Friday, December 23, 2011

A home-made Christmas

This year, like many other families, we barely eeked through. That's just one of the sacrifices we make so that I can be a stay-at-home mom. We probably would have done really good ~ if the vehicles hadn't kept breaking down. With barely eeking through the last month of the year, that meant that we couldn't really afford to do much for our kids for Christmas.
Originally we had told them that they could all pick out one big gift and that would be all they got. But, even setting a relatively small budget for that one big gift ($60), it would have meant at least $300 on Christmas and we weren't sure we could pull that off. So we did our best to cut corners and pull together some money for them. We told them that we just couldn't afford to do their big gifts this month (but they got an IOU for next month ~Yay taxes!) and they were surprisingly okay with it. Then we took what money we had pulled together and tried to figure out what to do.
We {barely} managed to snag a $40 telescope from Wal-Mart. Not barely because it was a hot item at the Black Friday sale (we bought it two weeks later because we don't do BF). But barely because before I spend money on anything electronic, especially from a big box store, I want to read reviews from other customers. So I came home, read all of the 5-star reviews, and sent Tim to buy it the next day. Well, the next day the price jumped back up to $80. What the heck! So I told him I'd just order it online because, when I read the reviews, the price was $40. Went online to get it and it was also marked up to $80. What a bummer.
Well, he works 30 miles from here so he went to that Wal-Mart when he got off work the next day AND THEY HAD ONE (for $40)...ONLY ONE! So he snatched it and swiped the debit debit debit card that expired in December and just that day, after he had left for work, I got (and activated) my new debit card. Well, that meant the old one didn't work. So he had to leave it there. And that created another problem. Because he swiped my old card after I activated my new card, my new card was flagged for fraud and de-activated. Now I have to wait for them to issue me another one.
Long story short...I went to that Wal-Mart the next day and bought the telescope. I think they'll love it!

But, what else could we get the boys? I'm trying to steer clear of buying toys. They end up all over the house, half of them are broke in a month, and the other half are forgotten about in three. It just isn't worth the headache. I'd prefer books, something education, or board games than toys. Well, I was wasting time on Pinterest and found a cute home-made gift; and it looks affordable!

So I pinned it to show my husband. Meanwhile, my sister stole "repinned" it and made it for my nephew for Christmas. I think she said she spent $20ish on it. Well, I didn't want mine to be a toy so I made my own dimensions for it so that they can use it to build some projects on. (Coincidentally, they just got their Boy Scout pinewood derby cars.) I made theirs taller ... and longer ... and deeper. And I didn't bother with painting the peg board. It'll look just like their dad's...after I build him one too.

I spent less than $30 but I bought screws that I wound up not needing and I already had the peg board. It probably evened itself out. I even have the tool pegs to put on the board so all they'll need are some tools (which my husband has plenty of and won't mind sharing...I hope).

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