Handmade Holiday 2010 Alternatives To Gift Buying

One way Papa and I have managed to save money over the years is by not buying each other gifts. No Christmas gifts, no birthday gifts. Now I know this may not work for some of you but for us we have just found other ways to spend our money. Why buy a gift if you don’t need one? Like on birthdays a tradition that started since we first were married (we started out with no money) was to give each other the day off. Off from cooking , cleaning, diaper changing, yes I actually look forward to my birthday :). We pick out what we want for each meal, and get the computer, radio, or television just for ourself. That means Papa sometimes has to sit through a “chick” flick he would NEVER watch otherwise. This has gone over so well in our household that The Little’s have asked for the same on their birthdays too. Instead of gifts maybe one might want to go skating as a family or to the zoo.

But back to Christmas this day really is not about us, so how does our family save money over Christmas? For starters we do not celebrate commercial Santa, (this is our personal choice) so there are no “stocking stuffers” to buy. Instead we count down to Christmas doing little activities each day , like making Christmas cards, or cookies, or ornaments for the tree, visit with our neighbors, read a new Christmas story,drive and see Christmas lights, and even sing Christmas songs together as a family.

As far as gifts, The Little’s receive 3 gifts each and 1 shared gift that is usually a craft we make together. This years shared gift was The book A Donsy of Gnomes by Sieglinde De Francesca along with everything needed to make their own gnomes out of  tree branches.

For our oldest (20) we usually pick a gift to make together as a family (I will share this years in another post) and give her money. That’s what she asks for.

For Papa and I we sit down at the start of every year and make a list of goals we would like to see accomplished. For instance one of our goals was to run our house without any electricity in case of an emergency. So we wrote down what we needed to see that goal happen. We would much rather see our goals accomplished then to receive gifts.

This year we have a few goals, one being get rid of all our carpet through out our whole house and to buy used first then support small business second. We have SO much talent right here in our country without needing to support sweatshops.

I do have a point to this post :). So far we have managed to rid our front room of carpet and in honor of our new re arrangement enlist the help of our unemployed neighbor who is trying to start his own business.

“If you can describe it ,I can build it” is his logo and he can. We needed two end tables to fit in a very small space. We went to several thrift shops to find the end tables were all to big. So we went to our neighbor with our measurements and idea and this is what he came up with.

Real wood (not that partical board) something that will  probably last longer than us. Like the furniture my grandmother had.I love the natural character of wood, how no two pieces are ever alike and it feels SO good to stick to our goals.

He is open for business and untill he gets his webpage up and running can be reached at dizzyb24@yahoo.com .

 I am really looking forward to sharing this years handmade holiday with you. I know with so many great minds working together we CAN be the change we want to see.



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