Budget Friendly Christmas. PLUS 10 GIFTS to GIVE AWAY!

Our family is very budget conscious. I really enjoy giving gifts to my family and friends, but some years there isn’t enough room in the budget for everyone I would like to give gifts to.  That is why I started planning my Christmas shopping out earlier in the year.

* Make a list early, who are you shopping for and what would you like to get them.

* Budget a small amount each month toward your list.

* Take advantage of sales, free shipping, and packages that you can split apart into multiple gift.s

* Shop for your packaging and accessory items from your local dollar store.

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I spent $47 on all of the above items.  I was able to get the books & journals for half off or less from Family Christian.  They have sales throughout the year, plus I had some gift certificates to redeem which helped reduce my cost..  The wrapping paper roll, shred, gift boxes, tape, tissues, pens, candles and butterflies were purchased at the Dollar Tree.


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There were 3 boxes per package, and I covered them with wrapping paper.  I started with the outside and folded the paper into the lids and bottoms.  I then had a cut piece to lay inside to finish it off nicely.

Then I added the brown paper shreds, and began arranging my gifts.  These boxes were a little more shallow than I planned for, so I couldn’t fit everything I wanted.  So yes, I had to leave the chocolate bars out of some of the boxes.  Fortunately, I was able to dispose of them promptly.  How is a secret I’m not permitted to share.

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I put the tops on the boxes, wrapped with ribbon and topped with a butterfly.

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I had  a total of six gifts for under $50!

And here is the best part, Family Christian would like to help you get started on your Christmas Shopping!

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I will select TEN random winners who will receive a $10 Family Christian Savings Pass!

Simply leave a comment on this page on how you would spend it!

Winners will be drawn on Friday June 12th at Midnight!  So enter quickly!!!!

For my shopping list:

Silver Metallic Thinline Bible

Forgiven Journal

Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin

10 Piece Inductive Pen Set

Savor, by Shauna Neiquist

Everything else was purchased at my local Dollar Tree.

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Anyone Else Ready for Christmas?

It’s an exciting day in the neighborhood when a package like this shows up at my door.  I love Christmas.  I know, some of you are squealing “Can’t we just get through Thanksgiving?????”…. but alas, no.  I can’t wait.  To me Thanksgiving is more a prelude to Christmas.  Thanksgiving starts the motion of family togetherness, holiday mushiness, and the realization that I might as well through my diet out the window for the next four weeks.

In fact, the days leading up to Thanksgiving, to me, are just part of the countdown to Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am unthankful, in fact I am very thankful.   I am thankful to celebrate the birth of my savior.  Now, before anyone starts, I know all of the arguments about the likelihood of Jesus not being born on December 25th.   But, since I wasn’t there … nor am I 100% certain that anyone else who has attempted to calculate the actual date is accurate… I am totally OK with celebrating it on this appointed day.

Bring on the Christmas music.  The cooler weather.  Dorky sweaters.  Ornament earrings.  Seat warmers.  Fireplaces.  Hot Cocoa.  Baking days.  Eating nights.  Holiday lights.  Christmas Parties.  Silly exchanges.  Mistletoe kisses.  Mickey’s Christmas Carol.  The Polar Express.  The Night Before Christmas.  Cranberry Tea.

And most importantly, Christmas Carols.  

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This boxed set came from Family Christian Stores and I’m not going to lie… it had me at the title… CLASSIC CHRISTMAS.  The compilation was put together by Maranatha Music, so I was already a fan.

It’s not that I don’t like modernized versions of the classics, or even newly written modern favorites…. but it is becoming harder and harder to hear the classics on the radio.  We just got a new car, and I haven’t even put a single CD in the player yet.  Guess where this 3 disc set is going first thing in the morning.

My kids may…. or may not… be thrilled.  Probably not as thrilled as I am.  But, I am ok with that.

In truth, I couldn’t wait.  So, I popped this bad boy in while I was working on a project, it is the Home for the Holidays CD.  I seriously would have this playing in the background during the family visits on Christmas morning, or playing in the back ground while I work.

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Definitely a fan of this CD.  I loved is soft versions of my favorites like Angels We Have Heard on High, but also the soulful but fun Go Tell It On the Mountain.  I was pleasantly surprised by 2 songs I was not familiar with, Infant Holy, Infant Lowly and Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming, that I fell in love with instantly.  See!  You can’t possibly know ALL the Christmas music out there!  Which is why we need to celebrating ASAP

One CD, ok one song, was all it took to put me in the mood.  Before I knew it, I had the AC cranked down, a long sleeve shirt on and a cup of coffee was brewing.  I should tell you, it is November… in Florida.  I’m sure if I walked out to get the mail right now, I’d get more than a few strange looks from my neighbors.

I moved onto the Holiday Classics CD…. and I was giddy.  Like seriously, giddy.

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This selection reminded me of the music you hear during a Christmas Program at church or a school.    You could hear the youthful, children’s choir, voices in some songs…. beautiful instrumentals. This CD had variety of styles and sounds that would work great with a children’s program but fun to listen to on it’s own merits.  It’s just a fun CD.

I popped in the third CD when I was getting read to work online, a little study time.   Seasonal Classics is hands down my favorite of the three, because it has my favorite songs on it!   This will probably be the CD I wear out first, in fact… when Christmas is over, this one may stay in the player as a permanent resident.

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It starts of with one of my favorite childhood songs, The Twelves Days of Christmas…. but also includes O Holy Night, What Child Is This, and O Come, O Come Emmanuel….. SWOON!  To be entirely honest, I couldn’t even concentrate on my work.  I was just enjoying the music too much.

CHRISTMAS WHEN WILL YOU BE HERE?

I am ready to hang my stockings.  I am ready to trim the tree.  I am ready to put out the holly.  I want to smell the cookies baking in the oven.  I want to package up my grandmother’s fudge for giving away.  I want to wrap presents and put the under the tree.  I want to sing Christmas carols and wish people a Merry Christmas. 

I AM READY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!

…. I am also ready for the kids to be on Christmas break.

Just say’n.