What’s Your Christmas Spirit Level?

Your Christmas Sprit Level: 65%
You have a lot of Christmas spirit, and it’s evident to most people who know you.

You love most things Christmas, and you do your best to make sure everyone has a great holiday.  While you like the more commercial aspects of Christmas, you truly know what the spirit of Christmas is about.
You’re all about giving, being kind, and sharing the spirit of Christmas with everyone you know.



Take the Christmas Spirit Quiz here and find out where your spirit level is at!

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Simple Christmas

DH and I are enjoying a simple Christmas this year. 

After handing out frugal presents and cards to our extended families a few weeks ago at the Thanksgiving celebration we’ve had a very laidback season.   Tonight we are finally putting up a tree with my beloved ornament collection and we already have a pile of presents to go underneath it.  Several presents came from family but DH and I also purchased many presents for one another this year respecting a low spending limit.  We love to drink hot cocoa, put on Christmas music, and setup the tree together one ornament at a time.

We have received a few holiday cards in the mail and have them setup around the kitchen in different places where we can read them over the next few weeks.  I did not send cards to everyone on our list this year.  Last year I sent cards out to an entire mailing list of over 100 people because we had just gotten married.  I spent so much money in cards and stamps at the post office 3 separate times to send cards before the wedding, after the wedding and at the holidays.  Instead, we are trying to slowly reconnect in person over the phone with a few friends we don’t get to talk to often to have meaningful holiday contact.

We’ve been listening to holiday music here and there over the last few weeks and watching a few new Christmas movies each week from our home collection.  We keep those in the closet year round but we took them out at Thanksgiving this year and started in on them then.  We already own 5 or 6 classic holiday movies and we rented a few new ones with our inclusive video store membership.  We also went to see “Four Christmases” at the theater this week ;) 

We rejected 3 holiday party offers this year because we didn’t feel like dressing up and using our few days off each week to do parties.  We did have a small get together with friends a few weeks ago and watched a rental, played video games and ate pizza.  That’s how we felt we wanted to celebrate with those close to us this year.  See that post on cheap entertaining.

We’ll be hanging stockings and exchanging gifts on one night about a week from now but unfortunately we’re both working for the actual holidays.

Here’s to our simple, stressfree Christmas!

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Are you out there Starbucks? It’s me…DINK…

I’ve had several gingersnap lattes this season from Starbucks and I’m feeling very letdown.  Something is very different about them from the gingerbread lattes in years past and they don’t taste right.  They taste very watered down… it’s disappointing.  I’ll be headed back to my sugar free vanilla lattes for the rest of the winter I think.

DH and I had a great time at the theater seeing “Four Christmases” this week.  It’s certainly a funny movie and not as bad as the critics said.  We laughed.  But then, we enjoy Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon and thought they made a really cute couple!


That will be our last theater outing for awhile.  We’ve been to quite a few restaurants, movies, and shopping outings in the past few weeks with relatives and friends visiting from out of town.  Time to settle back into a routine of more of the same old, same old and bring things back to normal… it’s always hard coming back down after a big party!

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The Final Push to $1000

We’re up another $100 this month which we received in cash as Christmas gifts from family unexpectedly.  We’re adding that to our goal to turn our unwanted stuff into $1000 cash and grateful family did not buy things we didn’t need this year.

Cash is always appreciated.  We may also be exchanging some games and gaming equipment for cash this week for an additional couple hundred dollars.  DH is still reluctant to exchange it for cash instead of store credit but I think it’s worth it to take the cash since we still have $100 store credit on the card from other games he exchanged earlier this fall.

We are currently at $400 extra cash made this fall!  We were hoping for $1000 and plan to invest whatever we make in stocks in January!

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Public Service Announcement: Child-free couples and the holidays

Celebrating during the holidays without children is a mixed blessing.  While it’s lovely to enjoy a peaceful, quiet fire and a cup of cocoa alone with the one you love or open more expensive presents (should you choose) than your family-friendly peers, it can also be a very difficult time and a test of strength and patience.


 I find it particularly difficult when the subject of children comes up during the holidays at extended family parties, during worktime with colleagues and clients around, or even among friends or families with children.  Thoughtless comments are made again and again.  I want to shout “Honestly, it’s none of your business.” at people by the end of the day sometimes. 

So please, on behalf of the childfree and childless among you this holiday season:

-Don’t ask couples without children when they’re planning on children or if they’re “planning on children” in the near future

-Don’t ask couples without children “if they’re expecting” because you find someone’s eating habits peculiar

-Don’t nag about how they “haven’t brought home any grandchildren/nieces/nephews yet”… especially while they’re holding a baby during the family dinner

-Along those lines, don’t remark “what wonderful parents they would be” and wink knowingly

And please…

-Don’t assume that they prefer every night to be a quiet, peaceful night alone at home and DO invite them to join in activities without making CHILDREN AND FAMILY the focus of holiday celebrations. 

This can be an isolating time of the year for couples without children.  Assuming you know and understand the circumstances surrounding someone’s child”less”ness can be dangerous and hurtful.  If they’re polite and nonconfrontational, you may not know how offensive your comments were, particularly at this time of the year…



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Which of Santa’s Reindeer Are You?

You Are Cupid

A total romantic, you’re always crushing on a new reindeer.Why You’re Naughty: You’ve caused so much drama, all the reindeers aren’t speaking to each other.Why You’re Nice: You have a knack for playing matchmaker. You even hooked Rudolph up!


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Cheap Entertaining

DH and I had some friends over last night and shared in a bit of frugal “potluck entertainment” with them.


One friend brought a movie.  Another friend brought soda.  Another friend brought chocolate chip cookies.  We provided pizza and festive holiday bottles of grape juice (I couldn’t resist them!).  We talked about our jobs, watched a movie, and then played video games for several hours.  It was a lot of fun and everybody spent less than $10 to come.

Other ideas for cheap entertaining include:

-board game nights with friends

-video gaming nights with friends

-murder mystery nights with friends (we haven’t done this yet but hope to!)

-wine and cheese parties (everyone can bring one of each)

-cookie exchange parties (everyone brings several dozen of their own with recipes and then trades)

-pool parties (not recommended in the winter in cooler climates but usually someone has a pool, in our case it’s us, and it makes for a nice setting to have people over to visit during the summer)

Enjoy your friends without spending a bundle this holiday season!


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