Friday, December 3, 2010

Stretching your Christmas Budget, Volunteering Ideas, and Library Programs

Miss me? I've just returned from a mini vacation in Hawaii with my hubby (our first without the kids since we didn't have kids--8 years!). I went completely unplugged: no cellphone, no emails, no blogging, no Facebook, not even an internet search for local restaurants. It was refreshing, but it's not in my DNA to cut technology out of my life completely. I see great value in sharing ideas and building communities through it.

In that spirit, I'm playing a bit of catch-up from my period of being unplugged, and I'd like to highlight three great posts from local mom bloggers to hopefully help you save time / money / hassle or to simply inspire you this holiday season.

The first is from Julie at Sharing Savings with You. As a librarian, she has two posts about all the FREE events at the library in December, Merry Merry at the Library: one for Knox County and one for Blount County. We'll probably try to catch Santa at the Karns Library on 12/8 at 4pm. Bobby may be catching onto the fact that there are "several Santas" but the one who does the library rounds is really great!

Next is from Coupon Katie: Setting & Stretching Your Christmas Budget. Can I confess that I've never actually set a budget for Christmas before? Shock! Gasp! Moan! I still haven't really sat down with a list and made final decisions about what I'm giving to whom. If you're a procrastinator like me, you should really check out her tips.

Finally, Christy at Coupons are Money posted: Ways to Volunteer this Christmas Season. It's a great list to peruse for inspiration for how to involve your kids. If you don't have plans tomorrow, consider helping with the Coats for the Cold event for KARM 12/4. Even if you find quick, simple ways to teach your children the value in giving back, I encourage you to do so. This Sunday is the annual Stuff a Stocking event at our church. Parishioners have brought specific items (I donated a slew of items I've acquired for free the past few months through Couponing for Charity), they're spread out on a table, and then we all go round and round stuffing each stocking with an assortment of goodies. The kids especially like this because it's easy and dynamic and we're finished before they lose interest.

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