This is the time of year where people seem to go overboard with their spending, and the over commercialization of Christmas doesn't help! I know it's a hard thing to do, not to buy your loved ones EXACTLY what they want for Chrismas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice/Yule, Kwanzaa, or any other Winter Celebration that your beliefs are.
This year...my husband and I did but a few things for gift giving, mostly for our two sons'. I did go and buy my husband a filter for the 50 gallon fish tank that I found at the reuse shed (I tell you...THOSE are NOT cheap! :( ). The rest of tthe family are getting things that I am making, as in baked goods for the guys, and sewn things for the gals. I was downsizing my decorations and realised that I had THREE decorative Christmas cookie jars (which had ONLY ever been used as decorations!), so...there are my containers for the baked goods for the guys!
I'm sure that I have mentioned time and time again about how much I LOVE the reuse/share shed! Well, I am making some reusable bags in red or green, from CLOTHES that I found there! They of course are washed and such BEFORE I use them, but it's FREE fabric! All I have to do is a little reconstruction on them! :)
The only other major expense is the ingredients for my baking, which I had started buying in October, so that it wouldn't hit so hard come Christmas. Things like the expensive little cans of sweetened condensed milk that I use for making fudge (BTW...the recipe is SUPER simple! Go check out the Eagle Brand recipes and you'll see!), or the cans of cocoa that I use to make some cookies and fudge brownies (The fudge brownies are from a cook book I have that is from the author who runs the livingonadime website, you can find the recipe here: http://www.livingonadime.com/fudge-brownies/ ).
I'm not allways this organized, and I STILL have to do all my sewing...by tomorrow night...I'm SUCH a procrastinator! The only thing I AM organized about at Christmas is buying bags, ornaments, and other decorations to give to people the following year. Too bad last year we were too broke for me to even try to do it.. :(
Well, anyways, I hope everyone has a joyous Winter Celebration, no matter your culture/religion! :)