Xmas 2009 was spent in our "new" rental house, we've not even been here a month yet! Here's how things were -
We hung all our normal decorations through out the house almost immediately.
By Xmas Eve we still hadn't found our 'Twas the Night Before Christmas book. It has been tradition for one kid to read it to the others on Xmas Eve for the past 6 years, we had to skip this year. Just like the traditional Xmas picture hasn't been able to be done for 2008 or 2009. Sometimes when life throws curve balls you can't recover everything. But on Xmas Eve they did get in front of the tree and I was able to snap this picture (I'm not sure why #3 looks so blah, but I told him I'm skinning him if he does it again! LOL!) -
After the above picture was taken we got everything ready for Santa - a cookie from each kid who really believes, a big cold glass of milk (w/ a lid!), enough carrot pieces for all the reindeer (that we grew!), and a Coke just in case he's tired of milk. See -
This year I tried something that I've been wanting to do for years - make fabric bags to wrap gifts in. I hate spending so much money on wrapping paper and it just getting thrown in the trash. I know I could be a little an@l and sit and fold up and save all the wrapping after the kids open their gifts for the next year but do you really think it's feasible? I don't! Plus let's faced it, that takes more work than I would EVER do! LOL!
So with a little help from a re-acquainted school friend's fabric stash (thanks again!!) I was able to make a little more than half the bags necessary this year. I still have fabric to sew up some more cause things just wasn't in place enough for me to sew more than what I did this year. Here's some of the bags -
It's no secret that this year Xmas was a little harder than others to get enough money to get the things we wanted for the kids and each other. Actually last year wasn't easy either (oddly Darkside has worked both years too). But one thing that stood out to me is what #3 said on Xmas morning after all the gifts were unwrapped and the kids were sitting there taking stock of their new things. #3 said, "This is the best Xmas EVER! WAY better than last year! If this is what it's like being a poor Xmas then we need to be poor more." We laughed so hard! It made me feel good for a number of reasons. Don't get me wrong, he was just happy we got a nerf gun LOL! but I understood what he meant.
We was able to pay all our bills - next month is another story because of Darkside's check having 2 short weeks on it (holidays w/no pay). But this year I got to thinking. I always say we're going to cut back on money spent on Xmas and we always spend about the same amount - no more than $400, usually about $300. I realize that most other people spend more than that, but I'm still not comfortable spending that much. So during this next year I'm going to make myself go to the second hand stores and yard sale so I can do Xmas for MUCH less, like $100. (I don't count anything bought before Thanksgiving into my Xmas totals but do count wrapping paper, tape, etc..)
Oh and Santa obviously knew that my kids were great this year and BELIEVERS cause they all got gifts! His choice for the Princess of P0P was NOT called for, thanks so much for making my life hell! He must of thought she was extra good? I didn't see it! He brought her the first Twit-lite book - can you guess how my life has been since? blah! =S