Monday, December 24, 2007

Beyond Fruitcake: 25 Frugal Things To Do When You're Bored After Opening Presents

Your living room looks like a field of discarded boxes and ribbons. Your teeth are gritty with sugar and you've even eaten the fruitcake. Now what? Here's my list of 25 frugal things to do when the boxes are untied and you're undone.

1. Hold a gift swap: Your sister received a soap on a chain. You want it; she hates it. Why not swap? This gift swap works best with a large circle of friends, relatives and neighbors. Agree in advance to a no-feelings-hurt swap. Re-gift with care.

2. Recycle paper, cards and ribbons. Salvage what's usable. Some cards can be turned into postcards; ribbons and bows can be re-used. Look for paper and gift bags that may have a second life.

3. Build a box city for the kids. It's true: The boxes are much cooler than the actual toys. When we were kids, my siblings and I played for hours in old gift boxes.

4. Read a book. During holidays, it's easy to get peopled-out. Recharge your emotional batteries by retreating with a book.

5. Start a family blog or an online scrap book. Take pictures and upload them for all.

6. Visit relatives and friends. Phone calls are also treasured. Share the emotional wealth.

7. Go for a walk or hit a nature trail. Get exercise.

8. Play boardgames. Start a Boggle or Monopoly tournament.
9. Start a re-gifting closet. Quietly and discreetly tuck away presents that you want to recycle. Make a list; check it twice in order to avoid a re-gifting disaster, namely re-gifting the person who originally gave you the present in the first place. Re-gift with care.

10. Deliver food baskets to EMT crews, the fire station or others who have to work on the holiday. Suggested contents: fruit and pre-packaged goodies.

11. Make a scrapbook or finally put family photos into a scrapbook.

12. Visit an old aged home or a homeless shelter.

13. Bake cookies. Make candies, breads and other goodies.

14. Write Thank You notes and letters.

15. Purge. Make room for new clothes and toys by putting together a give-away bundle for a thrift store or nonprofit organization.

16. Make goals for next year.

17. Memorize a poem. Write a poem. Read a poem.

18. Start a journal. Write down everything that happened from breakfast through late evening.

19. Take family videos. Holidays provide a classic backdrop for memorable videos.

20. Watch family videos.

21. Go to the movies.

22. Create a family skit.

23. Listen or play music

24. Dance to 70s music or classic rock: Par-tay! Here's a link to my favorite old school mix. Enjoy!

25. Get fit & meditate. Have a family yoga class.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg is the author of The Frugal Duchess of South Beach:How to Live Well and Save Money... Anywhere, which will be published in May of 2008 by DPL Press.



Anonymous said...

Some great tips:)

Frugal Duchess said...

No More Spending:
Thanks for the kind words.
Take Care,