The holidays are a time when we all want to indulge our families. But spending too much just leads to anxiety, which is no gift to your family.
I wanted to start this forum to allow ErieMoms to share some of the creativity I know is out there -- and give you some time to make or track down some of the money-saving projects/gifts that you can do.
As I find ideas, I'll be adding them. But I hope you will too.
One of my favorites is to go to one of your favorite photo Web sites, I use Kodakgallery.com, and create calendars with pictures from family gatherings. You can make them for about $15 per calendar, comparable to what you can buy in the store but personalized.
One money-saving idea is to work with your kids outside to create Christmas presents for their friends and family.
This allows both you and your children to get outside and get exercise and conversations about the outdoors.
Recently my daughter and I have been collecing sea (beach) glass. These piece are being turned into both earrings and cards for friends and family. This morning I was drilling the glass to make earrings. Later today we'll get out the glue to turn the white pieces into snowmen for cards. It's a great way to remind family members who don't live here anymore about the region's natural beauty.
Animal Art Show and Sale: Preview, Friday, Nov. 21, 6-8 p.m. (registration required); show, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 22 and 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Erie Zoo, 423 W. 38th St.; matted and framed art comes with a photo of the animal artist in action; animal art bookmarks, pottery, mugs, canvas, ornaments and more available. Cost: Friday preview, $20 (includes beverages, snacks, souvenir, animal painting demos); artwork is $4 to $60, with 10 percent discount for members. Info: www.eriezoo.org, 864-4091.
THANKSGIVING ON THE PENINSULA: Saturday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m.-noon; join Presque Isle State Park naturalists for a 2-mile hike focused on wild turkeys and cranberry plants; meet at Presque Isle Lighthouse parking area. Cost: Free. Info: 833-7424.
TERRIFIC TURKEYS: Saturday, Nov. 22, 10:30 a.m.-noon; Asbury Woods Nature Center, 4105 Asbury Road; for children age 4 and older with an adult; learn about turkeys and take home a turkey craft. Cost: $7; $5 members; preregistration required. Info: 835-5356, www.asburywoods.org.
Wreath Decorating: Sunday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m.; Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 301 Peninsula Drive; includes design tips, bow and craft materials to decorate a 24-inch Fraser fir wreath; preregistration required; children age 7 and older welcome when accompanied by a prepaid adult. Cost: $40. Info: 833-6050.
HARVEST CENTERPIECES: Monday, Nov. 24, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Asbury Woods Nature Center, 4105 Asbury Road; materials and instruction provided to create a holiday centerpiece to take home. Cost: $30; $24 members. Info: 835-5356,www.asburywoods.org.