Holidays on a Budget: Part 1

I’ll admit, I’m not an expert on this one…yet. This will be the first Christmas my husband and I have as a new family. Due to the fact that he and I do not communicate with his mother or grandmother (if you have questions, read here), and since they usually host Christmas dinner for the family, we will not be spending this Christmas with them. My family lives almost 5 hours away and since my husband is in public service (he’s a police officer), getting Christmas off is never an option and that makes the 5 hour drive to visit my parents…well…impossible.

This is my chance to make the holidays as special as I possibly can for my wonderful husband. I had dreamed of having a huge Christmas tree since we first bought our house. 10 foot ceilings bring out the decorator in me. Mind you, the decorator in me is a small, malnourished, pale little child…but I digress. We went Christmas tree shopping and found that, unfortunately, big trees are…well…overpriced and expensive. We need to have a fake one because both hubby and I have allergies, and the big fake trees were something like $300 or more. So, perhaps sticking with a more reasonable sized one will fit better into our budget.

Decorations are something else we will need to consider. I have thought greatly about picking up some felt by the yard (yes, you can get it by the yard at some stores!) and using a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, string them on some ribbon, and use that as a garland. I know that buying the stuff to make garlands is expensive and that buying a pine garland from somewhere would probably save us some money. Probably, but since hubby and I have allergies, we need to keep everything as “washer friendly” as possible, which means that if I can’t toss it in the washer or hand wash it–it’s not going on my wall.

Christmas dinner will be a beef roast. I purchased two several weeks ago for about $1.70 per pound (it was the “super special of the week” and were gone by the time I went back for more) and tossed them into the freezer. I will cook one of them for Christmas dinner and use the leftovers for dinner the next night.

A tradition that my husband and I have decided we want to institute is to use some of the money we save to make food for other service-oriented personnel that have to be away from their families on Christmas as well. We live down the street from an ambulance corps and they are fully staffed 24/7. We will probably cook them something comforting that can feed an army (like lasagna) and take it over so they have a home-cooked meal on Christmas. I think that helping others will help us feel less depressed that hubby can’t be home.

I want our home to be festive, but not break our budget. Any other ideas I dream up will be posted as well. If you have ideas, feel free to comment them here and I will be happy to respond.

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One Response to Holidays on a Budget: Part 1

  1. Jennifer Rotblatt says:

    When something that is such an amazing price is all gone I highly recommend getting a rain check. They don’t usually expire quickly so you can just bring it in and get the sale price when you’re freezer/fridge/pantry is getting low!

    As far as Christmas on a budget goes, Hart and I solved it by celebrating Chanukkah almost exclusively and only doing Christmas in regards to gifts and phone calls to family. And when we were in CT hosting Christmas dinner so we could control the menu 🙂

    But, more realistically for you, why not do the popcorn garland? Popcorn isn’t expensive and you don’t have children/animals to eat it on you. You guys aren’t allergic to popcorn, are you?

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