Thrifty Traditions

In the early years of creating a home we wanted to decorate but money was very tight, especially once Elmo came along. We especially love decorating for the holidays-and wanted our little guy to have some magical childhood memories.

So one year we decided early in November to go to yard sales with a few extra bucks to see if we could find some ornaments and a new Nelson family tradition was born.

Now every year we take a day off from work and homeschool and scout out local flea markets and estate sales for Christmas decor treasures. We are never disappointed because the only rules we have is to stick to the budget and only buy what we love. We have had a great time every year but this morning we got extra lucky. We managed to find several porcelain holiday village pieces that light up and play music. Dirt cheap, we took them home and cracked them open, ready for Mr. Nelson to make any needed repairs.

I once saw my husband rewire a refrigerator with 2 BandAids and a pair of scissors, but luckily any repairs needed to our holiday village are minor. We plugged them in and our little boy was entranced.

We also found an awesome 1982 edition of the “Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook” for 50 cents. We took it home intending to find a cookie recipe and decided this year for Christamas dinner we’re going to only make dishes from the cookbook! It should be hilarious making retro 80s-fabulous dishes like ham puffs and braided cookies.

It’s these simple, fun times we want our little guy to remember as he gets bigger. What are your holiday traditions?


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