Christmas Gift Ideas and Traditions

Cost cutting stocking stuffers

Shop the Walmart after-Christmas sale for bath products, small toys, and Christmas-themed items. Save for following Christmas.

Target $1 or the Dollar Store are also good, but be aware of small pieces, lead paint, and choking hazards. Dollar Store has good selection of tiny puzzles — great for stockings.

I place the following items in the stocking: M&M filled train or candy dispenser, Pez, small notebook/book/pencils, puzzle, small game. I make sure each child has exactly the same number of items. I don’t wrap gifts in the stocking. The stockings are always lying on the coffee table as our stocking holders are not sturdy and would fall off the mantle shelf if I hung the filled stockings. Note: My younger kids don’t read my blog, so will think stocking comes from Santa!

Less expensive toys

Purchase Prime shipping. Before purchasing any toy, I check amazon Prime items, then purchase. I save alot of $$ by shopping amazon Prime. Free shipping!!

I purchase gifts throughout the year for my kids who are 10-and-under. Once the preteen/teen years hit, my children do not decide on what they wante until late November. Younger kids like themed items. I stockpiled Thomas engines from Toys R Us sales, Diego items, Barbies, American Girl accessories purchased on clearance from AG, and Bob the Builder.

Books, books, and more books — Our schools have a fall Book Fair. I let the children chose 2-4 books. I save one for Christmas. Sometimes not cheap, but proceeds go back to school. This year my son chose a book/play set called Lego Brickmasters Castle. Puzzle books are also good. Coloring books for little kids with crayons or markers.

Craft kids — Target, Walmart, Toys R Us always have a range of craft kits for $10 or less.

Sets of animals or action figures — Toys R Us have sets of safari, jungle, dinosaurs. My son got a construction vehicle set one year — it was $9 and contained 5 vehicles and accessories.

And of course, the absolute cheapest toy out there is the toy/CD/DVD/game won in a giveaway from a blog! I won a Nintendo DS, which I gave to my son for his birthday. I also won a Flip video camera — not sure which kid is getting it.

Decorations for your home

Nativity scenes — I have 3 children so having three nativity sets helps — we have a Lladro set, which was a wedding present, a Little People set, and a Hallmark set. Each child sets up their own scene. We place Baby Jesus in the manger when we come home on Christmas Eve.

Christmas tree — We use a fake tree. Lights, tinsel, decorations with a Christmas train around the base of the tree.

Christmas village — Years ago, my mother purchased items for the It’s A Wonderful Life village. We set it out each year always on top of a white fabric. I sprinkle fake snow on top of the fabric.

Foods to prepare for your Christmas dinner — I’m English so I “bring to the table” Christmas crackers, sausages wrapped in bacon, bread sauce, Christmas pudding with white sauce, Christmas cake. My husband is American so he brings green bean casserole, stuffing biscuits, sweet potatoe casserole, and pumpkin pie.

Holiday Gift Guide Preview

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