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Archive for December, 2005

Holiday Happenings

December 28th, 2005 at 07:37 pm

Its been a while since I've updated here. Even so, today's entry will have to be brief because I still have post-holiday clean-up to deal with.

John and I drove to my parents place for Christmas. It was nice. Saved us a bit of money, too, since we didn't go to Miami to see his family. However, we're keeping a sharp eye on the savings account right now because we know we'll be going to see his father and uncle sometime between now and February 15th.

We spent less than $500 on Christmas, including presents for both families and gas for the trip home. (I think I spent more on gasoline to get around this month than I did on presents. Oye.) Heck, we even saved on shipping because of timing. (John's side of the family is mostly Jewish, so he usually times it so the box of presents gets to each sibling and his dad before the end of Hanukkah.) John's employee discount at Circuit City helped a lot, too. We bought mostly DVD's for my family (as well as each other) and food stuffs for his.

We didn't decorate the house heavily, either. We used a single strand of mini-lights around the only window on the front of the house, five cheap stockings from Target on the wall, and our roommate Brian brought a small rotating fiberoptic Christmas tree from his mother's garage. I went to the dollar store and bought $5 of miniature ornaments along with a $1.50 pack of paper clips to decorate it. (The store was out of the green ornament hooks that blend in with the foliage. But no one seemed to care about the paper clips.) Brian also got a saxaphone-playing Santa figurine and a stuffed musical snowman that we put on the television stand. Last, but certainly not least, our neighbor Jenn gave John and I a live rosemary plant that she decoarted to look like a small Christmas tree, which we also put on the TV stand. All in all, I think we spent maybe $26.50 out of our own money to fill the living room with spirit.

I didn't have to buy any gift wrap this year, either. (Well, not for personal use, anyway. Business-wise is another story.) When I first moved to the Piedmont after college two years ago, I bought a gift-wrap organizer for about $10. Shopping post-holiday sales in 2003 and 2004 saved me money this year. A six pack of Christmas-themed gift wrap has lasted two years now, and only one of them has been completely depleted. (Foil paper really does go fast.) That six pack only cost me $4 two years ago, thanks to my Target employee discount and the post-holiday prices. I got three bags of bows for 50 cents each last year, and I still have one 30-count bag left. Tags are something I have to buy every other year, so I'll have to look for some on New Year's Day. However, I will have to keep looking for solid-colored paper over the next week or so. We've run out all of our solids, which I try to buy around this time each year to use for other occasions.

Oh, and New Year's is taken care of, too. One of our local radio stations has a New Year's Eve bash every year, and this year John won ticktes! When he told me, I set aside money so that we could get him a new shirt and tie, and little odds and ends for me, as well as for the bar and possibly having our picture taken. (I know, we shouldn't pay for any, we should take our own camera, but the party planners have banned attendees from bringing their own cameras. Besides, this will be the first professional set of pictures John and I have had together.) To save money, I will probably make a nice dinner here at home for us to eat before we drive an hour to the Hilton in Raleigh. I don't mind the drive. This will be the first time I've ever been to a "grown up" NYE party. I think this is going to be fun.