Stressed out about the cost of Christmas?

Stressed out about the cost of Christmas?

Anyone else already stressing out about the cost of Christmas? Need a place to rant, whine and share tips? I hate how the holidays always come at the end of the semester, and there's always some sort of emergency that eats into our christmas fund so we're always short of money over the holidays. Plus, having a family of three all with birthdays between November 21 and December 21 just DOES NOT help! We're trying to keep expectations and expenses reasonable, and the focus on the spiritual and communual aspects rather than the commerical ones, but just the basics seem to add up so damn fast. This year, we're cutting out Christmas Cards, which sucks because we have a one year old and everyone in the family wants and expects the yearly santa shot... but even with taking it ourselves, printing them at the discount store, and postage it's too much. :( I'm gonna catch so much crap for that... We're going for a small faux tree this year because it's cheaper than a real one ($10ish, unless freecycle comes through v. $40) and probably safer -- doesn't burn down as easily and won't let the kidlet re-inact the great flood if he knocks it over. We have ornaments, lights and a resusable advent calender, although we do have to get candles. I hope the Dollar Store has purple! I'm making gifts for my Sis, Mom, and Mother In Law with jewelry making bits that we have left over in our house, but I'll still have to get some findings and bits to fill in 3 sets of earrings and 3 necklaces, but at least that will be hopefully almost free. We have to buy something for FIL but he's got some cheap stuff on his list, and everyone wants wedding/baby pics, so those are cheap. I have no idea what to get my son, but hell... he's ONE. He's really not going to notice if he gets a couple of books and a used toy, so long as I use pretty wraping. The husband and I are forgoing birthday presents, but I'm getting him a nice print of the blessing read for us at our wedding -- laser printing the coloured border, inking in some gold swirls into the design and calligraphing the wording. I seriously have NO IDEA how people who aren't crafty survive christmas on a budget. I'm seriously contemplating instituting a new family holiday -- I think we should take up celebrating Midsummer with a tree and good food and small presents, and shift some of the gifty orgy around the year and make christmas a little less all-or-nothing than it is now. Plus, so long as we don't tell the rest of the family, there would be no pressure to travel or buy expensive gifts for them.
My roooommm

My roooommm

Flowers at last!

Flowers at last!

Plant ID

Plant ID

Floor Plan Help!

Floor Plan Help!

Another new person!

Another new person!

Help! Sawfly caterpillars are destroying my hollyhocks >:(

Help! Sawfly caterpillars are destroying my hollyhocks >:(