Christmas $pending, Part 1

I know it’s taboo to talk about money, but after writing about our simple, somewhat minimal Christmas, I was curious. How much do we actually spend?

It all started when my son, completely out of nowhere, said, “I want a Santa hat.” I felt a twinge of guilt because I didn’t want to buy him the cheaply-made-in-China variety. So instead I spent $30 on yarn and delegated the project to my mom!

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Then we discovered our lights for the arbor were completely burned out. So we “needed” to replace them and splurged for the $30 energy saving LED option; much more expensive, but said to last up to 15 years. (Skeptical.) We recycled the old lights, but now I’m feeling like we could have (should have) tried to fix them.


We spent $176 on the boys’ gifts (two Lego sets and two Bruder trucks). My younger son confirmed my belief that the number of gifts doesn’t change the level of excitement when he hopped into the kitchen and said, “Mom, I just love you! And I can’t wait for Christmas. I’m so excited for my present!”

Our Christmas tree was a whopping $56, but the enjoyment we got out of hunting for it, and most of all decorating it, was priceless. These are truly magical, treasured times. (Plus $7 for the egg nog we drank on the tailgate at the farm).

So special to have the grandparents in on the adventure.
Making a happy home even happier.

I buy my boys a new ornament every December (animal theme for the eldest and moon theme for the youngest). This year I got them on our road trip in Arizona ($15 and $19). Their collection is slowly expanding, which is the opposite of minimal, but this is one area that’s exempt. I adored my ornaments as a kid, and still have many of them on our tree today. I want our kids to have the same fond memories.

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A week into December, our running total stands at $333. For being so “minimal” and simple (or at least thinking we are), the number’s sure climbing.

Thank goodness for free, amazing events like the Lighted Boat Parade, which enchanted us with, well, lighted boats, and led us from the harbor to the ocean, where we had the entire beach to ourselves. We played chase and “monster” and cuddled up on the sand in the dark, near the crashing surf and the lighthouse, which was also adorned in Christmas lights.


Christmas $pending, Part 2: to be continued next week…


9 thoughts on “Christmas $pending, Part 1

  1. GreenerDaddy December 7, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    good question 🙂 Let’s gather information …but it will be quiet similar to your case


    • Near-O Waste December 7, 2015 / 8:29 pm

      I look forward to hearing your total 🙂


  2. Inge December 7, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    Ah I don’t really want to know but I shall write it down eventually… will see

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Danielle @ No Need For Mars December 7, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Oh gosh–I got a new job and my Christmas bills have been ADDING UP. I must admit, my gifts haven’t been very sustainable. I haven’t quite figured out how to give sustainably yet simply because I know many of my loved ones aren’t too keen on my lifestyle. It’s a process I’ll have to figure out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Near-O Waste December 8, 2015 / 12:26 am

      It’s definitely -all- a process! 🙂 Happy holidays!


  4. Candice December 7, 2015 / 9:54 pm

    Ha, those hats are incredibly adorable 🙂 For all of the gifts I am buying this year, the total will come to about $50 for six people. Not bad compared to years past.


    • Near-O Waste December 8, 2015 / 12:30 am

      Aren’t they?! $50- that’s really good! It’s hard to shop second hand (cheaper) when the kids want very specific toys, and since we’re only getting them 2 each I guess I feel the need/desire to make them quality, versatile, and substantial…?


  5. Nadine December 8, 2015 / 12:21 am

    I would imagine this is a lot more challenging once kids are involved; good on you for your efforts and awareness! My husband and I don’t have kids yet, and he’s not keen on Christmas anyway. Every year I fly home and he spends most of his Christmases with his sister at their house. Therefore, we don’t spend money on lights, decorations, or even a tree for our own house. I’d be interested to see how this changes throughout the years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Near-O Waste December 8, 2015 / 12:25 am

      Yes, definitely different with kids, and all that we do with them is so much more important than zero waste, of course, so I just try to be reasonable and make efforts where I can! 🙂


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