I’m bummed. This year I won’t be able to go shopping on December 26. We’ll be at my Mom’s with family. Hmm…now how do I get the good deals I count on each year? I’m hoping that the store I get my Christmas cards from will put them half off the week before Christmas. They’re inexpensive to begin with, but I need a lot. We send out about 60 cards to family and friends, then another 80 or so to church family (including new people and those who might not receive many cards). Our church has an alphabetized card exchange box, so those don’t need postage *whew*. Back to the point, I was planning on eight boxes of cards which adds up fast, even paying less than $5 a box regular price.
I’m hoping to find advent calendars half off the week before Christmas. The chocolate lasts just fine. My kids are using clearance calendars right now and not one chocolate has begun to turn white.
I’d also like a seasonal tablecloth for the home school/homework table, but that is a wish item. I’ve got enough stationery for the annual letter, but I always keep an eye out for cute paper. I’m going to have to shop when we get home, or on Sunday to try to scavenge the dregs I guess.
I’ve been thinking about some of the gift giving ideas I’ve gleaned from others and have been thankful for. The first one was the tradition of a new tree ornament for each child every year. DH’s parents had a Hallmark store and that tradition began with him and the Frosty Friends series. Yes, his mom still gets him the newest in the series each year. I like this tradition because the kids will have items for their own trees when they fly the nest.
An idea gleaned from the internet was building our son’s toolbox. Our son has been interested in learning how to build things since a very young age, and he’s only 12. I’m thankful for this one for a couple of reasons. My dad picked out the toolbox and bought the first tools for our son—the year before he passed away. DS will always have the memory that grandpa started his tool set. Also, he’s been blossoming in his tech class where he’s been learning how to use the power tools.
An extension of the tool box idea is building a ‘hope chest’ for our oldest. I don’t remember how the conversation led to her asking about hope chests, but at the end of it she concluded that she liked the idea of collecting/making things for her future home. DH doesn’t have time to build the actual chest, but cardboard boxes hold things too. The first thing we bought for her took some time to get. She loves my Wilton cake singles pans that I have for Christmas. DH and I spent some time searching the internet and had to buy a few of them used and two aren’t Wilton, but she has a set of 10, which serves for one boxed cake mix. I can’t wait to see her reaction Christmas morning. She’s probably forgotten asking for them last January. I found a half price set of Rubbermaid storage containers for her as well. I think it was a pre-black Friday special.
I love getting things that won’t be outgrown in a year, and was happy to reach that point with the kids. DS is starting to build a hiking backpack with this Christmas, and DD2 has been building her supply of knitting needles and crochet hooks for a few years. A few years back my parents bought decent sleeping bags for the kids. They aren’t for high country hiking where you always need to think about freak snow, but they’ll serve for most camping needs.
The kids get fun things too. Well, actually, the things listed above are fun to them. To round it all out DH and I bought a Star Wars trivia game for the family. We already have our (matinee) tickets for Christmas Eve, and it will be a relaxed way to spend our afternoon in front of the fire on Christmas day.