Away with the Original Christmas plans

via Daily Prompt: Original

I have been a mother for twenty years and come Christmas I always loathe myself. Why? I overspend on crap that the kids play with for two weeks and when I get sick of their rooms looking like a hoarders paradise…its a fight to get rid of said toy. As they hit 10 years old they seem to not think anything is cool.

If it were not for the excitement of Christmas for the little ones, I would just be done with it all. I hate the greed and impatience that the holiday season brings. I hate that companies create commercials “Be a cool parent and get your child a ……. phone.” I dont want to buy my child a phone! My child is a child! My child has no job to pay the bill! My child is still nieve! No… but thanks for making me ruin Christmas because my child wants that phone.

Last year was my first Christmas with my Husband. I wanted it to be special and it was but stressful. We had the tree full by Christmas Eve. When Santa arrived we had more stuff lined up across our living room. Stockings were on the couch. Four trash bags of just paper. We go to his parents and lugged two trunks full of stuff home.

I don’t want to this year! I would rather spend the money on crafts and making memories with the kids than buying crap and that’s what I’m going to do!

Crafts-

Rehab vintage lights – I love going to auctions and recently got a dozen vintage lights. Jaden is going to LOVE this project.

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Terra Cotta Apple for teacher gift

DIY gift bags using wrapping paper

This is going to be the list we stick to!

7 gift rule for Children

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We have dessert duty for Christmas dinner-

Christmas cookies using Funfetti cake mix –

Beerbutter fudge

Candy cane fudge

Lumps of coal – these are actually a gift for my 3 yr old nephew. He is a bit spoiled and keeps getting told he’s getting coal from Santa.

Gifts for the rest of the list-

Slipper ideas

Open Bar – My Husband likes to drink the hard stuff sometimes but I rarely allow it. He will love this

Cash – My Tween nephew is going to have a fit. I think instead of a fry box we will use a 10 piece nugget box and tape change to the bottom for weight. “Sorry man, this all we could afford…we didn’t know what kinda sauce to get you.”

With all of these ideas, I still need more! We do not shop for the adults except for our parents and my sister in-law (hers is from the kids because she baby-sits.) My mom is easy.. something smelly good and done. His parents are AMAZING to us, they deserve something really special this year.

 

 

 

Waste not want not

I’m still in the beginning of this journey and have already realize the saying is true for time and money…”Waste not want not.” My most important tip is to not waste time by starting a routine. Before I was just waking up, stumbling around and being completely random until I got my coffee. This was not working for me or my family. The kids were impatient not knowing who was next in the chain of events and I was not getting to see my hubby before he left for work. This also carried out all day. No one was happy.

Our routine has everyone happy and you can see it in the 3 year old’s behavior. I get up and start my coffee (I love my Kurig.) Baby gets a bottle while her brother gets dressed for the day. He gets fed and then she gets changed and dressed. Then it’s time to grab my coffee and discuss the day’s plans with hubby until he leaves for work. Once he leaves there’s one on one time with the kids and then the household or work schedule begins (will get back to this once I’ve made some tweaks.)

Do we sometimes stray from this routine? Yes, no routine is perfect for everyday. We have my 8 year old bonus child Thursday night to Sunday night. Not only does this change our routine line up because she has to get ready for school but she is still adjusting to the changes that have happened in each household lately. Then there’s illnesses, appointments, etc. The great news is if you work your routine consistantly you complete the tasks a little faster and you don’t feel as rushed if you have early appointments or have a stubborn child.

Below are some more tips –

-Time and sanity –

  1. .Organize your errands with Tote bags – My husband loathes my collection of totes but they all have a purpose. We have a bag that holds the portable DVD player and cords so it’s ready for road trips. I have a bag that just keeps library books so they are not scattered throughout the house. I have my shopping bag that holds my coupon binder and any returns. My Pink Zebra bag stocked with my business stuff. An errands bag, a diaper bag…a bag for the 3 year old when we are running and he needs occupied. I don’t even know how many I have but I would rather not be digging through a bag while in the car when I can just grab the right bag and go. I find the bags cheap at the local thrift store.
  2.    After the kids go to bed plan tomorrow and write out bills. This gives you more kiddo time and a things are a lot easier to calculate when you are not “needed” every five minutes.
  3. Schedule a lazy day – Sunday is our lazy day. This is leftover day – I might cook breakfast but that’s it. The fridge needs cleared out to make room for the next week’s groceries and leftovers. Unless there is a sick one in the house or boredom sets in, I do not touch laundry. If we do anything (clean yard, clean out cars, etc) it’s a team effort so we can get to chilling as a family. We do not talk business or bills. We will occasionally tackle small tasks like prep work.

-Kitchen-

  1. How much coffee do you actually drink? Unless my love drinks coffee there is no need for a full pot. Some days I drink a cup sometimes three. It makes more sense to me to use my Kurig when he doesn’t wake up to start a pot and I love my variety anyway.
  2. Prep onions ahead of time. We never use a full onion. We have a bunch of those tiny storage containers that are really too small for anything… not anymore. When chopping an onion for a meal, I chop the entire onion and put the other half in the freezer. I actually bought an entire bag yesterday and will be chopping them today. They do not have to be thawed and you can dump them in as you need them. This saves time because you can chop them when you have free time instead of in a rush and money because you do not have them sitting and going to waste.
  3. Do an organized clean! Start in the fridge.. if today is not “clean the fridge day” you can still check if tea/kool-aid needs made. Does anything need prepped or marinated? Are all of the dirty dishes in the kitchen? Then start dishes this way if anything needs soaked you can let them as you do other tasks in the kitchen. Wipe down appliances, cabinet doors, etc. Pick a cabinet or drawer to purge/organize. Finish the dishes. Wipe down counters. Take out trash. Sweep and finish up with a mop.

Money

  1. Use that library card! Not only can you check out books and movies there are many events you can get your child involved it! Summer reading programs are great. My library has a toddler program once a week the entire year! We have also found flyers that were not posted anywhere else for local events. My bonus child recently got to go to a Rodeo camp for FREE!
  2. Got a cold? Grab the peroxide! Seriously! I tried it and it calmed my symptoms faster than any pill that is likely to make me feel doped up! 5 drops in each ear.. let the peroxide drain and fizzle for a few mins on each side. I had results in minutes!