Goodbye 2016

We said goodbye to a lot of things this year.

  1. In January, we said goodbye to dollars when our health insurance increased 50%.
  2. Our farewell in February was to our furnace.
  3. March came in like a lion when I had emergency gall bladder surgery.
  4. We bid adieu to our central air in April.
  5. May was not mild as we watched our washer die.
  6. Fireworks came early when a lighting strike killed our computer in June.

I thought we finished saying goodbye as the second half of the year passed uneventfully. But we were just getting ready for the hardest goodbye of all when my father-in-law died. You can prepare for some goodbyes with an emergency fund, but death always comes unexpectedly and too soon.

It reminded me of what is truly important – family. You can’t pick your family, and we may drive each other nuts, but during the hard times, that is who we lean on.

I also don’t know what we would have done without our friends and our church. The meals they brought over were wonderful and filling. Who can resist lasagna?

So, for 2017 I am going to try harder to spend more time with family and friends. (But first, I’m going to give myself time to grieve.) A wise man told me, “People are more important than things!”

Invest in people, not things, in 2017!

December calendar "Goodbye 2016" frugalfish.org

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Christmas Theme 2016

“It came upon the midnight clear . . . Clear Stars and Black Ribbon "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

. . . that glorious song of old . . . Scroll of Christmas Carol "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

. . . from angels bending near the earth 

to touch their harps of gold. Angel Playing Harp "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

‘Peace on the earth goodwill to men . . . Christmas Dove "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

. . . from heaven’s all gracious King!’ King's Crown Ornament "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

The world in solemn stillness lay . . . Homemade Earth Ornament "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

. . . to hear the angels sing!” Gold Angel Tree Topper "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

The clue in the wreath gave it away! Hint on Christmas Wreath "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" frugalfish.org

“Merry Christmas!”

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De-Stress Christmas

My family has tried to guess my Christmas theme for a few weeks now. Only one has been able to guess it! It is so tricky, that none of my friends have figured it out!

Who has time for riddles?

I know. It is such a busy time of year, who has time for riddles? We want to enjoy the holiday season and there never is enough time. Here is a secret to releasing some of the stress you are feeling.

Put it away!

I had my daughter’s quilt squares spread out on the dining room table for weeks. It is like a jigsaw puzzle that we have been unable to complete. I folded them up and put them in the closetQuilt Squares "De-Stress Christmas" frugalfish.org

I planned to finish painting these figurines last Christmas. I left them out thinking I would work on them when I had a free evening. The problem is, I am doing Christmas related activities during the evenings! I put them in a box and slid it under a deskUnfinished Figurines "De-Stress Christmas" frugalfish.org

This book was due back at the library and I spent a couple of hours trying to finish it before its due date. I didn’t get it done. Instead, I wrote the name of the book, the author, and the last page I had read on a note. I put the note in a drawer by my bed and returned the book. I will check it out in January when I have plenty of cold evenings to spend reading and drinking hot chocolate. Open Book "De-stress Christmas" frugalfish.org

This is a pillow cover I planned to finish by this Christmas. I spent years working on this. First I embroidered the picture and made a pillow out of it. The pillow was too small. I took it apart and put a larger pillow in it. Then the lace laid flat. I wanted more lace! I ripped the lace and ribbon off and added more. The lace is ready to baste down and then I will sew the back of the pillow to it. But it will go in the closet with my other mending projects that will wait until after Christmas. Unfinished Christmas Pillow "De-Stress Christmas" frugalfish.org

The last box is full of donations for Goodwill. I plan on dropping it off. I have presents hidden in closets and drawers. I could use the space this box is taking up for my wrapping paper box that is full of gift bags, gift boxes, tissue paper, and bows! Goodwill Donations "De-Stress Christmas" frugalfish.org

Take some of the stress out of Christmas. Hide those projects!!!! Then if you find you have a few minutes, sit and admire your Christmas tree. Or try to guess my Christmas theme! Good Luck!

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For My Followers Only

My apologies

I was not happy with the photos on yesterday’s post. I took all new photos and was downloading the last one when the post published! (I scheduled it to post later, but must not have hit the “update” button!)

I uploaded the new photos and those are the ones seen on other services: Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Please return to frugalfish.org to view the improved photos.

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Can You Guess My Christmas Theme?

Mom was here early in the week and I asked if she could guess my Christmas theme.

She couldn’t!

She was in good company. David and Derek have looked at it for ten days and they couldn’t guess it either! Derek asked, “Why is there a seagull on the tree?”

When I explained the theme to my Mom she said two things: 1) “You have too much time on your hands,” and 2) “Can you print off a copy of your post? I want to fool my friends!”

The Tree

My theme is best reflected with my Christmas tree. Under the Star of Bethlehem, there is a section covered with stars from Hobby Lobby, like this. . . Clear Stars and Black Ribbon "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

Below the stars are Christmas Carols rolled up into scrolls and wrapped in black ribbon. I used them the first time in “Free Christmas Tree Decorations.” Scroll of Christmas Carol "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

Angels with various instruments are hung on the next level of branches. My favorite is the one with the harp. Angel Playing Harp "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

What Derek thought were seagulls were actually doves. I found them in the Christmas section of Dollar Tree. Doves represent peace. The “Peace on Earth” ornaments were from Dollar General. Christmas Dove "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

Peace on Earth "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

 

The crown ornaments below the globes were first used in 2013 when my theme was “Birthday of a King.” King's Crown Ornament "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

These globe ornaments were my Thanksgiving craft project. We shredded foil tissue paper and stuffed it into glass ornaments. I drew the continents on with a black Sharpie and filled them in with a green Sharpie. Homemade Earth Ornament "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

 

The bottom layer of angels was in the same spot last year for “Angles We Have Heard on High.” There are three “angel tree toppers” resting on the bottom boughs. Gold Angel Tree Topper "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

My niece, Brittney, was here on Monday and she told me she loved my tree skirt. I had to admit that it is a twin, fitted sheet that I borrowed from Derek! The glitter on it fell off of the ornaments on the tree! Glitter Tree Skirt "Can You guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

Other Decor

I wasn’t able to put all the clues on my wreath but it did get: a Christmas Carol scroll, an angel playing an instrument, a dove, and a star. I added small, black ribbons to the wreath. I used these ribbons around the “Horn of Plenty” appetizers that I made for Thanksgiving last year. Theme Wreath "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

My towels are only adorned with an angel and a dove sitting in a wreath. Angels and Dove on Towels "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

I drew continents on a large, blue ornament and filled them in with a green Sharpie to mimic the globe ornaments on the tree for a kissing ball. I hung a crystal angel and a crystal music note from the ribbon. Themed Kissing Ball "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

The Kitchen

On the swag light in the kitchen is a heavenly host of angels from last year. Angels on Swag Light "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

 

The kitchen tablescape has crystal angels and a crystal nativity scene. The only other clues are the colors of the runner and folded napkin on top of it. Crystal Creche and Angles "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

The Dining Room

My dining room table covered a bit more of the theme. Viewed coming down the stairs, the clues go from right to left: an angel playing an instrument, a dove (Kirkland) in a nest (Hobby Lobby), a manger scene in a crown (2013), a globe (Hobby Lobby), and another angel without an instrument. The nest is on top of a garden stand that usually holds a gazing ball. Dining Room Tablescape "Can You Guess My Christmas Theme" frugalfish.org

Did you guess my theme? Too bad, I am going to make you wait! (Type your guess in the comment section below.)

The important thing is I did not spend a lot of money, $31.00. I bought the stars, globe, and nest at Hobby Lobby and they were 50% off. I reused several ornaments from earlier years. I never use all of my decorations, and after sitting in a box for a few years, they seem like new decorations when I finally do!

If you enjoyed my Christmas decorations, you might enjoy seeing others in the “Christmas Tour 2016” that I found at my favorite decorating blog, theinspiredroom.net.

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“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it! But what if you do not have a fireplace? I guess you can roast the chestnuts in the oven, but what about the glow of a fireplace?

A few years ago, I turned the TV on to the “UP” station during a family Christmas because it was showing a “Yule Log.” Yep, it was a video of a fire burning with Christmas music in the background.

I pinned a better idea from At the Picket Fence on my Christmas board. The link for instructions led me to redheadcandecorate.com. I love their faux fireplaces, but I don’t have room for one. I decided to fake the look of a gas fireplace that was like a line of fire.

I remembered my CD organizer turned on its side on the piano. The TV is on top and what better place to have a fire/light feature than there! I got out the battery operated LED button lights my niece gave me for Christmas a few years ago. I put one in each box and made my fire/light feature.LED Button Votives "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" frugalfish.org

I can have the glow during the day or . . .Light Feature as Viewed from my bed "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" frugalfish.org

. . . turn them on at night.Faux Fire Light Feature at Night "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" frugalfish.org

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