Sunday, October 18, 2009

12 Cheapskate Tricks of Christmas

It certainly feels like winter is right around the corner.  In two (very short) months our house will be full of hustle and bustle.  This year I am aiming to finish my shopping and creating early.  I have been shopping clearance sales since April, so I do have quite the headstart.  Over the next 2 weeks I am going to share some of my favorite family traditions and tips to make this holiday season peaceful, calm, and CHEAP.  We are really trying to live by the motto "It's the thought and time that go into it, not just the $$ value".

I am trying to teach Emma all about the meaning of the season and expose her to all sorts of holiday traditions.  Last year we started a holiday book basket tradition that I plan to keep up with for many years to come.  On December 1st a "basket" of gifts appeared near the front door.  Every night before bed Emma had fun picking out a gift and unwrapping it to find a Christmas themed bedtime story.  She learned many new words and concepts and we were able to easily reinforce concepts that we wanted her to learn:
  • Jesus is the reason for the season.
  • It is better to give than to receive.
  • Share.
The list is endless.  This may sound like an expensive tradition to start;  24 books of all shapes and sizes would be a huge expense if I had paid retail, but cost less than $35 total.  When Christmas was over I packed the holiday themed stories with the Christmas decorations and I will wrap them all up again this year.  I plan to replace some of the books every year to account for age and language development, but many of the stories will be used year after year.  The only book I leave out of the backet is "Twas The Night Before Christmas"- That magically appears with a new pair of PJs on Christmas eve. 

Where do I find cheap books for this activity and many others?

I love them.  Sometimes they say that there will be a remainder mark on them, but this is no more than a small marker dot on the barcode.  The prices are super cheap and there are always 10-30% off coupons and free shipping coupons available on line!  I often search "gift" to find neat boxed gift set books.  Last year I scored $1 Charlie Brown Christmas box sets that included a book and tiny tree with all of the decorations.

Have fun exploring this great book retailer.  The book basket is a fun tradition that does not have to break the bank.  It is an excellent opportunity for Holiday snuggle time and for teaching time honored traditions.

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