Because we are hosting Christmas Eve next week for my side of the family (about 20-25 people in total), and hosting always costs money (especially for me because my temptation is to always go overboard when hosting things) I am thinking about ways to cut back costs while still getting the house spiffy looking and offering delicious foods.
One of the best way to make a house sparkle before a party is not to buy sparkly things (my temptation) but to CLEAN it until it sparkles. So giving it a good cleaning will be first order of business.
Here are a few other ideas to make things frugally festive for the Christmas Eve party I have come up with:
~ wash up glasses I got at a yard sale last year instead of buying disposable cups. Make some colored jingle bell goblet hoops to distinguish the cups.
~ use real silverware instead of plastic
~ use regular plates for meal. Plain paper plates for snacks.
~ re-cover a nasty, stained pillow for the wooden rocking chair
~ use candles (in canning jars?) outside instead of Christmas lights (can't string lights outside this year because the plug went bad last year. *sniff*) This may or may not happen, since the party starts at 2 oclock...still daylight.
~ wash throw pillow covers for living room until they shine. Refrain from buying new ones even though the old ones are old and flat. ;-)
~ make snowflakes with pasta and popsicle sticks and spray paint with leftover spray paint. (A good craft for kiddos and a great decoration for food table.)
~ The meal will be lasagna and homemade bread. These are cheap things to make and can be made ahead of time. I am splurging on a few appetizers and desserts though. Cheesecake, anyone?! ;-)
A few financial efforts of the week:
~ used last of Adele's birthday cake icing to frost (in neon blue) a batch of cinnamon rolls. They weren't the MOST appetizing looking things in the world but...the dough was leftover from last weeks' pizza night and the icing was getting pretty old so I used up two things that could have gone bad in the fridge with one yummy breakfast.
~ I made a batch of banana bread and a batch of banana muffins using up over-ripe bananas before it was too late.
~ made a double batch of homemade yogurt
~ used up the last (and stale-ish) marble bread slices atop homemade French Onion Soup for lunch one day.
~ Made more homemade gifts using supplies I had on hand: a neckwarmer for Andrew, a drawstring farm play mat, a winter bonnet with scarf for Adele', felted mittens for Judah, a baby backpack.
~ Matt did a few more things in Santa's workshop too. (Shhhh!)
~ Matt put plastic over some of the coldest windows.
~ The dryer began to stink last week when I was running it and we discovered the plug was a bit melted. This freaked us out a bit (naturally) and so the dryer is out of commission until we figure out what exactly to do. I have been drying ALL our clothes on nails down cellar or on the curtain rods in the laundry room ever since. It has been interesting. Especially when I had to change the sheets and quilts on Judah's bed this week!
~ Did some mending.this week even though I have been trying to hold off until after Christmas. It was necessary. Mended a pillow, a Christmas dress of Adele's, another dress of Adele's, a sweater, and two pairs of Matt's jeans.
~ Made a pillow cover for the nasty, stained pillow. Made it with a velcro enclosure so it can be washed later. (Had a PERFECTLY sized remnant of white muslin to use and the PERFECT size of velcro to use too. I *LOVE* it when that happens.) Wrapped it with a red ribbon I had bought at the end of the year Christmas clearance (for 90% off at JoAnns!).
~ Matt fixed dryer situation himself by replacing outlet. (Handy man, he.)
~ was given a brand new comforter/shams/ bedskirt and valance that someone bought and then decided they didn't want (???). I am much more a quilt girl myself so it is taking some getting used to having a shiny, cream comforter instead of lovely patches of cotton...but our bedroom is freezing cold and it IS nice and warm. So, for now, I guess I will keep it. ;-)