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December 4, 2017 Making Memories with Grandkids

Dates to Remember

Dec. 14                         SCD Board Meeting, 9:30 USDA Building, Mandan
Dec. 28                         Rube Goldberg Challenge, Morton County Courthouse
Jan. 2                           My First Business:  Babysitting, Morton County Courthouse
Jan. 8                           I-29 Moo University - Baymont Inn & Suites, Mandan
Jan. 8                           4-H Archery Workouts Begin, Nishu Bowman, Bismarck

Making Holiday Memories With Grandkids

The holidays are a special time for us to come together as families to reconnect, enjoy each other’s company and reflect on many good memories of the past.

For grandparents, it is an especially important opportunity to spend time with their grandkids and create cherished memories.  Many of us who grew up with grandparents have special memories of activities, routines and traditions that have made a lasting impression on us.

These are a few suggestions of things to do with grandkids during the holidays:

  • Have the grandchildren ask family members for their favorite holiday foods and create a family holiday cookbook.
  • Teach the younger family members to how make their favorite dishes by involving them in the cooking process.
  • Take grandchildren shopping for gifts to give others. It will help them learn that holidays are also about giving gifts, not just receiving gifts.
  • Have a holiday pajama party. All generations can wear their holiday pj’s, eat popcorn and enjoy favorite holiday movies together.
  • Do something your family never has done together before. Go ice fishing, take a painting class or enjoy a treasure hunt. If it turns out to be a fun time, make it an annual tradition.
  • Take the family on a tour of the neighborhood to see the holiday light displays or consider volunteering to collect toys or warm winter blankets and coats, or put together holiday gift baskets for needy families.
  • Reach out to older neighbors who won’t have family celebrations and include them in yours. Younger family members will make new friends and memories, and learn about the spirit of the season.

Contact your county office of the NDSU Extension Service for more information about grandparenting or visit https://tinyurl.com/fs1858 for the “Making Memories for Grandchildren” publication.

Grandparents have many activities they can enjoy with grandchildren, but remember, you don’t have to do every tradition every year. The main goal is to have fun and create memories.

As your grandkids get older, you can ask them what things they would like to add to the holiday festivities. By enjoying some family traditions and creating new ones, your grandkids will remember and look forward to these special times year after year.

10 Tips to Budget for the Holidays

Americans’ average holiday spending in 2016 was $795.97 per person, with about $590 of that being spent on gifts for family, friends and co-workers, according to the National Retail Federation.  Other items included $105 for food, $55 for decorations, $27 for greeting cards and postage, and $20 for flowers and potted plants.

Here are 10 tips from the North Dakota State University Extension Service to help you stay on track with your finances this holiday season:

  1. Establish a spending limit. Start by setting a spending limit, not with a list of gift receivers. Find gifts that fit in that budget and do your best not to spend more than that amount.
  2. Make a list and check it twice. After you have your total budget, make a list of everything you need to buy. List all of the people you would like to buy gifts for and all other expenses. People often overlook the extra expenses (travel money, decorations, pet boarding, food, parties, etc.) during the holidays. Think of other things you have to buy this time of year that you typically don’t put in the budget. For example, does your child need a new pair of dress shoes for his or her school concert?
  3. Shop around. Comparison shop or shop online to save. With most of the big sales - Black Friday, Super Saturday, Cyber Monday - behind us for the year, you may think you missed all the good deals. But stores will have sales for the next month. Check multiple stores to make sure you get the best deal.
  4. Track your spending. If you don’t keep track, you very likely will overspend.
  5. Avoid using credit. Do your best not to finance your holidays. If you are planning on using credit, make sure not to charge more than you can afford to pay off at the end of the month. Shop with just one card so you only have one bill at the end of the holidays. You may be getting great deals on things you are buying, but if you have to pay interest on those purchases, you may spend more in the end.
  6. Gift exchanges. Draw names and buy for only one person instead of many. Gift exchanges are a great way for everyone to feel included and receive gifts without breaking the bank. This can be a great way to give gifts in large or extended families or at work. Make sure to set a spending limit.
  7. Homemade gifts. Homemade baked goods or crafts can be a wonderful way to give something to everyone on a tight budget and even may mean more to the receiver.
  8. Give the gift of an experience. Instead of gifts, start a new tradition and take a family trip.
  9. Make a large-gathering potluck. If you’re in charge of making the holiday meal this year, ask guests to pitch in and bring a dish.
  10. Avoid impulse shopping. Don’t put yourself in a position to blow your budget. Last year, 64 percent of Americans who purchased their gifts online and picked them up in the store ended up making an additional in-store purchase. Do your best to stay away from the temptation. If you order online, most retailers have free shipping to your home, and this may be the best way to curb those impulses.

For more tips on setting a budget, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/money, NDSU Extension’s personal and family finance website.

 

 

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