Nov 252012
 

A Secret Santa gift circle is a great way to stay in-budget for the holidays.

For anyone who’s not familiar, a gift circle (often called a Secret Santa) is where everyone involved writes their names on slips of paper, and then each person draws a name randomly and buys a present only for that person.  So, each person in the circle gets one present.  Because you’re only spending money on one present, you can afford to spend a little more than usual on it.  It’s helpful to set a maximum or target spending amount so that people gives gifts that are roughly equal in value- depending on the culture and spending power of the group, a max limit of anywhere from $5 to $100 could be appropriate.

My husband’s family used to do the traditional gift-giving scenario for Christmas: everyone bought gifts for everyone.  It was fun to give and get lots of presents, but it was also expensive! One year someone broached the idea of doing a Secret Santa gift circle instead, where we would each write our name on a piece of paper, put the names into a hat, and then draw names to determine who would buy for who.  We set the limit per gift at $40.  Originally we drew names at Thanksgiving, though for shopping convenience we’ve now moved the name-picking date closer to Labor Day.    Holiday shopping is so much less stressful now- we have fewer people to shop for, and a set spending limit for the gift circle (it’s now $50 per gift).  It’s super fun to show up at our family gathering with our secret gifts, waiting to surprise our gift recipient.

You can suggest a gift circle in lieu of gift exchanges at your work place, for each side of your family, and for groups of friends.

Are you a part of any gift circles for the holidays?  If not, do you plan to start one this year?

Oct 162012
 


[Expired] Just in time for those school bake sales and holiday potlucks, Circle of Friends Cookbook 25 Brownie & Bar Recipes is free right now on Amazon.  I’ve downloaded other Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends cookbooks and they were quite good.  This one is an Amazon Kindle ebook, but even if you don’t own a Kindle you can still enjoy it by downloading it for free to your computer (PC or Mac), iPhone, or iPad. The instructions for doing so are included under the “Buy Now With 1 Click” button. PLEASE BE AWARE that the price is currently $0.00 but that could change at any time, so always check the price before clicking Buy Now.

Hurry, these promotions don’t last long.  Let me know what you thought of this book!

Oct 122012
 

[Expired] Cardstore is offering up yet another free greeting card!  The promo code is CCM2336.  If you have the card shipped to yourself then shipping is free, too.  Cardstore has adorable personalized photo cards like the one above, but if you’re like me and too lazy to actually sift through your photos and find one to use, then you can pick from their large selection of standard greeting cards that do not require a photo.  If I don’t have a particular occasion coming up that I need a card for then I just order a standard birthday card and save it for when the need arises.

Tip: You do not need enter any credit card information- just enter the promo code when asked and you’ll be good to go.

I found this offer on Freebie Shark, a reputable freebie listing site.

Sep 242012
 


[Expired] Halloween Recipes: 24 Cute, Creepy, and Easy Halloween Recipes for Kids and Adults is free right now on Amazon.   It’s an Amazon Kindle ebook, but even if you don’t own a Kindle you can still enjoy it by downloading it for free to your computer (PC or Mac), iPhone, or iPad. The instructions for doing so are included under the “Buy Now With 1 Click” button. PLEASE BE AWARE that the price is currently $0.00 but that could change at any time, so always check the price before clicking Buy Now.

Hurry, this book is only free until September 28th, 2012.  Let me know what you thought of this book!

Sep 202012
 

For those of you who hang seasonal wreaths on your doors, I thought this one was pretty cute- it’s faux bay leaf, made from recycled brown paper bags.  Carolyn, from Homework, gives step-by-step instructions on how to make your own recycled wreath.  She uses craft paints and watercolors to color the leaves, but I think a metallic spray paint would also look really cool- copper for autumn and silver, or even gold, for the winter.

Crafty Thursdays are an ongoing feature of The Daily Citron.  I picked Thursday because it leaves just enough time for busy people to collect their supplies for doing the craft over the weekend.

Sep 172012
 


[Expired] Cardstore is offering another free greeting card!  If you have the card shipped to yourself, the shipping is free, too.  Cardstore has both photo cards (where you can customize the card with a photo, like the one above) and regular greeting cards (where you don’t have to upload photos or customize anything). You can either stick with their sample greeting text or you can customize it.  Use promo code CCL2673I don’t know how long this promo code will last, so I recommend ordering the card right away.  If you don’t have time to fiddle around making a photo card, just order a non-photo “greeting card”- it’ll still be nicer than a generic one you’d buy at the drug store. I just used this promo code to buy a non-photo birthday card to add to our stash.

I found this offer on Freebie Shark, a reputable freebie listing site.