Christmas on a Budget
Here are the Monroe on a Budget “best of” Christmas season tips.
My archives include a mix of religious and secular traditions, reflecting how the holiday season is observed in Monroe County, Mich., and also how we observe the season in my family.
- Advent calendar from embroidered felt.
- Creekside Learning’s ideas for a secular Advent calendar.
- Counting the Sundays (or days) to Christmas.
- Frugal Christmas faith tradition: Advent wreaths.
- Old-school Advent calendar tradition making a comeback.
- What treats can you put in the Advent calendars?
More ideas: My Advent calendar board on Pinterest.
- An example of a Christmas spreadsheet.
- Don’t be overly optimistic on your Christmas budget.
- Here’s how I stay organized on the Christmas sales.
- Lunch and Learn Workshop: Christmas on a budget.
- Spacing out the Christmas expenses.
- Writing out that Christmas budget.
Cookies, baked goods and recipes
- Beyond coupons: baked goods.
- Budget-friendly Christmas cookie recipes.
- Christmas cookie swapping options.
- Food gift ideas for Christmas.
- Freeze your bake sale finds for another day.
- How to survive the fall and holiday bake sale season.
- Look for cookie plates at the dollar stores.
- McCormick’s cinnamon ornaments.
- Need a holiday bake sale item? Make Candy Cane Cake.
- Paula’s Christmas coffee mix.
- Plan ahead for the potluck and bake sale emergencies.
- What to do with a gifted turkey or ham?
Charities and donations
- Christmas charity appeals and your charity “platform.”
- How to handle the Christmas charity requests when your budget is tight.
- How to help with the Christmas food drives.
- Those charity projects need to be on your scholarship resumes.
- Before there was Santa, there was St. Nicholas.
- Christmas 1933 in Monroe.
- Do you know the stories of Christmas past?
- Why those Christmas scrapbooks and memory books are so important.
- Christmas decorating when you have little or nothing to start with.
- Christmas decor isn’t limited to red and green.
- Christmas trees without lights (video).
- Finding a use for the leftover Christmas tree branches.
- Get multiple holiday uses from your table linens.
- How can you afford pretty holiday dishes?
- When a real tree isn’t practical, find branches!
- Faith-filled Christmas crafts on a budget.
- Ideas for handcrafted kid-friendly nativity sets.
- Ideas for St. Nicholas Day.
- Maybe it’s time to treat Christmas as two seasons anyway.
- What impact can you have on the world if you come from modest means?
Gifts and shopping
- 10 tips for shopping at the holiday craft shows.
- Are you sure she can use that gift card?
- Beyond socks and underwear: practical Christmas gifts you like to get.
- Budget-friendly Christmas gift ideas.
- Cheap stocking stuffer ideas.
- Christmas shopping tips on Rebecca Regnier’s Full Plate Show.
- Christmas stocking stuffer ideas from Babbling Brook.
- Frugal Christmas gift: tree ornaments.
- Gift ideas from the grocery store.
- How to hide the candy before the holiday.
- How to outsmart the Christmas snoops.
- Ideas for Christmas gifts under $20 (this is one of the most linked to / most read Christmas pieces in my archives).
- Is it OK to ask for cash at Christmas?
- Practical gifts to give a disaster prepper for Christmas.
- Prep Happy presents 12 Super-Sneaky Prepper Gifts for Non Preppers.
- Think more like Mrs. Claus, less like Santa, on your wish list.
- What about budget-friendly toys and gifts for “big kids”?
- What did you get for Christmas? Be happy about it!
- When grocery store sales inspire holiday gifts.
- When it’s not worth waiting for clearance prices at the stores.
- When the kids want licensed character products.
- Why give gift cards? People like them!
Greeting cards, wrapping paper and bows
- Christmas greeting cards are treasured. (This was my Christmas Eve newspaper column in 2013.)
- Got wrapping paper? Got bows? Go find them.
- Handmade card reactions at Dear Abby.
- More about those Christmas cards – what about a phone call instead?
- Sending Christmas cards on a budget.
- Small packages = less wrapping paper.
- Writing Christmas letters during tough times.
- 40 thrifty Christmas ideas.
- A teacher’s tips on making it through the holidays when you’re broke.
- Christmas really isn’t the same from year to year.
- Dealing with the cost of the annual Christmas portrait.
- Definition of “free” holiday event is kind of fuzzy.
- Do one thing with that Christmas money that will save you money.
- Find the Christmas lyrics at Caroling Corner.
- Frugal tip: rethink your Christmas traditions.
- How to deal with the cost of a family portrait session.
- Start your frugal note file for next Christmas season.
- Stressing out at the holidays.
- When librarians get ideas for frugal Christmas projects (video included)
- You can pick which holiday traditions to spend money on.
This is my Christmas morning table setting. It looks expensive, but really is not. The tablecloth was hand stitched by my grandmother more than 25 years ago. The dishes were purchased by me or by my mother over several years, a couple of pieces at a time. The flatware was not an expensive set, but it was chosen to go with these dishes rather than my everyday dishes.
Updated Dec. 26, 2013.