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.

MY GREATEST LESSON CAME IN AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF PAIN

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I remember as a child, calling out to my mom, my legs hurt.  They hurt so incredibly bad, I didn’t think I could walk.  My mom said “they are growing pains”, gave me something for the pain and sent me on my way.  This was a part of life.  It was not going to hold me back.  I would experience a lot of physical pain, as I grew into an adult.

I recall one night, heart broken over that first love.  My heart was in pieces, it never felt like it would go back together again.  My mom assured me it would, maybe a bit differently, but that pain would go away.  These were also growing pains, ones that would shape my heart and my mind for the responsibilities to come.

One thing I always appreciated about my mom was that she never down played the pain.  It was ok to hurt, to acknowledge the pain, to even take a few minutes to wallow in it, but in the end… you get up.  You move forward.  I watched my mom go through growing pains too, when her life wasn’t exactly what she planned.  She had days of pain, she didn’t hide it.  She did, however, keep moving forward.

I have learned over the years, no matter how much older we get… or wiser… we still face the potential to experience growing pains.  Life will be full of lessons.  Some of us will face hard ones, and often.  Others may have softer lessons to learn, or less frequent.  Until we are on the other side of Heaven, we will face obstacles, difficulties and complications along our way.  All of which will teach us new things about ourselves, others and God.

Some of my greatest lessons, that I benefited the most from, were the ones accompanied by the most pain.  They were the ones that stripped me of everything that made sense, pulled me out from my comfort zone, and pushed me down to my knees.  It was in these moments I had to rely on God completely, because I couldn’t do it on my own … even if I tried.

It is funny, now, to look back on some of those moments in my past.  To see what God brought me through, and brought me to.

Recently, I found myself going through a “rough patch” again.  I recognized what was happening, I was being refined by fire…. but that didn’t diminish the pain.   The comfort I found, was that much like my mother… my Heavenly Father was not going to discount my pain.  Instead, He made a promise… “I am doing a new thing.”