Holidays can be a costly time of year for most people and many tend to overindulge and overspend. Ideally, you want to pay cash for Christmas and not carry a burden of Christmas debt well into the following year. It’s important to budget carefully and some ways of planning ahead are to bargain shop the seasonal clearance sales, set money aside for the upcoming year, and keep handy lists.
Post holidays are when retailers discount merchandise to get rid of any excess inventory to make room for new merchandise. After Christmas is the perfect time to start planning for special occasions in the upcoming year such as birthdays, new baby, weddings, and next Christmas. Deep discounts can be found after Christmas and can be a huge savings.
Many items can be set aside such as the following:
Clothing such as sweaters, mittens, hats, socks, slippers, etc
Christmas decor such as wreaths, ribbon, ornaments, etc
Saving for Next Year
If you haven’t opened a Christmas savings account, January is a great time to do so. Even setting aside a small amount can help you build up a little nest egg for next Christmas. This savings will allow you to purchase sale items throughout the year and not just immediately before Christmas. Most often overspending isn’t just the amount of gifts purchased, but it tends to be purchasing these items at full retail cost without cost comparisons. Decide on an amount that you feel confident spending and work toward setting it aside in small increments. Keep in mind the extra holiday expenses such as food, entertainment, and decorations to name a few.
Begin writing down all the items you need for the holidays. Have a ballpark figure on how much you’d like to spend overall, amount allocated for each person, and for other holiday expenses. Add it all up. Does it seem excessive? If so, look for ways to pare it down. January is a good time to make suggestions such as only purchasing for the children in the family, agreeing to placing a preset dollar amount on gifts for family and friends, and delegating family to chip in and bring items for the holiday meal.
Maintain a running list of who you need to shop for and ideas of items they would enjoy receiving. Group together any recipes you want to use. Keep notes on supplies needed for entertaining and food. Gather addresses you need for holiday cards. Know what crafts and homemade gift items you’d like to create and organize instructions and supplies needed to make them.
Preparing for the upcoming year immediately after the holiday rush can seem too perfect to work. The fact is that it’s much easier to be prepared with a plan than being stressed out and trying to fit it all in December. If you want some motivation and accountability for the upcoming year, come visit the Frugal Village community where after Christmas we’re setting up saving accounts, creating gift closets, starting our holiday crafts, bragging about our bargains, thrift store and sale shopping all year, prepping our pantries, sharing tried and true recipes, organizing our homes, and frugally planning and simplifying our holidays, so we can enjoy our families and take the stress away from the holiday season.
Wreaths are sometimes thought of as a Christmas-only decoration. This is a short-sighted view, as a beautiful wreath can be used to decorate a home for any season. Wreaths made to celebrate the autumn months can be very attractive home decorations.
Autumn wreaths often attempt to take the most beautiful elements of the fall season and to combine them in one artistic statement. They will often feature the striking colors of fall foliage and often reflect an “outdoors” or “country” look.
Autumn wreaths can be based on any number of foundations. Some have found the rustic and neutral look of a grapevine wreath makes a perfect foundation for an autumn wreath. Others may prefer to work from a woodier twig base. It is even possible to start with a basic wreath form (often made of foam and available at craft and hobby stores). Whatever option is used can work wonderfully as a springboard for beautiful fall decorating.
Autumn wreaths can be made from the season’s fallen leaves. Such projects, although beautiful, are short-lived as the leaves dry and crack. As such, many wreath makers rely upon silk and other artificial leaves to decorate their wreaths. Accents are often provided by simple homemade bows. Small seasonal decorations (for instance a miniature scarecrow) are sometimes attached to the finished product with a glue gun as a way of commemorating the autumn months.
There are no rules or limits one must obey when creating an autumn wreath. The idea is to capture the essence of autumn in the wreath, and that can be accomplished in any number of ways. An autumn wreath is an exercise in creativity and many beautiful decorations have been produced around the theme.
Wreaths are not exclusively for the Christmas holidays. A decorative wreath can brighten any home, and wreaths celebrating autumn provide a unique opportunity to bring the essence of the outdoors into one’s home.
Dawn Keadic enjoys decorating with wreaths, both indoors and outdoors. For more information on Christmas, fall and autum wreaths, including wreaths you can make at home, visit http://www.unique-christmas-wreaths.com
More Wreath Related Ideas
Twig Wreaths For Rustic Or Elegant Appeal The thought of twigs may conjure up an old forest, or well-constructed birds nest. Twigs are also an extremely popular material for wreaths. A wreath can be made entirely of twigs for a rustic, primitive…
Peacock Feather Wreath Making a peacock feather wreath is a very easy project and will result in a beautifully elegant finished product. This sort of wreath makes a beautiful adornment for your home at any time of year and can…
Wreath oriented keywords will go right about here. What can I put here? Pretty much anything that I want to! That’s the really cool thing about being a web designer. I can place content pretty much anywhere I want to! How sweet is that!
The 10 Christmas Decoration Tips You Must Know
by Rosie Fletcher
Decorating for Christmas is one of the best things about the holidays. The twinkling of lights, the sight of a perfectly trimmed tree and a perfectly placed wreath adorning your front door are all gentle reminders of the joyous Christmas season.
When decorating your home, you want the décor to reflect your own personal style while keeping the Christmas tradition always present. A few tips can help make this holiday decorating season even brighter.
Christmas Decoration Tip #1: Lights Out
With each year that passes, Christmas lights tend to burn out at some point. Unless you have a strand that burns with the exception of the troublesome light, it can be a real headache to find the faulty bulb. Consider investing in a light tester, which will check each individual light and detect the one that needs replacing. These can be found with the Christmas supplies at most department stores.
Christmas Decoration Tip #2: Angels Nearby
Whenever possible, decorate your home with angels. They add a touch of peace and tranquility to your home and we all need to know that there are angels watching over us.
Christmas Decoration Tip #3: Be fruity
Prepare a fruit-filled clear glass bowl as a centerpiece for your dining room table. Nothing smells like Christmas as much as an orange or a nice fruit combination.
Decoration Tip #4: Add a personal touch
If you hang Christmas stockings, consider personalizing them with your name, your spouses name and those of your children. These days, even pets have stockings, so don’t forget to add Fido’s name on a stocking. You can easily personalize a traditional stocking using a glitter pen, preferably one that writes in silver or gold. A personalized stocking is a nice idea and a special added touch.
Christmas Decoration Tip #5: Pucker up
Decorate your home with poinsettia and mistletoe, which are both holiday traditions. A nice artificial poinsettia plant will always be beautiful and is easy to take care of – no water required. A mistletoe is always a nice touch and especially if you just need one more reason to smooch.
Christmas Decoration Tip #6: Working with wreaths
Don’t forget to place a beautiful green wreath on the front door of your home. Make sure to add a red bow for a brightening touch! Artificial wreaths will last year after year, but real wreaths do have a wonderful scent. If you want to add wreath’s to the windows in your home, consider purchasing a magnetic wreath hanger. This type of hanger comes in two parts – one goes on the inside of your home and the piece with the hook will go on the outside. These hangers have been around for years, but they are steadily beginning to gain in popularity. The magnets are so strong that they can work through doors and windows, which is ideal for hanging wreaths on the outside of your home without the fuss of a traditional plastic wreath hanger, which drapes across the top of your door.
Christmas Decoration Tip #7: A perfect fit
When choosing a Christmas tree, make sure to measure the preferred location from side to side and from floor to roof. You will want to make sure that perfect tree fits when you bring it home. Artificial trees are easy care, but a real tree requires plenty of water.
Christmas Decoration Tip #8: It’s all about tradition
It’s nice to start a family tradition by decorating your tree on a certain day each year. Perhaps after Thanksgiving dinner, the whole family can spend the evening dressing their home for Santa.
Christmas Decoration Tip #9: Shop smart
Make sure that all electric decorations are UL listed to ensure that they have been tested for quality and safety. Don’t forget to unplug everything before you leave home or go to bed at night.
Christmas Decoration Tip #10: Say Cheese
Always remember to have plenty of film and batteries for the camera. Now that you have the perfect decorations, don’t forget to capture them on film.
Budget And Plan Your Holidays
Holidays can be a costly time of year for most people and many tend to overindulge and overspend. Ideally, you want to pay cash for Christmas and not carry a burden of Christmas debt well into the following…
Home Business Wreath Making
So you enjoy making wreaths and have decided to go into business for yourself. Congratulations, that sounds like a positive idea and hopefully will be a profitable one. First, however, you will want to…
Remodeling can take a considerable amount of time, and repairing a poor remodeling job may cost more than getting the job done right the first time. Remodeling can be simple and cost effective by simply adding a few touches to an existing design.
Contractors agree that of all the projects they tackle, Bathroom Remodeling is the least liked.Home remodel contractor require cabinetry for a storage and organizing solution and space saver. Bathroom remodeling is done for both commercial and residential bathrooms in either homes, offices, or other properties. Remodeling your bathroom is
going to be a job that requires some forethought.
It’s just as important to find the right set of contractors but the process of finding and selecting the bathroom contractors that are right for you is often overlooked. First you need to find and contact a number of contractors and ask them to give you a quote for the job. Unless you are a die-hard do it yourself, you may want to check with as many contractors as you can and find out their pricing.
If you don’t want to go through the time-consuming process, you should get estimates from at least three contractors and ask that they break down their estimate into sections, so you can see how much each item will cost such as wood flooring for the dining room, laminate flooring for the entry and bathrooms, and how much they will charge for under floor heating.
Many general contractors can create custom-made vanities, showers, and tubs, but the cost of custom-made fixtures is higher than that of off-the-shelf ones. Home remodel contractor and general contractors on the whole, should have the expertise to handle your entire remodeling job. Professional contractors in your area are waiting
to bid competitively on your project.
As with any home remodel contractor project you will want to assess your own priorities and budgetary requirements prior to making any final decisions or commitments. Taking the proper time before the start of project and working in cooperation with your home remodel contractor can cannot only make this a bearable experience it can make a key difference in the time to completion, the way the remodeling project progresses and finishes and completes. Before you get going on your remodeling project, make sure to take the time to think about what decisions you’ll have to make as you go.
Considerations for Hiring a Home Remodeling Contractor
Define Your Project
Homeowners decide to remodel for a variety of reasons. They may have outgrown their house and need more space. They may need to spruce things up to sell in a competitive market. Or, an update from old to new may better fit the homeowner’s current lifestyle and desires.
Establish a Budget
Once you have a good picture of what you want, you need to figure out how much it will cost. Learning about approximate labor and product costs can eliminate disappointment later. And unfortunately, things are usually more expensive than homeowners figure. To avoid having to scale-down your dream project, determine upfront if you can afford your initial plans. t’s a good idea to start calling your top candidates for a short phone interview. Most importantly, you want to confirm each company handles projects sized like yours and is wants to take it on.
Interview Your Candidates
It’s a good idea to start calling your top candidates for a short phone interview. Most importantly, you want to confirm each company handles projects sized like yours and is wants to take it on.
Vet Your Top Candidates
You should have collected a huge amount of information during your interviews; now’s the time to verify it. Be careful of taking any contractor’s word for anything.
Home Remodeling Contractors For Your Home Improvement Needs
1. Do a background check
It is dependably more secure to look at first your objective temporary worker before going into contract with it. Look at to what extent has the organization been working and who are its customers. Additionally, do a visual stock of its hardware and apparatus. This will give you a thought of its steadiness and capacity on taking care of any occupation without subcontracting anything.
2. Look at its Previous Projects
A unimportant visual compass of the temporary worker’s past tasks will demonstrate the sort of value it puts into its work. Be watchful for erratic paintwork, broke putting and different markers of a lousy employment. Poor workmanship ought to instantly take irregular the rundown.
3. Meeting Previous Clients
In the event that conceivable, meeting past customers. Most critical is the contractual worker cost. Is it moderate and does it takes after terms in the agreement? Does it complete on time? Does it give due admiration to its customers? Inquiries like these paint a genuine photo of the home redesigning temporary worker you mean to contract.
4. Meeting the Contractor Itself
After every single past check, converse with the temporary worker soliciting the same sets from inquiries asked on the past checks. This twofold checking would uncover if the temporary worker is just blowing rises out of nowhere. This would dispense with the pretenders among the genuine ones. Any individual who is not equipped for coming clean is not worth a dime of cash or time.
5. Never Settle for One
It is ideal to experience the above agenda on a few temporary workers. With all information ordered, look into all, observing each solid and feeble point. Subsequent to everything assembled, and considered, take the home renovating temporary worker that concurs most to your necessities. It is ideal to be sheltered than too bad.
At whatever point you’re hoping to enlist an expert for any reason, you ought to attempt to get suggestions from individuals you know. On the off chance that one of your companions has utilized a contractual worker as a part of the past and adored how it turned out, then you might need to try that specific temporary worker out. On the off chance that they had a decent involvement with the contractual worker, then you ought to consider utilizing them as well. Colleagues, friends, and family members are usually good sources for recommendations.
The Better Business Bureau will also be a great resource when you’re trying to find a home remodel contractor. This is a resource that you will definitely want to take advantage of. You will have easy access to complaints that people have made about the company in the past.
There are different types of work that you can have done on your home. An appropriate license may be necessary based on the type of work the contractor will be doing. Therefore, if you are having renovations done, make sure that the contractor that you use holds the appropriate license or qualifications.
The workers that the contractor brings in to work on your home will need to be insured. It is vital that you make sure that they have worker’s compensation and general liability insurance. If something happened to one of the workers and they weren’t insured, then you may find yourself paying for the damages.
Most people will be at least a little bit concerned about the price that the contractor will charge. Take the time to find a few estimates. If at all possible, you will want to get your hands on a written estimate. To make sure that you aren’t paying too much for the job, take the time to research anywhere between three and five possible contractors.
Making a peacock feather wreath is a very easy project and will result in a beautifully elegant finished product. This sort of wreath makes a beautiful adornment for your home at any time of year and can be enhanced by the addition of ornaments or left in its natural splendor.
For this project you will need a straw wreath base. The size of the wreath base which you choose to use will be a part in determining the size of the wreath. There is no right or wrong in a lot of this, it depends on what seems right to you as the creator. After you have chosen your straw wreath base, you will need to buy peacock feathers. The amount of feathers you buy will be determined by the size of your straw wreath base, the larger the wreath base, the more feathers you will need. There are great sources of peacock feathers on the internet or you may choose to visit a local craft supply store and pick out your own.
In buying a product of this kind, I usually buy a few more than I think I will actually need for my project. I find running short of supplies before a project is finished to be very frustrating and I’ve found that I can always add the surplus to my craft supply box and just knowing that they are there usually brings to mind some sort of fun project for which they can be used. You may also want a sharp pencil to help make openings in the straw wreath in which to place the feathers.
Before you start your wreath, you will want to look at your feathers and see if you want to cut them off at all. If you do, you will want also to trim the feathers at what will now be the quill end so that you can insert the quill itself into the wreath base. Insert the feathers into the wreath base about two thirds down. You may need a pencil at this point to create the openings for you. Set the feathers about three to four inches apart. When you have gone completely around the wreath base, you will want to go up about a half an inch, and repeat the same thing, setting these feathers over a bit so that they don’t come directly over the other feathers. Repeat this for about two more rows. Then you will want to do one more row with slightly shorter feathers. This will give your wreath a fuller layered appearance.
Congratulations, you have just created a beautiful work of art wreath which is ready to be hung. Now you may decorate it if you so choose or leave it in its natural beauty. There is no right or wrong to this decision. What seems right to you as the creator is what is right.
Dawn Keadic enjoys decorating with wreaths, both indoors and outdoors. For more information on wreaths, including wreaths you can make at home, visit Wreath Marking.
Christmas Wreaths are by far the most popular of wreaths. Instantly recognizable and immediately adding warmth to your home, consider these great tips the next time you want to add a wreath to your holiday activities.
How To Find Christmas Decorations For Your Home
by Adam Peters
Christmas is a wonderful time for everyone, and decorating your house can enhance that joy, this can be something small like a table display or you could decorate your whole house inside and out. Christmas decorations have been around a lot longer than Christmas it’s self, as pagans were doing it for over two centuries.
The Christmas Table.
You can do a lot to your dinner table without spending too much money, get into the woods and find some fir cones, some gold spray paint along with some fake snow and you have a centre piece to grace any table on the special day and for a long time after. Tinsel with holly leaves and mistletoe makes a natural and cheap adornment and is a very old Celtic symbol of fertility.
A Christmas Tree.
Christmas trees have been brought into our houses for years, probably it was the Germans who started it, but now everyone has a tree for Christmas. A real tree is beautiful, but could make a mess of needles on your floor if it hasn’t been treated with chemicals. If you want a real tree get one with roots, you can keep it alive and then re-plant it in the new year and it shouldn’t make a mess, or get a fake tree, these can look realistic but you will not fool anyone, they are not real but will look beautiful every year when you pull it out of the cupboard.
Originally candles were used to light Christmas trees, this proved very dangerous, so now electric lights that flash and play Christmas carols are a safer option. Some people go over the top with tree decorations, keep it simple, tinsel, balls, stars and of course a fairy or an angel on the top to finish it all off.
Inside The House.
Coloured paper, silver tinsel and fake snow around the house will bring a festive feel to your home, snow on the windows, holly above the doors and you must have mistletoe to get those Christmas kisses from your guests. House decorations, like your tree should be subtle, Christmas is a happy time of the year and a time to relax with the family in a calm joyous atmosphere.
Outside The House.
A wreath of holly on the door was all that people used to show at Christmas, now people have father Christmases climbing up their roofs, light shows and carols played from loudspeakers. Fake snow on all the windows is nice, but covering your house in it is probably going too far. So do what pleases you (and your neighbours), but have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Christmas wreath fundraisers are a great way for non-profit groups to make money. Instead of the old standby of selling cookies, candy bars, or cookie dough, selling Christmas wreaths brings in more money and helps bring a festive mood into the neighborhood at the same time.
Christmas wreath fundraisers are a great way to help out your community and help your group raise funds at the same time. Oftentimes the wreaths that are made by non-profit groups have a very competitive price and are of excellent quality. There is a special something that a Christmas wreath brings with it when you know that the purchase has helped out a group you wish to support.
There are several companies that offer a Christmas wreath fundraiser program, most are available online using a simple search. These companies allow you to purchase wreaths in cases getting a substantial discount and then sell them at a marked up rate. Many are offering wreaths as low as $6 that you can later sell for $25. As you can see, this is much better than the fifty cents that you get from a candy bar sale.
There are deadlines and not everyone thinks of their Christmas fundraisers in or before October. For those of you who are a little late getting started don’t fret, there is hope. Instead of getting their wreaths out on Thanksgiving Day or during the last week of November several people prefer to wait until closer to Christmas. Some companies offer shipments as late as the week before Christmas.
Still, if this doesn’t work for you then you can take matters in your own hands. To put together a Christmas wreath fund raiser you can choose to make the wreaths yourself. They are quite simple and all of the supplies (minus the evergreen boughs) are available in craft stores year ‘round.
The best way to put together a Christmas wreath fundraiser is to pre-sell them. Before you actually purchase your supplies you should have made your sales. Collect for these sales when the order is made, this will keep your group from holding the bag when the 47 people who ordered are suddenly not home at time of delivery and have apparently moved and not left a forwarding address from costing you all of the money you planned on making. Have the balance due a few days before you plan to make the purchase so those last minute stragglers can get their orders and money in as well.
After getting your orders you can purchase your supplies (or premade wreaths). You can often make a few sales at the last minute so you might want to pick up a few extras to sell as you are delivering the Christmas wreaths that were ordered.
If you are making your own you will want to get everyone involved and plan to take some time doing this. You will not want to be known as the group that made ‘temporary wreaths’ that fall apart in a couple days that one Christmas. A quality product will do much for your future fundraisers.
If you are purchasing premade wreaths you should order them with a week’s time to spare on your scheduled delivery so you won’t be late. Bringing the product late is not usually appreciated. Christmas wreaths displayed on front doors of homes around the neighborhood always brings a special mood to the area, it shouldn’t be delayed. Fundraisers can have their bumps, so schedule time for them and you will have a much better result. Organization is the key to making your Christmas wreath fundraiser work.
What is an advent wreath? Its a special wreath (circle of greens ) which contain five candles and is used in churches and homes as reminders of the four Sundays before Christmas. Four of the candles are arranged in a circle, with the fifth placed in the center. By tradition one additional candle is lighted each Sunday until on the fourth Sunday all four candles are lighted. On Christmas, the fifth candle, which is white, is lit.
Choosing An Outdoor Wreath by Dawn Keadic
Wreaths are a popular decorating option indoors. The great variety of wreaths and their wondrous beauty make them popular with designers and decorators. Use of wreaths outdoors also provides a great opportunity to increase the aesthetic appeal of one’s home. Often found on door or lampposts, outdoor wreaths are popular outdoor decorating items.
The most famous type of outdoor wreath is, of course, the door wreath so often used at Christmas. Usually made from evergreen branches and decorated with sturdy touches that can withstand the elements, the Christmas wreath adorns millions of outside doors annually.
There are, of course, many other outdoor wreath options. The Christmas wreath, however, offers a wonderful standard against which other alternatives should measure up.
Christmas door wreaths are sturdy. The balsam fir or other evergreen branches tolerate the weather well without significant degradation. All other outdoor wreaths should share this quality. An outdoor wreath will be constantly exposed to the elements. Any outdoor wreath under consideration must be able to handle the probable climate of the region in which it will be used. It makes little sense, for instance, to use a delicately assembled floral wreath when it will be exposed to high winds. Likewise, a wreath resplendent in cloth bows is poorly suited for a rainy environment. Any wreath chosen for outdoor use must be sufficiently sturdy.
Not only should the wreath itself be sturdy. It is also important that the strong base of the wreath be decorated in a manner allowing it to survive the weather. Delicate decorations should be avoided. Items fastened to a wreath should be affixed with wire or a similarly strong method. A small dab of glue from a hot glue gun or a thin piece of thread will never sufficiently attach decorations for an outdoor wreath.
Decorating with outdoor wreaths can improve the look of a home and make it an inviting place for guests. However, appropriate care must be taken to choose wreaths that possess great sturdiness and longevity.