This year has been filled with many things that have literally drained my family's bank account. From multiple surgeries that my husband has had to undergo, to growing children that eat more food than I ever imagined possible, household and car repairs, to ever-increasing medical expenses, this year was definitely one of "pinching pennies." Yet, I am deeply thankful for the financially unstable year that my family has endured. A crazy thing to be thankful for? It may sound that way on the surface, but thinking back over the last year, God has shown me so many new things about Himself that I definitely would not have been able to see if more money had been in my bank account.
I also love the creativity that comes from these seasons in our life. In our house, things have been fixed, not replaced. We've learned to grab a sweater or blanket, rather than heating the house a couple of degrees more. My children have re-discovered things they forgot they had, like Legos, Play-Doh, Nerf guns, and model car kits. And we're happy. :)
When thinking about Christmas gifts for our extended family, we knew giving gifts to everyone this year was going to be impossible. But, after doing some browsing of craft web sites, I came up with a few ideas for things we could make inexpensively to give as gifts. As a family, we decided on painted Christmas ornaments, using our fingerprints. I already had paint that we could use and I found clear glass ornaments and frosted glass ornaments at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. Total cost to make 24 gifts: $7.42. God had provided us with an affordable way to give gifts!
As I dipped my daughter's little fingers in paint and then my sons', it became clear that these were not going to be just cute, they would be ADORABLE! All five of us chose a character to create from our fingerprints and decorated each ornament. Doug made a Santa Claus, I made a wreath, Ian made a penguin, Brodie made a snowman, and Ellery made a reindeer. I then wrote our names and the date along the bottom and these little masterpieces are ready for gift-giving!