Economical Christmas Traditions
We have many traditions throughout the year. December is no exception. Our Christmas traditions begin on December 1st and continue until the big day. The first of these traditions is the changing of the dishes.
Many Christmases ago I was given Spode Christmas Tree china. Instead of just bringing out the china for the big day, I bring the dishes out December 1st. Therefore, my regular dishes are put up for the month and the Spode fills the cabinet. Thus instead of special Christmas plates enjoyed once a year, they are utilized 31 days. Since the dishes were a gift, my direct cost is zero. However, they were not free-someone in my family paid good money. Since I reuse them each year, the average life time cost continues to decrease. Durable gifts/decorations like the Spode Christmas Tree plates are a great value over time. I have had the pleasure of using mine for over twenty years.
Another of my favorite Christmas Traditions is the hanging of the stockings. We do not have a fireplace, so I hang them on a half wall at the front entrance. My grandmother made my stocking. She also made one for my husband and gave it to him the first year we were married.
Once I started having kids, the tradition passed on to my mother. She made each grandchild a stocking. As you can see from the pictures, each has a different design. Since I do not have grandchildren, I have not made any.
Research over the Internet repeatedly brings up Bucilla Felt stockings available for sale through numerous retail avenues. However, I could find very little history of the company and no direct links. If you are interested in making a Bucilla stocking ask your local craft or sewing store if they carry the kits. Most of the stocking kits I found listed on-line were under $30.00. Again, spreading the cost out over the years yield a very economical Christmas tradition.
Outdoor decorations are wreaths on the doors. This is one of the few expenses of the season. I buy a fresh evergreen wreaths from one of the local youth fundraisers. Sometimes I buy from the Boy Scouts and sometimes from the high school. In each case I feel the money is well spent.
Indoor decorations are treasured family heirlooms. Nativity sets and ornaments which have been in the family for generations are on display. Some of the nativity sets are kid friendly so they can reenact the story. Others are displayed atop the china cabinet. Most of the kid friendly nativities were found at auctions or yard sales.
Many of the ornaments were acquired through another of our Christmas traditions. Each year I would take the kids downtown and they were allowed to pick out one ornament. I always looked forward to that Thursday night of ornament shopping. It truly is the one thing I dislike about being an empty-nester.
I love the holidays and have many Christmas Traditions. Most do not involve spending large amounts of money. Please feel free to share some of your favorite traditions.