsIncorporating plants into your holiday decorating scheme is a wonderful way to bring a little bit of gardening into the season. Because the holidays can be demanding on our time and our budgets, decorating with plants that can transition from one holiday to the next makes good sense.

 

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Helping A Needy Family This ChristmasHelping A Needy Family This Christmas. Here are some ideas on how the more fortunate can help someone for Christmas. It doesn't have to break your budget. It can fill your world with the most incredible feeling and gives back or pays forward, however you might believe.

 

Holly with red berries

Aftercare For Holiday PlantsThe holidays are full of traditions, many of which include giving, receiving and decorating with potted seasonal plants. With the proper care, many potted plants can be carried over from season to season.

 

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Connie's Christmas TraditionWe have an unique Christmas tradition at our house. When the kids no longer believed in Santa and the thrill of the moment wasn't as intense as it once was we started this. On Christmas morning each child receives a small piece of paper with a poem/hint on it and they have to figure out the clue and follow it just to find another clue. After the third clue there is their gift.

 

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Doris' Christmas TraditionWhen my first child was 4 years old, I decided to start a Christmas tradition that was inexpensive but fun. My son, Joe, was old enough to chew hard candy (with supervision). I bought him a "LifeSaver" Christmas box of LifeSavers that had a small ornament attached. ..

 

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Bonnie's Christmas TraditionI grew up in a family of eight children so the holidays were always hectic. To calm the morning madness and make sure we all had the chance to see and open our presents ...

 

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Stacey's Christmas TraditionI just wanted to share a wonderful tradition that I started about five years ago and I've enjoyed it so much. I call it my "Christmas Eve walk." I had been feeling a little depressed this particular Christmas Eve and was trying to come up with something I could do to make myself feel better when an idea came to me...

 

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Dawn's Christmas TraditionEvery year the day after Christmas my family and I go to camp in Fort Wilderness at Disney for a week. We have done this since I was very young. My cousins used to come from Michigan and the two families would make lots of wonderful memories that we STILL talk about today.

 

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Starlight's Christmas TraditionThis was a Christmas Tradition for years when the kids were young. I would turn my basement into a craft area, decorate it for Christmas with a tree, and then invite all of my sisters and brothers to drop their kids off from noon till 8 pm.

 

Home for the Holidays: What To Do Before You Deck the HallsThe Holidays are here, and most of us are getting ready to deck the halls in one way or another. Before you pull out the tinsel and tree, take a couple hours to make some quick changes to update your rooms, and provide a great background for your Christmas and holiday trimmings.

 

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Bev's Christmas Stocking Stuffer IdeaI used to feel a real anti-climax when at the end of Christmas my children would be gloating over their presents and little treats in their stockings and I end up feeling feeling left out, even though I had presents from my hubby or children.

 

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Debra's Family TraditionsMy Family were not church going people and neither was my husband's so we had to come up with our own traditions. In doing Geneology for both families I saw that we had a lot of German ancestors so I went on line and found out about the german tradition of the Advent Wreath.

 

Santa with a living Christmas tree.

Living Christmas TreeA living Christmas tree is ecological, practical and saves you money year after year. You can enjoy it year round on your balcony or in your garden.

 

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