Toddler Craft Idea – Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

A few days ago, I was able to find time to do a fun holiday craft with Dylan while Blake was napping. It was a Saturday, and we had a few hours to spend at home before we went to a birthday party later that afternoon. I had been thinking about making salt dough Christmas ornaments for a few days, and it seemed like just the right time to do it. There are many different versions of the salt dough Christmas ornament recipe online. I used a simple recipe of two cups of flour, one cup of salt, and a … Continue reading

Old-Fashioned Holiday Fun

“Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.”- Unknown Buy, buy, buy.  Spend, spend, spend.  These days it seems the holidays are more about spending money than bonding with loved ones.  I suppose you could bond over how much you’ve spent on each other, but wouldn’t you rather save your cash and share the richness of laughter and warm embraces? Instead of going into debt trying to prove how much you love your favorite family members and friends, consider spending time with each other having fun with these holiday-themed activities: … Continue reading

Family History in the Christmas Tree

For some families, decorating the Christmas tree is a trip down family history lane. While I do not yet have a tree for my home, and I am not sure whether my parents have theirs yet, I do have many memories of decorating Christmas trees with them. Some of the memories even involve the event of choosing a tree and bringing it home. When I was growing up, we did not have a specific plan regarding where we got our Christmas tree. Sometimes, my dad would come home with one on top of the car. Other times, we would go … Continue reading

Where to Find Nice, Inexpensive Ornaments

Most years I dread taking down the ornaments for the tree, not because of all of the work involved but because of the fear that we won’t have enough ornaments. Most of the ornaments we have are either broken or long faded. Since they were never family heirlooms, with the exception of a handful of ornaments, I don’t feel bad about replacing them. They were mostly hand me down and tacky dollar store ornaments. The problem is, that buying new ornaments can be expensive, especially when you have an entire tree to fill. So that was my mission: find some … Continue reading

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas – Part 1

You may think it is a bit early to be thinking about Christmas, but I noticed garland hanging at my local Hallmark last night. This year, instead of having a white or blue Christmas, how about having a green Christmas? First, let’s think about the Christmas tree. Many plastic trees are made from PVC, the product that many are telling us to avoid for safety reasons. This year, you may want to consider a fresh cut Christmas tree. Make it a fun family tradition by going out to chop down your own tree. Sure, it will probably take a bit … Continue reading

Frugal Ornaments

Christmas tree looking a little bare? You don’t have to spend a lot to make it beautiful and full of happy things. Just take a look at the following ideas that will help you decorate your tree for free (or almost free). Some of these ideas are taken from traditional Christmas Tree decorating traditions from folks who know what it is to live frugally, while other ideas have a more modern spin. Enjoy! Here is an idea that an old friend and I used to decorate his tree when we didn’t have much to work with in terms of cash. … Continue reading

Shopping the Catalogs: Personalized Pet Ornaments

Photo by John Boyer Do you hang ornaments on your tree for the animals in your life? (Or maybe you’re like my friend Karen who gives her dog Tucker a little tree of his own –all with his ornaments on it.) Or maybe you’re like me and like to give personalized ornaments to pet parents for presents? Below is a list of the cutest catalog offerings for personalized pet ornaments that I found this season. The usual suspects, like dogs and cats, are a given, but I even found one for horse lovers so I included it too. From Miles … Continue reading

Glamorous, Dramatic Christmas Decorating

This year, a common theme in Christmas decorating designs is glamor, from shiny satin Christmas stockings to glimmering globes and baubles in bowls. Drama is another big element, as evidenced by over-sized ornaments and bold color schemes. Many current holiday designs are using textures and colors that give an essence of romance, using a combination of shimmer, sparkle, and softness. Even if you don’t plan to replace all your existing Christmas decorations, you might want to add some of these special touches throughout your home. Even if you have already started (or finished) decorating, you can add a few dramatic … Continue reading

Reflections in A Dime Store Window

My first exposure with getting good deals happened early on in my childhood. Caught up in the holiday wonderland of Brooklyn, New York, the sort of magic that is captured by the song “Silver Bells, Silver Bells,” I would stare wide-eyed at the shops lining the street. From Cheap Charlie’s to George’s Discount Store, I grew up trailing behind my mother as she went from place to place, gathering something here, something there and chatting with the owners. “Did you know that so-and-so-down the street has Christmas hooks for 10 cents a box?” she would say, prompting the store we … Continue reading

Preserving Your Christmas Treasures

There are so many ways that you could approach capturing and preserving your Christmas (or Kwanza or Hanukah) memories. This year I plan to focus on the little things that make this season special for me. These items would make a prefect mini album that we could add to each year. I would like to share a few things that I would be meaningful to include in a holiday memory album. Your Christmas Tree. Is it artificial or real? If it is real, do you cut it down yourself, or do you buy it at the same place each year? … Continue reading