Christmas recap

Katy over at the Non-Consumer Advocate asks, "What did you give? What did you get?" as part of her Christmas wrap-up. Seemed like a good way to recap things so I'll see if I can line it out here. (I'm sure I've left things off this list. I'm running off the top of my head which is rarely a good idea.)

- bike repair stand - (paid for using an Amazon.com gift card that I earned by cashing in all of our spare change)
- stocking stuffers

The Girl:
- Legos
- assorted art supplies
- watch
- books
- recurve bow
- Christmas eve jammies
- stocking stuffers

The Boy:
- Legos
- Nerf gun (I knew I had forgotten something!)
- books
- watch
- Christmas eve jammies
- stocking stuffers

My mom:
- homemade apple pumpkin butter
- chocolate covered cherries
- gift card
- Camaro/Bumblebee transformer (in all fairness, she bought this from us several months ago and I just now got around to mailing it to her...I'm a slacker...)

- homemade body scrub
- necklace
- hand-blown glass earrings
- handmade coasters
- Christmas ornament from the local archaeological society
- Macy's gift card
- stocking stuffers

- antique corkscrew
- antique transistor radio
- gift card
- stocking stuffers

Local friends:
- homemade gingersnaps
- homemade body scrubs

The bulk of the kids' gifts came from Amazon.com, thanks to the gift cards I had purchased as part of my budget throughout the year as well as the gift cards I've earned through SwagBucks.com. All told, the only thing that went on a credit card was the recurve bow but I had already 'pre-paid' my credit card to accommodate the charge using money I had set aside as part of my Christmas budget earlier in the year.

As for what I received :
- shotgun
- Sur la Table baker
- mosaic plate from Jerusalem
- SBUX gift card (!)
- beaded bracelet (that matches PERFECTLY with a washer necklace my son made for me the week before Christmas...it's like he and my MIL coordinated)
- two Tupperware colanders (there's a story behind those that is forthcoming)
- glass sea star/paperweight
- mason jar with Hawaii beach sand and shells in water
- a delicious pecan pie
- lots of homemade goodies

All in all, it was a great Christmas though it would have been better had the majority of our family not been scattered all over the country and the world. Such is the lament of a military family.We were blessed this Christmas that MacGyver's parents were able to visit and that both my mom and my brother were able to come for visits throughout the year. I am also grateful that we were able to give our children not only what they needed for the holidays but also some of what they wanted while staying UNDER budget and OFF the credit cards.

More importantly, I am grateful that we had room in our budget to be able to bless others this holiday season and I am grateful that my children get more excited about shopping for others - even people they don't know - than they do making up their wish lists. Our church offers several opportunities to share our blessings with others - via an 'angel tree' of sorts (for a local children's foster care program) and gift baskets (literally, laundry baskets that you can take and fill with household items and holiday goodies) for people in the area that need some help. And we were able to set aside some of our budget to drop in the Salvation Army buckets and to tithe a little extra this holiday season. It's great to see my children really take to heart the joys of giving to others over receiving themselves.

Now it's time to start planning for NEXT Christmas! What did *you* get this year?


- hfs

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