Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today's harvest and Christmas

I didn't take a picture, since I'm actually in the garden right now, but I just picked 10 cherry tomatoes, 2 raspberries and one butternut squash. I'm pretty excited about the raspberries. Since I lost a whole bush full of red, ripe raspberries in the July thunderstorm, I didn't think I would taste even one. There are actually about a dozen green berries on the bushes as I write this. Hopefully they will have time to turn red!

preparing for Christmas
I buy little trinkets all of the time. My goal is to have all of the stocking stuffers ready to go before December even arrives. Well, I am happy to report that I beat that goal. It is still September, and I am ready to stuff stockings! (I actually just have my teenage son left) I stuff stockings for my hubby, our 4 kids and the boyfriend, girlfriend and fiancé that we have in our family now. So, a total of 8 stockings. I did go over my initial budget of $20 per person, but once again, I am in no way going to pretend that I am perfect. Luckily, I have a temporary/seasonal job right now. That will not only pay for Christmas, but will help pay off one more bill!

We do have a budget in place for Christmas shopping. When my children were younger, I went way overboard with shopping. I'm not too sure why, just like to spoil my kiddos I guess. As our family grows, hubby and I agree that we need to cut back on spending. Last year, we spent $200 per kid, this year we will spend $100. (not including stockings)

Since I am having an honest blogging week, I can tell you that I have, in the past spent $400 per kid, for Christmas. I know....yikes!!! That's what Kmart layaway does. Ha ha ha. It allows you to buy all you want, but not pay for it all upfront. And yes, when hubby found out, he wasn't all to happy. That was about 10 years ago. I have learned a valuable lesson. {I only go crazy shopping at Christmas!} I now shop all year long, I check thrift stores, clearance sections in the store and look for coupons. My kids now how frugal I am. They know that I don't usually spend full retail price for an item. They really don't care. They just love to receive what was on their wish list!

As for gifts, I have completed shopping for one person, and have half of the gifts for another. That's a pretty good start considering it isn't even October yet!

For my extended family, I make gifts. This year will be candles, soap with ingredients from my herb garden, bookmarks with beads and baked goods. I plan to get started on those within a week. {not the baked goods}

Christmas is fun, if you don't let the stress and over commercialism get you down! So many people dread the season. Just remember the Reason for the Season! ☺

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