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Thread: The Christmas machine

  1. #11
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    Lol, Williamsmith, I wonder if he will get the point or be delighted by your “transformation”?

    dd1 works in construction. Dh just ordered her an assortment of high quality socks (something we know she hates spending money on that will improve her work days) so she is done (the gift I bought was for her and her dh)

    i think i will put up my lights today - they go on the inside of my 4 season “porch”, and I often put them up as early as solstice. Also baking pies today as we are celebrating thanksgiving with our girls tomorrow.

  2. #12
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    what are you doing to keep your holiday focus where you want it?
    Oddly, this is one area where "just say no" works quite well for us.

    For all of the paper ads and incessant emails trumpeting Black Friday sales (and, soon, Cyber Monday sales), we have no plans to buy anything through the weekend except a few groceries. DW says she is already done shopping except for one gift. I have yet to start shopping for the two gifts I'm buying but I have some solid ideas and enough available time to sandwich shopping in between the marketing colossus this weekend and the last-minute gotta-get-a-gift-any-gift of later December. The total number of people in DW's family who are exchanging gifts this year is down, once again, from last year. It's getting together that's more important. We all have what we need and reasonably want.

    As for my family, my mom typically makes a big deal out of buying gifts with time and money she doesn't have. Us kids have told her for years that we'd rather just have a time to get together, eat, tell funny stories, play board games, etc. This year she's been too busy and too lacking in energy for shopping or decorating the house and she's encountered some bigger bills. So my sister and I took the initiative to suggest that this year we just do a pot-luck brunch instead of this gift extravaganza that takes half a day between gifts and meals (yeah, meals). To further emphasize that this is not Christmas like every other, we picked a day other than Christmas Eve/Day to get together. No pressure to decorate, to worry about pre-Christmas deadlines, to tie pot-luck foods to the holiday,...

    DW had fun picking out pictures for our Christmas cards and they're here but as yet unmailed. Decorating the house waits for some early December birthdays to pass (can't mingle the occasions) and that gets simpler every year because neither one of us is up for hours of rescuing the trimmings from the basement, setting them up, maintaining them (dusting, etc.), and taking them down again after New Year's. A small pre-lit tree, some selected ornaments with good stories behind them, and some other house decorations and we're good to go. We'll have some Christmas parties we can attend; if we're up to it, we'll go. If not, we won't.

    Keeping Christmas small is a bit of a battle. But it's well worth it, IMHO.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  3. #13
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I am making a dozen holiday floral arrangements for the houses on our neighborhood’s house tour. That will be a crazed, but fun, two days. I am doing it as cheaply as possible by clipping holly and white pine and blue spruce from trees around the park and community garden and I have been collecting Goidwill containers. I will need to buy flowers and spray paint to jazz up some dried material, and it should all be around $10 per design.


    For our own decor,
    I’ll wait to see if I am tired of it all after our house tour. But if not, I will buy a very small fresh tree, throw icycles on it and two strings of lights, and done. It can later be chufked into the dumpster pretty easily.

  4. #14
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    Iris Lilies, I'm sure your door arrangements will be awesome, can you post some pix when you're done? I gotta say I love Christmas - the lights, the decorations, the events (home tours! horse parades! driving around looking at light displays!) and all that stuff. I am not religious, so for me it's about brightening up the short days and doing fun stuff with family and friends (if you think the above events are fun, that is - I do realize that lots of people DON'T like this stuff, lol). I love antique decorations and decorating the house. I like making things out of nothings. Most of our tree ornaments have lovely memories attached to them - it's sort of like a memory/souvenir tree. This year I brought home a brass witch ornament from Salem, a wooden star from Enfield, a small covered bridge from Bennington, a beautiful metal maple leaf from Shelburne, and a brass ornament with blueberries from Ogunquit. Each year, I relive road trips and remember family and friends who have gifted me with many lovely ornaments. for me, it's better than a photo album. We put a string of lights on the porch. Last year, someone gave DD one of those nylon blow-up Minions, so I guess we'll see if the outside cats shred it or not! Mostly I don't like those things, but I'm willing to share the porch, lol. I have a glass front cupboard in my dining room that houses many of our old holiday decorations for each season - right now it's housing a bunch of turkeys. If I could figure out how to post pix I would do so. And today we're getting our tree, while 2nd child is here to help put it up. I realize not everyone is into the holidays, and that's great - everyone should be happy and comfortable, whatever they decide to do!

  5. #15
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    Black Friday shopping is half complete 20 yards (it's all they had) of 90w batting for quilts...40% off and then 25% off total purchase and a $50 gift card that's been aging on the counter. It's from Joann's but I cannot say no to saving that much $ . My favorite local quilt shop opens in an hour-I will go there to see if anything strikes me as a must-have. I make a lot of charity quilts for local needs so this savings is significant for my budget.

    Life is good
    :-) I'll be doing any further shopping tomorrow in our small mountain town to support small businesses and local families. I don't need to purchase anything else but if something fun is found, I'll do that

    We :-)






  6. #16
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    I actually went out and shopped today. It wasn't bad, and i feel good aboutwhat i got. Without the deals today i really wouldn't be able to get the gifts i wanted to. I got my daughter a special turquoise pendant for her birthday and now got her a nice silver chain over 50% off. For my 2 SILs i got some good deals on shirts, they both don't buy themselves clothes and don't have money often for this, i also got a toy for grandbaby, my first choice was sold out since i didn't get there super early but got a similar toy for $5 more. While i was there i got 4 games for 50% off for my program, games that need to be replaced and kids love.

  7. #17
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    When my kids were small we had a lot of gifts to buy since DH's family was big. I would shop all year and keep a notebook to keep track of it all. Eventually we went to just buying gifts for the kids under 18 on his side and everyone a gift on my side because it was small. Sadly my xmas list decreased as the older people died and the kids grew up. I also exchanged gifts with a fair number of friends. WE had a big house that I decorated everything. My youngest son was really into it and always helped me. Now the tree is a foot tall and sits on a table and I have a small box of decorations which includes the outdoor stuff too. I decorated last night in under 30 min's. If I had grandchildren I would be much more into it. About 10 years ago DH and I decided to stop exchanging gifts because really if we want something we buy it. I loved all the busyness and craziness of the holidays when my kids were small. Even though I was going to college full time and taking finals right up until xmas we still baked all kinds of stuff with the kids helping. I would send out 40 xmas cards with a handwritten letter in each. No time for TV back then for me. I also stopped sending cards about 10 years ago.

  8. #18
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    Gardnr: Strangely online Walmart can often have rolls of good batting for all quilts that will be used and washed a lot. Here is a great online deal and they can usually deliver to a store near you. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pellon-Na...-Roll/38570720

    I also do charity quilts (have done hundreds) and am always looking for value.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post
    Gardnr: Strangely online Walmart can often have rolls of good batting for all quilts that will be used and washed a lot. Here is a great online deal and they can usually deliver to a store near you. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pellon-Na...-Roll/38570720

    I also do charity quilts (have done hundreds) and am always looking for value.
    I appreciate the link-I may explore this next time I need batting (like in 2019) I detest online shopping in general and rarely do it. Even the rare occasion I buy at local big box, at least I'm helping to employ members of my community.

    My most recent online experience? I spent 30 minutes this morning cancelling an "automatic monthly" account for something I purchased in October as a trial. They have now billed me nearly $350 and I've received nothing. The begging to remain a customer goes on and on while I'm asking PLEASE cancel and close my account..... I consider myself quite online savvy but they tell me I missed something in the fine print because this monthly subscription is there ma'am. And although they require email, I received none and they told me I would not. "Then how do I contact you?" "well, you would have to remember the website address". They would not email me cancellation codes....I had to write them all down along with their phone number (thank goodness for quality information from Capital One on my statement. Needless to say I'm feeling quite BURNED right now.

    OK. Back to Christmas....fa la la la la, la la la la

  10. #20
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    I love online shopping but I never sign up for any free trials for anything because they scam you.

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