Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Tis the start of the season

Thursday, December 02, 2010

With Thanksgiving day weekend behind us, the traditional Xmas season really begins.  I suppose people are rushing around frantically - but I, for one, have finished all my shopping! I make a point every year to start in September, and to get it all done by Thanksgiving.  That way, I can find real bargains, spread the cost over several months, and have a relaxing holiday.

It's also time to bring out my Xmas decorations, which I have accumulated over the years at all sorts of bargain outlets - dollar stores, thrift shops and so on.  I find that I can have much nicer ornaments that way than if I had to buy everything at full price!  And after the holiday they go into storage to be used over and over.  Gee, doesn't everyone do that?  It's so nice to take out old and treasured decorations.

This year hubby actually found a very nice tabletop artificial Xmas tree out in the trash of our apartment building, and brought it inside.  No idea why they tossed it, as it is perfectly nice - and actually nicer than any of the artificial trees we have had before! Hubby also brought in a bag of Xmas decorations that was stored, and we will decorate using those things. 

He even found a wreath we first bought a few years ago - it must be almost 5 - and I fluffed it up and put it up.  We bought it on sale years ago & I just thought it was the most beautiful one I had ever seen - & it still is lovely.  We don't put up the same things year after year, but just pick from what we have.  At the base of the tree is a little reindeer stuffed animal that I just picked up for $.50 or so at a Goodwill!

But I really won't be buying many new things this year.  We splurged on some (high-end to us) that we say are our Xmas gifts...We bought tickets to a concert at Disney Hall - the cheapest we could get - but still $50 for the 2 of us.  (2 more years & I will be eligible for discount Senior seats!)  

And I found an old clarinet that called out to me at a Goodwill.  I think it will be a nice working instrument. And I am practicing my clarinet again - even found some new beginning music at a used book store.  The instruments may need some restoring, but i am going to do as much as possible myself.

Hubby redeemed a guitar for $50 which is worth $300, from a pawn shop from a buddy who was about to lose it - and now HE has a nice instrument.  We also inherited a laptop, which we hope to use in place of the one his company took back.  We had gotten too used to having one!  We now have to unravel the mysteries of WiFi and hot spots and the like. Seems to work perfectly well despite being a few years old.

There is a free concert of French Noel music down at USC on Friday - which we plan to go to, and hope to entice some friends to go with us.  I am making an early resolution to go to more live concerts & have signed up for the newsletters of 2 local music schools, so we can be kept informed of student concerts.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving over at a friend's house - sort of a potluck, and we took home the turkey bones and the bits of meat leftover and cooked up a grand pot of soup.  Yummy. Nothing is better than homemade broth!  And all it takes is bones, what's left on them, a bit of salt and cider vinegar & a while to simmer on the stove.  It even heats up the house as a side benefit!

Don't send out very many cards anymore, altho I have some. (I even use up the old ones for people I hadn't sent one to the year before!)  It's such a convenience to send out ecards (there are great free ones at but I still like to have the real deal to put out.  My sister always sends me an Advent card from Germany - I just got this year's in the mail.

And then there are always ways to be crafty.  I have to go to the local hardware store to ask for fresh pine boughs that they trim off the trees they sell.  I have a few large vases to put them in and they have such a nice holiday scent and they are FREE.  There's a lot you can do with natural elements.  One of these Xmases I will spray a tumbleweed silver & make a western tree out of it!

Other than that, it's sort of quiet.  But that is nice, too. 

How are you all?  Well, I hope.







Season's Greetings!



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