- I held a Toy Swap recently with a handful of lovely humans. You better believe I'm wrapping up some of the new-to-us loot as Christmas presents. The collective left-overs, we donated to families short of supply. Win all-round.
- Haki and I agreed we wouldn't be filling our two stockings with candy and presents this year. We still hung them, however. In a tray nearby there are small cards and a pen so we can write out compliments and tuck them inside our loved one's stocking now and then. We'll be reading the accumulated contents on Christmas day. Esky has also taken to adding notes. It don't cost a thang.
- Haki and I also agreed not to purchase gifts for each other. Usually this means we say that, and we both honour our word, but the problem is...I've already got Haki a gift (I don't purchase him anything after agreeing not to!). That, or I do a design job in return for a gift for Haki. Or make him something (although that's not always for the best). Anyhow, the end result is always the same, Haki looks at me with a defeated, melted expression of, "You did it again!" and I shrug with, "You asked too late" mixed with, "Can I contain all this awesome?" But this year, I've promised with new semantics; "I won't give you anything." In the past week, we have dedicated a very small sum of money to donations for various non-profits and charities instead. Wikipedia deserves our $3, we use it. Heaps. Do you? Pick three more causes and you've only spent twelve bucks! Less than most gifts, but you've accumulated less stuff! And bargain price for contributing to your conscience fund. (And yes, we make substantial donations to our church, already. We think it is still nice to give to a few other specific things we use.)
- One of the decorations you'll see most around our home this year: candy cane garland. Cheap as chips. Cheaper, if someone (sensibly) going off sugar in their family diet gifts you boxes of candy canes.
- Number one way I've saved money this Christmas season? I haven't gone into the enticing stores. The day I made an exception (to get specific supplies for a church activity and a gift I was making), I left with unplanned purchases. Our gifts are all done, and anything left to do will be done with the supermarket shopping or online. Most of our gifts were purchased throughout the year with FlyBuys points (a NZ loyalty programme), by shopping online, or buying at killer prices. Or...acquired free at toy swaps. Yar trix yar.
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