Lessons from a Christmas with No Money

Lessons from a Christmas with No Money

The best Christmas we ever had was the Christmas when we had nothing. A series of events during a difficult year led to that best Christmas. In early April I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A rush of doctor visits, a surgery, and months of recovery led to an extended period of time away from my work. As Thanksgiving approached I was still too weak and sick to return to work. My husband was unexpectedly laid off from his job in July when the company he worked for was sold and operations were moved out of the country. We had worked and saved for years, so we were not hurting. But as the months passed with our situation stagnant withRead more

Five Ways to Save Money on Christmas in August

Five Ways to Save Money on Christmas in August

Not many have Christmas yet on their mind as the calendar turns to August. But this is actually a great time of year to save money items you purchase to either use or gift at Christmas. Here is what’s cheap in the dog days of summer: 1. Purchase travel – Planning a Christmas getaway? Buy those tickets now, especially for airfare – they won’t get any cheaper between now and Thanksgiving. Hotel accommodations won’t necessarily be cheap but they will be less expensive now than they will be later – and reservations now will at least you ensure you get the accommodations you want. Shop around. So many are traveling right now that bookings for December are especially plentiful andRead more

Christmas Where Less is More

Christmas Where Less is More

By Maxine H. Goble Exclusive to My Merry Christmas.com When it comes to Christmas we have evolved as a family. I grew up in a family where Christmas was a grand tradition. Life on a Wisconsin farm meant that money was always tight and Christmas was a means of getting necessities that doubled as gifts. We got new socks, new jeans and sometimes even new boots at Christmas and those all paid dividends when it came to work. We were thrilled to get them, too. The new stuff at Christmas, while short on surprise, was always welcomed. Fast forward the clock to my children and it is a different world. They live in suburbia with nary a farm in sight.Read more

Ideas for Frugal Gift Giving

Ideas for Frugal Gift Giving

By B. Francis Morlan “The year was 1931, I was 7 years old and I had the best Christmas,” Charles Barsdale says. As he nears age 87, his wide open grey eyes appear to twikle. The memory touches him deeply. “My father walked me to the store and spent fifteen cents on my Christmas present.” The sparkle in his eye turns to a tear. His nose turns read and he stops for just a second, pulling a neatly folded hankerchief from a pocket to wipe his eyes. “He bought me a new wheel for my old wagon,” Charles said. “That was all he could do.” Charles then explained the real gift of that Christmas. “I recall walking home and itRead more

The Delicate Art of Regifting

The Delicate Art of Regifting

By Andrew Wilkins Christmas might be a season of goodwill and peace on earth but it is not without its controversies. Real versus artificial trees, opening presents on Christmas Eve versus Christmas morning or Santa versus No Santa are nothing to debate compared to the practice of regifting. Simply put, there are no greater minefields at Christmas than those presented by regifting. What is regifting? Regifting is the giving of an item that was originally given to you…as a gift. On the surface, it would seem the camp that calls this practice tacky and ill-advised has a point. After all, a gift is supposed to be from the heart and how can one turn that away? But, then again, ifRead more

Themed Christmas Gift Giving

Themed Christmas Gift Giving

By Shirley Van Otten We have always given gifts as a family. When I was a kid my parents would take us out one night each year to Woolworths to do all of our Christmas shopping. There were four of us kids and Dad would take two and Mom would take two and we’d roam the store and swear each other to secrecy as we would scheme to spend about three dollars total each Christmas. Those were the days! We continued our gift giving all through high school and even through college and the years we moved away. I came to really look forward to the Christmas package if only because I loved that moment of opening the box andRead more

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