Saturday, December 3, 2011

Have a Very Green Christmas!

This article by moi originally appeared in the staff issue of the Telus newsletter a few years ago. I thought everyone might enjoy reading it.

With everyone conscious about going green this year, we can't justify buying bags and bags of cheap decorations from the store, nor a real Christmas tree. What can we do to have a very green Christmas, yet still have an enjoyable holiday season?

Let's start with the Christmas tree, as it's the largest decoration. If you have a big yard, you can buy a live tree, decorate it for Christmas, then plant it in the back yard afterwards. If you don't want an indoor tree, then you could add lights and water-proof decorations to a tree in the front yard. 

If you don't have a yard, the best bet is an artificial tree. Many of the new artificial trees look like the real thing. These can be packed up in January, and put into storage. They come in all sizes, so if you don't want a huge tree, you can choose a table-top one. You will be able to use it for years to come. 

Keep an ear out for stores that are offering a big discount on new energy-efficient LED lights. You take in your old light strings and they give you a discount for a new set of lights. Different stores are running different promotions throughout the season.

Now what to do if you don't have any ornaments or decorations? The first place I would go would be the parent's house, or aunt's or uncle's homes. Since the kids are grown up and gone, they likely don't go all-out for Christmas any more and have boxes of ornaments in storage. Maybe there are some that your Granny made, cherished heirlooms which you can clean and refurbish and put on your own tree. Worn ornaments can be fixed or covered with beads, sequins, and glitter. Even a slightly tarnished ornament from the 60s would be far nicer than the plastic junk you can buy now. 

If you have youngsters who will be visiting for Christmas, perhaps you could raid friend's basements for those small plastic toys that seem to get forgotten for the latest computer game. Bring a smile to your niece's or nephew's faces by adding some hangers and decorating your tree with Disney or McDonalds toys. All houses with kids seem to have a big bin of these toys that get forgotten after a while. Maybe they'll even want to play with the toys again after seeing them light up the tree.

Instead of slaving for hours over the stove (and using up valuable energy) why not make a variety of salads and fruit salads to go with the main dish? I'm sure none of us need the extra calories anyway. 

I hope everyone has a Merry Green Christmas this year!

Friday, December 2, 2011

50 Ways to Save Money to Buy Dawn Dolls

I've been circulating these tips since I re-started collecting my doll collection back in 1997.

There's always ways to save money and cut back on expenses so you have more money to buy Dawn dolls and accesssories. Here are some tips and tricks so you can buy that NRFB PT Glori today.

1. Stop eating.
2. Stop car payments.
3. Stop paying rent/mortgage.
4. Stop paying insurance.
5. There is such a thing as a free lunch - call your friends!
6. Hitchhike to work.
7. Don't go anywhere.
8. Don't answer the phone, it might be creditors.
9. Stop paying Visa/Mastercard bills.
10. Furnish home with castoffs.
11. Eat at soup kitchens.
12. Steal toilet paper from work.
13. Run an extension cord to the outer hallway outlet if you live in an apartment building.
14. Splice into neighbour's cable.
15. Pimp out hubby.
16. Steal stuff like staplers from work and auction off on online auction sites.
17. Eat your co-workers' lunches from the fridge.
18. Call long distance from work.
19. Speak a foreign language when the creditors call again.
20. Take out your neighbour's laundry in the laundry room and put your own in, before they notice!
21. Ask your neighbor for sugar, then go back the next day and ask for flour, the next day ask for potatoes, and the next day ask for hamburger.
22. Butter, the new hand lotion.
23. Grease pans with butter wrappers.
24. Use lard as cold cream.
25. Let dog/cat clean dishes.
26. Let dog clean floor, save on Lysol.
27. Save on dogfood by letting dog clean dishes and floor.
28. Check trash for cans, fight off homeless!
29. Ask homeless for spare change.
30. Top Ramen festive holiday meals.
31. Pick vegetables from your neighbor's yard.
32. Pick your own food from city parks.
33. Grab that croissant off the outdoor table at Starbucks and run!
34. Burn your furniture in the fireplace.
35. Wash dishes with bubblebath.
36. Wash hair with bubblebath.
37. Use coffee filters as baby wipes.
38. Wash floor with balsalmic vinegar if the dog didn't do a good job.
39. Serve balsalmic vinegar in wine glasses to guest if you run out of wine.
40. Coat twigs with spices and serve to guests.
41. Garbage bags, the new kinky bed sheets.
42. Stop wearing underwear, cut laundry in half!
43. Steal paper towels from work.
44. Make your own paper from flyers.
45. Make curtains into a gown for the company Christmas party.
46. Snip up your clothes and make doll clothes to sell on online auction sites.
47. Pay your Mastercard with your Visa and Vice Versa, pay rent with credit cards.
48. Steal your neighbour's newspaper.
49. Sell off everything not directly related to your Dawn doll addiction.
50. Sell off the dolls you are totally bored with. Gasp!