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Celebrating Holidays On A Budget

This is the wishing season—wish lists already coming up for the holidays, wishes for a delicious Turkey dinner, wishes for exceptional family harmony—no bickering over whole or jelly cranberry sauce, even wishes for January to come sooner –and with it a sigh of relief and an end to all the tumult!

One wish you may already have, too, is how to stretch that holiday budget!

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Just think back to your own family history of the special fall and winter holidays–what do you remember? Most likely you recall special family, traditions rather than the array of presents. I remember the pilgrim candles we pulled out for the table setting—we never lit them in order to save them again for each year. Somehow the pilgrim hats got a bit melty and their faded blue gray clothes faded even more…but we loved them and placed them in a place of importance–no matter what. There were the cookies Grandma baked she called “Meltaways” — good name because in just 5 or 10 minutes they all ‘melted away” before they even got to the cookie jar!

Traditions are about bringing back the “old,” and what’s so wrong with the old tried and true? Not only can making “everything old new again” be fun – you can do it on the cheap! For sure there is nothing new about Pilgrims and Elves and Santas and wishing stars of all numbers of points, but you can put a new sheen on them by reintroducing such things with a bright and brandy new attitude!

So here are some old, and forever new things that can bring your family some bright and beautiful moments this and every holiday season.

The Telling of the Stars

Whether it is a glimpse of a seemingly miraculous shooting star, or spotting the difference between a planet and star, go out and check out the sky at night. Your local science museum, or planetarium can be a wonderful help with daily charts, descriptions of what’s up there that you can really find. The most exciting moment our family had recently was actually finding with our naked eyes the triangle of 3 stars that we read about and saw on a chart for that night! Keep starry eyes for the season.

Getting Personal

With computers, apps, and smartphones, the personal touch of notes and letters may have been forgotten, but nothing touches us as getting that personal love note under our pillow. There’s nothing like getting a note to show you your family members value and appreciate you, write and leave some around for household loved ones, and send some off in the “snail mail” to the long-distance relations. 

A Puzzling Experience!

Gather around the tried and true family table for a family jigsaw puzzle. For a different spin, have each family member choose a picture or magazine picture—it could be a famous TV or movie star, cut up into a puzzle for the rest of the family to guess the mystery picture.

Making An Old-Time Toy Can Still Be cool:

It’s amazing that old-time dolls and wooden toys lasted so long, but our modern toys can break sometimes on the day they are received. Check out your nearby historical society—usually free or minimal charge, for some preserved toys. And then make one of your own. Check out this page of easy to make old-timey toys.

What do you think of these thrifty holiday traditions, what are some of your own? Use the comments to reply!

 

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About Cynthia Lechan-Goodman

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