ErieMoms

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.

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I visited Ollie's Bargain Barn over the weekend. Great deals there. I got an art set for under $10 and found a kids' metal detector (great for the beach) also for under $10.

Next up ... Big Lots.
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.

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Coming up

ZABAWA POLISH FESTIVAL: Friday, Aug. 22, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 23, 1-10:30 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 24, noon-6 p.m.; Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 2220 Reed St.; Polish food, polka music, dancing, raffles. Cost: Free. Info: 456-0671,www.holytrinityrc.org.

NORTH EAST NATIONAL RIB FEST: Friday, Aug. 22, 4:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Saturday, Aug. 23, noon-12:30 a.m.; Sunday, Aug. 24, noon-6 p.m.; Gravel Pit Park, North East; rib-eating contests, Ladies Auxiliary car show, Jim Archer Memorial motorcycle show, music, more. Cost: Free admission.

 Purple Martin Roost Kayak Tour: Friday, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Vista 3, Presque Isle State Park; see one of the largest purple martin roosts in the state; experienced adult paddlers only; register by Aug. 21; bring your own kayak, lifejacket and light. Cost: Free. Info: 833-7424.

Creek stomp at Elk Creek: Saturday, Aug. 23, 9 a.m.-noon; Erie Bluffs State Park, Route 5, Lake City; bring a pair of water shoes or waders to collect fish and macroinvertebrates; meet at Elk Creek boat launch parking lot. Cost: Free. Info: 833-7424.

 Erie Land Lighthouse Tours: Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23-24, noon-4 p.m.; Erie Land Lighthouse, foot of Lighthouse Street, James N. Thompson land Lighthouse Park; presented by the Erie Playhouse. Cost: $5. Info:www.erieplayhouse.org.

Back to School Bash: Saturday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Experience Children's Museum, 420 French St.; games, crafts, giveaways and more. Cost: Included with museum admission. Info: 453-3743.

More events here.

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