Frugal Christmas; Only Two Weeks Left

Hope you had a great weekend, mine not so much.  Our boiler went out Friday night after the office closed which left me with no heat. I bundled up Saturday and tried to be positive and tell myself I could make it to Monday morning, but caved when I woke Sunday morning and could see my breath.  Nothing like losing heat when the temperatures are below freezing, by a lot!

Anyway, it’s time for more frugal ideas for Christmas. I have a treat for you too, it seems some of the ideas I’ve shared caught the eye of a couple of readers who then made their own version.

Jen at Winter Owls collected pine cones from her mother and free cedar pieces for her students to create Christmas trees. This is just one of the lovely pine cone trees, you can see the rest here

pine trees

And Sarah made this candy cane wreath, she also make a gingerbread house from scratch, you can get the recipe from her post.


If you have created something this year, feel free to send me a picture and I will include it in next weeks frugal Christmas post.  You don’t have to be a blogger to share.

I participated in the Done by December 1 series again this year, I fell a bit short of reaching my goal due to the number of gifts I was making, but I can say other than adding a few more Barbie outfits I am officially done.  This would be a quick gift to make, yet would be cherished for years.

grandparent gift

:Purposely Frugal shared several quick and easy gifts perfect for anyone on your list from homemade granola to gifts children will appreciate.

Do you have small leftover pieces of candles?  You can melt them down to create lovely ornaments that would also be nice gift tags.  Frugal Hacks shares how to do this and how you can add more scent if you want yours scented.  Isn’t this cute?


Johnna is back again with her Christmas Crafting Calendar.  Johanna amazes me with 4 little ones, that each year she sets up a craft a day for her children to decorate the home or to make as gifts.  I am directing you to her home page, where you can click on the link at the top for the Christmas Crafting Calendar where you can select either last year’s projects or this years. These are easy and inexpensive, best of all they will keep the little ones occupied and involved in the joy of giving. Here is one of this years projects an evergreen door mat

door mat

Looking for a food gift?  Why not give these hot chocolate balls. When dropped in warm milk they melt and create a delicious cup of hot cocoa.  Recipe can be found on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.


I love the photography on Joy’s blog, now you can own a piece as she is selling her favorite photos from Joyfully Green. This one would probably be my favorite, at least at the moment.

open door

Stacy of Down to Earth Digs has opened an etsy store where she is selling her heirloom (yes organic) seeds from the garden.  You still have time to order a couple of packets for Christmas for the gardener on your list, or yourself. I wont’ tell. :-)  Look at these gorgeous tomatoes she grew.

tomato seeds

For us winter and Christmas go together and one thing my boys needed all winter was a natural chap stick.  The problem was keeping them from misplacing  them.  Their stockings would have several in them to hold them over till spring.  This would have been great, although I would have had to change out the flower.  Complete tutorial is here.


Jewelry can be expensive, but not if you make it from paper.  Just a piece of decorative or scrapbooking paper and some modge podge will make a super fast necklace.

paper necklace

Okay so you are probably close to being done with gifts. But what about food?  Here are a few simple ideas for your guests.  If you have over night guests, like I do, this yogurt bar would be so easy to set out for breakfast.

yogurt bar

One secret I have to making a meal for guests is to use the crock pot as that way I only have one  pan to clean. I can see myself making this crock pot hot chocolate, substituting almond milk, for Christmas eve when guests arrive. It would stay the perfect temperature in the slow cooker.

crock  pot hot cocoa

And how cute is this to set out for a festive touch to the table?  You can get more appetizer ideas here.


I’ll be back next Monday with more ideas to finish up your Christmas, including inexpensive ways to wrap your gifts.

Are you ready for Christmas?

23 thoughts on “Frugal Christmas; Only Two Weeks Left

  1. Love some of these ideas Lois, and the veggie Christmas tree great idea with dips, my daughter would love this idea as she eats lots of raw like you… am I ready for Christmas? I have a third to go and that is being done tomorrow and I am not coming home until I have everyone left on my list catered for LOL… :-) xxx

    • I loved that veggies tray. Such a nice way to add a bit of a decorative touch without adding more decorations around. We eat a lot of raw veggies. When my youngest was still at home and dating his future wife, he knew what day I went to the outdoor market for my fresh organic produce and shared that knowledge early on with her. I would no more than get everything cut and packaged for the fridge when they would arrive to sit down and munch away. She looked forward to raiding my fridge as her mother never bought fresh produce and fed her family on junk foods (lots of snack stuff) and processed meals.

      Good luck with your shopping, I hope it doesn’t take you all day in the stores as that would be a horrible day for me.

      • Lol to the fridge raids ;-)
        If it took me all day that too would be a Horrendous day Lois, I can not stand all the pushing and shoving many do these days in the stores which become crowded.. :-)

          • hahaha! wish my Son would eat more raw foods, He was brought up to eat well, but they buy ready meals and take-a-ways, That is why I am trying to teach my Granddaughter at 3 healthy eating habits :-)

          • My son does eat out a time or two each week, he just likes the atmosphere of restaurants, which I don’t get. Vegetables aren’t big with my oldest but fruit is something both boys loved. When they were teens it was so bad that when I came home with the groceries I had to split the fruit evenly and gave each boy a shelf of their own to avoid hearing that one ate too many peaches or whatever the fruit that was gone first was. They had their favorites so once I was finished they would then sit in the kitchen and bargain for extras of their favorites. It was funny but at least they came together and it wasn’t fighting over the food… and at least it was fresh food they preferred. :-)

          • I wish fruit was on his menu list LOL, yet he always ate it when at home.. I worry as already the little one is saying I dont like this or that.. because she heres her Mum say it as she hardly eats any veggies or fruit as she doesn’t like them .. I know I have my work cut out in keeping things balanced, but the allotments are a big hit and she eats everything we put in front of her veggie wise …So fingers crossed x

          • I too worry about a couple of my grandchildren. They enjoy coming over here and trying new things but at home it’s limited. Right now with my son out of work money is so tight that they are eating a lot of processed foods which saddens me. I try to help them with the groceries, but I can’t afford to properly feed 4 people each month. My grandson is the pickiest of the bunch, but shocks me with what he will eat. He refuses most vegetable and fruit but loves oatmeal and gave my split pea soup a try and loved it. Go figure.

          • I got my little one drinking beetroot juice we had juiced with apple juice… and I told her ( naughty I know first time around it was Raspberry juice…) next time she asked for some of that juice i said it was beetroot juice.. Her Mom doesnt like beetroots you see, or tomatoes . And was just repeating what she’d heard.. She drank a good lot.. :-) I also gave her some home made mushroom soup, didnt tell her what was in it.. she loved it.. but she says doesn’t like them…. We have to be crafty sometimes :-)

          • Yes, we do have to be crafty in how we get the little ones to try new foods. The gardens will help you in getting her to try new foods as well. As my grand kids got older I worried about them deciding they didn’t like certain foods, but they wanted to try everything they grew which was a relief.

            My daughter0in-law wanted to try giving the littlest one cucumbers. She sliced them and put them on a plate. When little one asked what it was she was told it was “like a chip: Little one took a bite, replied, “not a chip” but then continued to eat it.

  2. Hi Lois! BE CAREFUL! I hope you got yourself some heat and have defrosted by now. And what a lot of great ideas you have here. Thom and I went out into the desert and found us a lovely but strange tumble weed–brought it home and spray painted it silver and then put a small number of lime green christmas balls and a small garland on it–and wa-la! It’s our tree. I’d post a photo but it looks much better in person than in a photo. It is so much more fun to make your own tree and we haven’t had a “traditional” tree in years. So keep spreading those idea of how to do it differently! ~Kathy

    • Kathy, I am fully thawed out now. I was bad and turned the heat up a few extra degrees from what I normally keep the thermostat at to get the chill out of my bones and warm my muscles back up as they don’t cooperate with me when they are cold.

      I love the idea of a tumbleweed tree, although I like tumbleweeds. I have a funny story about one. My sister, who had never left Pa came to visit us in Arizona. One day while driving a tumbleweed came our direction. As you know they can be unpredictable in their path and don’t cause damage if they hit the car so I didn’t bother to try to get out of its path. My sister, never seeing one before freaked! She had herself braced by both hands in her seat and was screaming at me that we were going to have an accident. My son was trying to tell her to calm down but she couldn’t hear anything. It did hit the car at which time she sat in stunned silence because we weren’t harmed. Once our ears were done ringing and we’d explained what a tumbleweed was my son and I laughed for days about her reaction.

      I have made a tree this year which I will show as soon as I get it up and decorated. I too no longer bother with a traditional tree. A real one makes me sad to know it was cut, I can’t move around one with a root bulb and an artificial, well I dislike them plus they take up storage space I really don’t have.

  3. Love the chocolate balls for hot chocolate and the lovely photo of the arched doorway. Truly, only 2 weeks till Christmas? I just can’t get my head into Christmas spirit this year and my feet are dragging accordingly, honestly I really will have to get myself a boot in the behind!!

    • I know, it’s hard to believe Christmas is almost here. I’m looking forward to having my family together at some point over the holidays but in some ways I just want it to be over. I hope you find your Christmas spirit by then.

      And yes, I think those chocolate balls look delicious. Need to get to the store for the last few ingredients I need so I can make them.

  4. Lois! What a wonderful surprise to see that you included my photography link in your gift list–thank you so much! I feel honored. I hope you’ve got your heat back or have sought shelter someplace warmer…? I can completely relate–after Hurricane Sandy, we were without power for 10 days and we were all wearing winter hats to bed and piling under about 10 blankets each. We gave up trying to tough it out on the 4th night and went to a friend’s house. NOT FUN to be cold!

    • Joy you are very welcome. This week I wanted to share idea and gifts from bloggers I have known a while so it was the perfect time to include your photography.

      Yes, I got my heat back on. I finally called maintenance Sunday morning and he came right over. The boiler was out so it took a bit to heat up the water and restore heat but I’m happier today to have a warm place again. I am fortunate in that I only have one exterior wall so it didn’t fall as cold as it could have. The apartments upstairs with more windows and walls exposed were in worse shape. I don’t know if I could have handled 4 days of no power when Sandy came ashore, it was pretty cold then Glad you gave in and found shelter.

  5. I love the Christmas tree of vegies, even if they aren’t my favourites, it’s a cool presentation. I must look into those hot choc recipes, even though it’s warm here, who can say no? And not that I need more Christmas Craft but I’ll be checking out the calendar!

    Thanks once again for the link!

    • Sarah, I loved those hot chocolate balls, they can be frozen and pulled out when needed so it would make a lovely gift, or for you. Loved your gingerbread house, I have given up on making any.

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