Less is More Christmas Club #2
Friday, November 03, 2006
Start Now...

Start shopping now. Oh, wait, you say, but isn't less is more about... buying less? I said go shopping, not go buying. Window shop. Look around. The stores have all their Christmas goodies out, so take a gander, and see what's popular, thinking carefully how you can recreate the same effect for less.

Spend this week in reflection: what gifts do you want to give your kids? What do they like? What character traits do you want to foster and develop?

Judging from Wal-Mart shelves, candles are big. Scented, embedded, in decorative glasses with swirling painted finishes. They also have a plethora of gift baskets with the usual soap, candle, body lotions, and new this year, incense holders. Take a close look at how things are put together and packaged. Gift baskets are popular, easy, and cheap if you do it right - but the key is to be prepared! Buy up some black baskets at Hobby Lobby this week, when the Halloween stuff is on clearance. Black is classic and elegant - and will make a nice looking gift. More on how to make these at home in another post...
This basket is on the WalMart website for $28.50! It's 5 pillar candles in a basket with a pretty ribbon. I could make it for under $10, or even less if I made my own candles (I've got a super quick, no fail way to do it! Save your candle ends and bits. That's coming soon too!)

Start saving jars now - mayonaisse, spaghetti sauce, jelly. I also start buying coffee in the smaller cans (11 oz. I think) around this time of year. You can bake holiday bread (banana, pumpkin, etc.) right in the can and then it's already packaged for shipping. Save Pringles cans (if you eat them) and other containers as well.

Start Buying Now but only selected items! Don't go crazy! Go get the leftover Halloween candy that's 50-75% off and stash it for stockings. I got a giant bag of Tootsie Rolls for 2.40, and a big bag of Smarties for 1.00. I also got black and orange Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses for $1.00 - the black ones will be potty treats and I'll save the orange ones for the candy bowl at Thanksgiving. I rounded it off with a big bag of Twizzler stuff (all with non-Halloween wrappers) for anouth $2. So, for around $6, I have 8 pounds of candy for stockings. Candy that will not melt into the baby's hair and require me to bathe her on Christmas Morning before Mass!

I also saw that a new product, "Eat Your Own Haunted House", was apparently not a big seller and there were tons left for a dollar. It's essentially a gingerbread house, but they include black frosting glue and ghostie candies. If you are planning to make your own Ginger bread house this season, but are not a baker, it might be worth your while to pick one up. Use the black to outline 'light' strings, sidewalks, or roof shingles. Eat the ghosts.

I did buy some Christmas presents last night. I bought... Halloween costumes. 2 Ninjas, 1 Knight, and 1 Princess. My kids are still little, and they LOVE to dress up. Especially if it involves swords. This is going to be a big hit, and at $5, I couldn't even make the costumes for less money. Dress up clothes are a classic gift that fosters imagination, story telling, cooperative play, and can be done inside on a rainy day or outside on a sunny one.

Tags: Less is More Christmas Club
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 11/03/2006 07:18:00 AM | Permalink | |