I have recently come across Homeschool Radio Shows which offers free online vintage shows from the golden days of American radio. The show available until Christmas is a semi-dramatisiation of The Cinnamon Bear. There’s a pdf download of a colouring book to go with the story.
I also recommend Kiddie Records Weekly which has lurked in my sidebar for ages.
For older teens and adults looking for something to listen to Sonitus Sanctus has lots of free MP3s and other audio and some video.
When it comes to finding ways to be frugal at Christmas I admit I am a complete failure. A lot of the crafty things are too time consuming, require hands and eyes to work and actually I have found in the past that the cost of the bits to make the stuff could end up more expensive than buying something similar.
We do make a Jesse tree and often we make paper chains and paper angels for decorations. Iona has made gingerbread angels to hang on the tree. We intend to get around to the popcorn and cranberry garlands at some point as well. These are all cheap and cheerful.
Making more elaborate decorations with gold ribbon and felt etc- that might be fun, but it isn’t frugal.
One thing I think we need to get back to, is Christmas and birthday shopping all year round. I used to start Christmas shopping in July when I had a wage. I got teased quite a bit, I remember, but by November when the prices starting creeping up I had already done nearly all the shopping and managed to spread the cost.
Christmas time is the time when charities start phoning and knocking on the door. Being frugal with charities is important too. I think it’s worth knowing how your money will be spent. Smaller charities with less overheads often get more done with less, and do less damage. We support Aid to the Church in Need and a couple of local charities for the homeless and those just out of prison.These charities get no political help and are therefore able to remain true their remit. Of the larger charities we support Diabetes UK.
It’s not always money that you can give. Many people who are very short of money offer other stuff instead; crisis pregnancy centres who are genuinely there for the mother and baby need clothes and equipment and sometimes a place for the pregnant mother to stay. Check out your local convent or community of sisters or brothers and I bet you’ll find they need stuff for families in need or for trafficked children and women, and those who are “workers” for some businesses. (Slavery still goes on – and it’s in our cities and towns).
Time is another precious commodity if you can give it.
When it comes to giving presents – I am just doing what seems right and trusting in Providence a bit. After all frugal means moderation and good sense not being tight and miserly. No humbug in our Christmas.