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Monday, November 12, 2012

Christmas is coming quickly!

Christmas is right around the corner already!  I cannot believe it.  It seems like we just started this homeschool year. 

As my children are getting older, their gift requests are getting more expensive and they are getting more picky.  I do not like giving my boys gift certificates or cash but I'm not sure what else to do.  Whatever happened to the element of surprise?  When I was a kid, I used to LOVE opening the boxes and bags, guessing what was inside!  I think kids still love that, but on their selfish side, maybe they want to make sure they get what they want?

 Looking back -

I remember when the boys were little, the element of surprise was still popular!  They would get mom and dad up at 5 am wanting to open gifts.  We have eliminated this problem by opening gifts Christmas eve :)  We now, on Christmas eve, turn all the electronics off, grab a hot cup of coco and start opening gifts by turn.  Then the boys stay up late to play and have all Christmas to enjoy their gifts.  We also make a rule that we do NOT do exchanges until a week after Christmas! 

One year I eliminated the Christmas stress by making all our Christmas purchases online.  The gifts came to the door, I took them into my room to wrap and then placed under the tree.  No shopping lines, no driving from store to store searching for that perfect gift in bad weather, no having to put things in layaway to make sure it was there, no rain checks or pre-orders!  The only problem is making these purchases way ahead of time to make sure they are here by Christmas.  Most websites guarantee on-time arrive if purchased by a certain day which makes it nice.

Tips for saving money this year -

With gas prices so high, purchasing online may be the way to go.  Beware of the shipping fees though!  You don't want to put all the money you save in gas into the shipping costs!  Look for those 'free shipping' deals.  Most store have free shipping if you spend a certain amount of money.  My suggestion is to make a list of each person you are buying for.  List gift ideas and then compare those gifts to see if you can buy them at the same place. 

One great gift idea is a gift card.  Amway has their gift cards with different categories.  They offer a unique gift card system. 

For example, they have a gift cards for women, men, children, travel, etc.  The very best part of this idea is the person receiving the gift doesn't know how much you spent!  You go online, buy the card, send it to the person you want.  When they receive the card, they look on line at the choices in that gift category and choose what they would like.  It it shipped directly to them with no fee!  No shipping fee or expiration date!  They don't even have to leave their home!

By clicking the card above, you can view and purchase one of these gift cards.  These cards are an awesome way to make sure the person you are buying for gets exactly what they want!  Remember..... no shipping fee and no expiration date!

Homemade gifts -

And of course there are the homemade gift ideas.  If you are not a crafty person, that is ok.  You just need a little imagination! 

Here are some homemade ideas.

*   Take your favorite cookie recipe and place the ingredients in a jar with fabic over the lid and a ribbon.  Write the recipe directions on a fancy cardstock and attach it to the front.

*   Knit or crochet a scarf.  (very easy to learn if you don't know how)

*   Buy a cheap picture frame and spice it up!  Decorate it with glitter, fancy contact paper, etc. and place a picture with a special memory in it for the recipient.

*   Make an apron.  You can make one out of an old dress shirt.  All you need is a sewing machine!  There are a few ideas like this on Pinterest!

*   Take a picture (family or special) and email it to Walmart or another online photo place to make a large canvas!  These are a wonderful idea and no work is involved (just in case you are too busy)!  Or glue a world map onto the blank canvas; this would be a great gift for a fellow homeschool family!

There are endless possibilities with homemade gifts.  Pinterest is a great place to look for ideas!  Click the icon below to go to Pinterest.

Be safe, look for bargins, and happy shopping!

Disclaimer:  This blog contains the opinions of myself and my own experiences.  I was not asked or paid by the companies mentioned above or any other person(s). 

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