Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thankfulness ALL Year Long

It's the season to be thankful.  Of  course, we should be thankful all year long! What are you most thankful for? As a woman working with her family (hub and two kids) I am thankful that we finally saw the situation we were in and where we were heading! I attribute this realization to God who has shown us why it is wrong to be in debt and overly concerned with the possessions of this world. 

So with Thanksgiving in sight, I want to share some frugal ideas for celebrating Thanksgiving. Let's keep the course for a wonderful season of thankfulness!

1. Mindset~This is the hardest part, I think.  Am I truly thankful for what I have? Am I content and fulfilled with the blessings I have been given? Commit now that each day leading to Thanksgiving to think of something or someone that you are thankful for~begin a log or journal.  Write them down if you want to, but purposely begin a "thankful journey" towards the holidays.

2. The Celebration~Menu plan. Guest plan. Decorate plan.
If we get ourselves in gear NOW, things won't sneak up on us to rob us of some of the joy of the day~Ever get caught rushing around at the last minute and feeling rushed? I have~not this year! Let's commit to planning NOW.
  • Watch for the sale of your favorite "turkey"~is it turkey for you? Last year we didn't have an oven (we were in temporary housing without an oven, but we were able to borrow a large roaster from our church which made delishious turkey! STRESS over!)
  • Are family and friends coming to your home? Plan it now~I would begin the preparations of cleaning and how to set the table or even just seat everyone.  Do you need extra tables, chairs, dishes, pots and pans? Borrowing and lending is an economical way not to hit the rental shops for items needed.  Do you verbally invite by phone or do you send written invites? Plan these now! Or you might be like our family, celebrating with just us.  This is nice too, but I've had it both ways.  I'd say that having family around is wonderful.  I'd even encourage it, if it's possible.  You can invite those who would enjoy your company for the celebration: friends long from home who are new to town, singles, anyone who would enjoy joining you for Thanksgiving.  
  • A lot of emphasis is placed on decorations today for every holiday.  I enjoy a pretty table with linens and candles.  Not everyone thinks like this, so if you aren't into it, or prefer the disposables, then by all means go a head~but just remember that using the more convenient items like this can be more costly.  Look around NOW for table covers that are inexpensive.  I have found some of my prettiest ones in thrift stores and at yard sales~sheets: for around $4 you can have a twin flat sheet of almost any color to adorn your table . . . sheets wash up nicely too and are easy to reuse!   
Ideas for inexpensive table decorations:
I like to use what I have.  Do you have a fresh bag of apples or other fruit?  A pretty basket? You can combine these along with some fall leaves from your favorite colorful tree and have a nice centerpiece for the day~I am all about being able to GET RID OF IT after the fact too~but these are not items that I would be wasting or filling the landfill with~my kids would eat the fruit and the leaves will generally fall anyway off the tree and end up in the compost~so it's easy this way...

Do you have any pine cones? I love these, and as a southern gal, seeing these all over the yard: Have the kids made a "turkey pine cone or two or more! All you need are some color construction paper (several colors) and pinecones.              They are really cute for the table!
Another idea is to put pinecones or like this year, I am using Buckeye nuts in a basket for a centerpiece.  Candles are nice. . .what do you like? Do you have some goards or small pumpkins you have not prepared for eating yet?
With apples in mind, you can use an apple as a holder for a floral arrangement.  Core out the center and stick your flowers inside.  This is quite pretty, and you can use pumpkins for this too if you have a huge table.  You can also use a canning jar for a country vase~got any ribbon or yarn? tie it around the top!'s table arrangements  Hey, it's almost funny, but I found this exact picture~I didn't know someone else has done these!

Thankfulness is truly a matter of the heart and mind, and being prepared so that stresses don't jump on us will make the holiday nicer!

Being thankful today for ALL my blessings,
I am on budget! Are you?

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