One of my favorite christmas memories is when I was married to my ex and pregnant with my second son. I had no money but we managed to buy a small fake tree. We had no money for decorations but I used food stamps to buy pretty candy that I hung on the tree. All of my 3 years olds christmas came from the dollar tree 5 toys bought at one dollar each. Christmas eve my husband took my three year old to the dollar tree to buy me a present he selected a little teddy bear statue in a basket. I still have it that was 15 years ago.

I agree with folks that say start shopping yard sales and thrift shops now clean the used toys make a new dress for a doll etc. Look on the net for budget friendly recipes and have a homemade christmas if you are a homeschooler you can say do a theme christmas like a Laura INgalls theme or something from that era.

I agree whole heartedly about talking to the kids. I was raised by a single grandpa and all he had to rasie three kids in the 1980s was his social security check he retired early on disability so it was small like $500 a month. He always shared the financial situation with us and we all worked as a team to save electricity work in the garden etc. I remember on my 15th birthday he left two pairs of socks on my bed when I came home from school. Because we were a family and we all worked together I never felt deprived. My grandpa spent a lot of time fishing with me on the river. Telling me the stories of our ancestors.Walking through the woods and showing me all of the trees and their medicinal uses. Our home was clean and tidy, so were our clothes. Name brand bought at Salvation Army or hand me downs from cousins.Our meals were home grown, hunted or fished. I never felt deprived. We only survived those years because by then his home was paid for and he gardened, hunted and fished. One of the funniest things is that I continually here from people how everyone thought we had so much money. Everything was so well tended people thought we were weathy. He kept his vehicles in tip top shape worked on the mechanical stuff himself and had them painted every few years. Same with his home. Perfectly tended flowers blooming in the yard planted from seeds. Beautiful.

If the kids are used to lots of gadget toys etc it will take time for them to adjust but if it is handled well as a family they will definietly be better people as the result of the hard times and better able to fend for themselves as adults. I learned so much from my grandpa. I live so well today thanks to his example.

Tracy in Va

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