After Christmas Frugal Tips

Post Christmas shopping is a great way to do some frugal planning.  Here are a few tips to consider before you shop:1.  Wrapping paper.  Try to get wrapping paper in a solid color such as red or gold.  That way, it can be used year round for whatever you need to wrap!2.  Bows.  Instead of just seasonal colors, try to find bags of assorted colors.  Again, you can use them all year!...more

The Gift of Magic

Dear Santa,Rumor has it that you're magic. Being a rather magical person myself, I'll buy it. I'm not going to bring my kids to sit on your lap, though, because I'm going to keep all that lap-sitting to myself and I'm trying to teach them boundaries with strangers. Because seriously, if it were any other time of year, would parents line up for hours and pay for their kids to sit on a random sweaty man's lap? I think the kids who scream demonstrate a remarkable amount of sense for their young years. But I digress. ...more

The Gift of Full Frontal Nudity

My own housein precious preschool hours.Space for silence...for shaving...for solitude. For warm,scented spray,unsullied bysudden movementof tiny bowels. Stepping outForgot my underwearAll aloneNo matter. Picture window.Broad daylight.Merry Christmas,Mr. UPS Man. Originally published on Periphery, December 20, 2011....more
LOL! I may have done to a neighbor once...more

The Gift of Time

It seems there are some of us who never have enough. Begging for extra hours in the day, complaining that we can't cram our plans into the allotted space. We all get the same allotment, but somehow, some have more of it than others. Some people have too much time on their hands. Too many hours to fill with something besides ghosts of things lost, people past. The clocks that some of us glance at in our haste to make it to the next item on our list of things to do, sit and quietly mock them as the moments tick-tick by in a muddy interminable procession. ...more

All I Want for Christmas Is for You to Give My Kid a Decent Gift

Dear Mouthy Housewives,My kids are young and not always so tactful when it comes to receiving gifts. For instance, for his birthday, my four year-old was really disappointed to open a present and find a football instead of something battery operated. He expressed this disappointment in front of the gift-giver, and it was a little embarrassing. I don't expect my four year-old to yet understand the social graces of forced smiles and excitement, but how do I handle these types of situations in the future? Christmas is coming and I'm a little nervous....more
My nephew is TERRIBLE at it, and my mom is notorious for giving less than enjoyable gifts... but ...more

The Anti-Stuff Holiday Gift: My Son Reacts

It was a very risky idea, given how much he wanted Beats headphones ($200 headphones for a kid?) and a Wii.  But this past week I gave my tween-age son his holiday present, choosing to surprise him with the gift of an experience over a thing.Here's what came out of his 5-day art class (and I've got the pictures to prove it!)... ...more

Preparing Holiday Cookies for Gifting

You take special care while preparing the perfect batches of holiday cookies, so why shouldn't you do the same when packaging them to share with friends and family? Here are some tips on creating fun cookie gift presentation. ...more

Bet You Can't Guess What It Is

Lots of people have top ten lists of presents to buy.  The presents I bought are alright, but the wrapping jobs I did are even better.  Here in no particular order are ten that have appeared in recent years under my tree....more
@Jane Miller I was thinking of giving him a box of pasta to unwrap! That would be really cruel...more

Reusing Holiday Cards and Paper

For a church activity this week I was asked to teach how to use old Christmas cards to make a fan... but I I didn't love it, so I googled for other recycling ideas of old Christmas cards and compiled a great list that I would like to share with everyone, because recycling and reusing items is both frugal and a great way to beautify your home for free or cheap!...more
@magpie Sorry! Yes, I did! I guess I thought it was just too obvious, but it is also one of ...more

Gifts

Hello to all!  Today I sit happily at my computer unencumbered with studies or other obligations.  It is such a nice feeling to be finished with school for a while, surviving yet another week of finals.  Bittersweet too.  I will most likely work with other classmates, new teachers, and many of the friends I’ve made so far are heading home if they’re not already on their way.  I wonder if we’ll meet again.  Each little passing of time is magnified here as I acknowledge its brief window in my life.  And I am thankful.  Bon voyage mes amies!...more