Sunday, December 7, 2014 / 23 Comments

Have a Frugal and Fabulous Christmas Day 1

We all know how expensive the holiday season can be and all this week 5 bloggers are coming together to share with you how they do Christmas for their families on a budget. There's no reason the holidays can't be amazing and affordable. So here we bring you How to Have a Frugal and Fabulous Christmas

The Paper & Popcorn Tree and Oyster Chowder for the Holidays

By Karen Lynn at Lil’ Suburban Homestead

The Holidays are a time of year that never cease to fill me with wonder even now at a time in my life when I have one foot in the empty nest I still get excited.  Yes it’s just me and my husband that decorate the Christmas tree in our house now but now I enjoy those sentimental moments and all of those ornaments that go on our tree more and more.  You see we have a Sentimental Christmas tree which includes ornaments from when my husband was a child and even ornaments that I started purchasing when my husband and I were dating.  Our tree holds so many memories for us and I enjoy the time each year as I hold each ornament up it reminds me of a treasured moment in time.

Just this week I held up a ribbon ornament the year the children and I made ornaments for our tree out of ribbon, paper, and cardboard boxes from our pantry and it brought so many memories back to me.  I was so sad at the time that I only had a few sparse ornaments for my tree and my Mom to encourage me told me years ago people used to make ornaments out of whatever they had.  I shared this news with my children who were 2 and 7 years of age and they quickly got excited about he prospect of turning this tree around and they got to work with filling all the cracks of that tree with seashells as we lived a block from the ocean and then we made stars from Saltine Cracker and Macaroni and cheese boxes and we tied bows with just wrapping ribbon and before we knew it we beheld a tree that was shiny and beautiful!  To top it all off we strung popcorn to lay around the tree and it added more pizzazz plus we put it out for the birds after we took our tree down!
This was also the same year we lucked into some oysters on the beach they were cluster oysters so hard to break into but my husband managed to do it and we had oyster chowder that Christmas so when I thought we had so little with some ingenuity and luck we ended up having a holiday feast and to add to the festivities we went to a local tree lighting in town and even took the kids on a walk on the beach for Christmas.

Over the years I added a few traditions that make the holidays more fun and meaningful to me I have participated in ornament decorating parties, cookie swaps,  holiday gatherings, and our winter concert at the school where I work always ushers in the holiday season for me an  it’s an event I look forward to every year!

So if you are on a budget and want to make the holidays more special for you and your family! 

  Look for the following:

·         Winter Concerts many are free or for a donation
·         Church Christmas Plays or Holiday Performances
·         String popcorn up onto garland as a family.
·         Town Tree Lightings
·         Go Christmas Caroling
·         Giving out homemade gifts
·         Volunteer as a family
·         Make homemade donuts or other baked good item as a family!
·         Go to a Christmas tree farm and have cider and get in the mood even if you aren’t going to buy a tree!

The holidays can hold wonder for us still at any age I am convinced and my children recently shared with us they always felt the holidays were magical in our home.  I must say I felt the same way growing up as a little girl my Mom added little touches to our house to make the holidays feel special she would place hard candy out in bowls and have the smell of cinnamon in the air and wrap fresh pine garland around our banister.    Every year as I unwrap those seashell ornaments to place upon our tree they remind me of the paper and popcorn tree and joy warms my heart to see them every year they shall remain on our tree for as long as I am around our lil’ homestead.

For more Frugal and Fabulous Tips check out part 2 here.

Sharing with  Met Monday Tweak It Tuesday Show and Tell Wow us Wednesdays Simple Saturdays Show and Share Amaze Me Tweak It No Place Like Home Ruby Tuesday Freedom Fridays Create Share Inspire The Pin Junkie

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  1. Hi Valerie, I like this post. We are not spending a huge amount on Christmas and it makes me sad to see the focus some others have on spending big and doing extravagant activities, merry Christmas to you and I am looking forward to reading more of the series,

  2. Rhonda, I am with you. This year is different. It's sad to see people go into debt for 5 minutes of fun.

  3. Like you, I also have wonderful memories of Christmas growing up and even more so, the Christmases spent with my own little family. My kids have told me many times that Christmas was always magical in our home. My middle son recently told me it was because I made sure of it. That just blessed my heart! My father and I always made donuts together for the holidays and now that he is no longer with us, my hubby helps me. Christmas donuts are the best! Thank you, Valerie, for sharing your lovely memories and tips for a frugal and fabulous Christmas. Have a lovely day.

    Autumn Blessings,

  4. Lovely post. Homemade is best ... and more fun! Making memories -- sweet!

  5. Memories are to keep! What better way than making the most of what we have (see my Ruby post today).

  6. Beautiful memories, thanks for sharing! I love your sweet shell ornament!

  7. I have some paper ornaments from a time when my oldest was a toddler and money was beyond tight. They serve as a reminder to count our blessings!

  8. I love this post! My husband and I were just talking about making homemade gifts this year to try and save some money! And I love Christmas caroling!

  9. Christmas doesn't need to be expensive. The whole meaning is about giving and not so much receiving. Great tips :)

  10. Love that you include sentimental pieces on your tree! Decorating my tree with my family as a kid is one of my favourite holiday traditions!

  11. I am so lucky to live in an area that has a lot going on for the holidays. It is a small town but one of the biggest tourist areas for the holidays within 100 miles. We do an awesome holiday light show at our courthouse, horse-drawn carriage rides around town, Dickens Village's beautiful. Christmas does not have to be expensive at all, it's all about spending quality time with those you love. Great post.

  12. These are such great ideas. It's always fun to make your own ornaments.

  13. My family doesn't really celebrate Christmas, but I do like finding ways to get out with them to enjoy the holiday season. I love the idea of drinking cider at a christmas tree farm and watching the town lighting celebrations.

  14. My mom and I are looking around for great volunteer opportunities around our city. Do you have any good suggestions? We usually put together blessings bags for the homes less but that has a cost attached :)

  15. I remember when me and my siblings started decorating our home on September, yeah thats way too early lol...but now that we grew up, and only 1 little sister left, our attention is focus in her, making her Christmas the special one 😊

  16. Love this post. I think Christmas can be celebrated in many ways and I really love your ideas! I'm definitely going to start looking around for somethings to do in my area as well

  17. Lovely lovely post Blessed are those who find happiness in little or more. Your children must have grown up to e pretty awesome Childhood is the building block.Superb tips for a great Holiday season

  18. We are very fortunate in our area to have many different activities to attend and they are all free of charge.

  19. I love your ideas. There is no reason why the holidays have to break the bank, as you point out.

  20. Great post. I love spending lots of time connecting with friends and family and not lots of money!

  21. Love this post! I am definitely on a budget this year but still want to get my friends and family thoughtful gifts and have meaningful experiences :)

  22. i loved making christmas ornaments as a kid! was so fun to show them off


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