Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Decorations and Deals

Couple of quick Christmas deals going on right now:

1. BeingFrugal alerted me to the fact that Amazon is doing a free MP3 download of Christmas tunes! Not all of them were to my taste, but I picked up a few to add to my Christmas playlist. (The Amazon MP3 downloader is pretty easy to use, by the way.)

2. I found a great article over on pfbuzz on 50 Frugal Gifts You Can Give This Christmas. There are a lot of fun ideas in there! What I liked about this article is that the ideas are based around the individual. Mom always said that it was the thought that counted, and these could be really thoughtful - and frugal!

In other Christmas-y frugality, I made a decision this year to go through all my Christmas decorations and either put them up, or get rid of them by donating them to a charity. There will be no more storing of items that I am not going to use! I put together a bag of things (mostly items that were given as Secret Santa gifts and the like) that are going to the mission this week. I will say my house is totally decked out in Christmas because of this - there are decorations all through the house! It makes me happy though, and why not? I didn't buy anything new so all that it cost me was the time to put them up.

The only thing I saved that I didn't put up was a big Christmas tree candle holder I have. It is silver and it has a dozen cobalt blue cups to hold tealights. I love it, but the silver tarnishes so badly that even if I spend time with polish, it looks dull quite quickly. This is not an expensive item (I think I bought it at Hallmark years ago) but I really like it. I noticed that I have a can of Rustoleum hammered metal spray paint (I LOVE this stuff) in my basement, so this spring I think I will do a little custom paintjob on it and make it usuable again.

One of my favorite things about holiday decorations is Christmas lights. I absolutely love pulling up in the driveway and seeing my Christmas tree all lit up. I have it on a timer so it clicks on just before I get home. There is something about seeing those lights that always makes me smile.

One thing I am not crazy about, however, is seeing ice on the driveway. My mother (bless her heart) bought me snowplowing for the winter as a Christmas gift. It is fabulous! Sometime in the night he drives over, and by the morning snow is "magically" removed from my driveway. However, it isn't a cure-all. For one thing, it obviously doesn't get walks and steps, so I've been keeping that up. It hasn't been too much of a problem, and my neighbor even did the walks one day so that was nice. But the snowplow guy also can't do my entire driveway. I have a really tight "L" turn at the top where there is a turn around. It is hard sometimes to get my little buggy around that corner - it is impossible for the big plow. So, he does a Y shape, getting the driveway and the area in front of the garage. As I said, it has been wonderful, but with the melting and freezing we had yesterday, my drive where he had plowed the night before was a sheet of ice. I carefully salted it, but still managed to take a tumble last night. I'm fine, just a little scraped knee, but I will be getting to the hardware store this weekend for more salt.

My Christmas shopping is nearing to a close but I have a few little items still on my list - I think I'll see if I can knock a few of those off on my lunch hour.

Photo by: DoubleGrande


Peter said...

Thanks for linking to my 50 frugal ideas post!

Dawn said...

You are most welcome!

J. Money said...

sweetness! i'm totally gonna download some of those tunes ;)

Dawn said...

Enjoy J!