Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Uncluttering Christmas with Thoughtful Gifts... not just buying 'stuff' so you have something to give

Pumpkin bargain hunting at a craft store.

Yes, yes, I know, last year Columbia wrote a post on uncluttering gift ideas but I love that the topic is becoming more and more popular. Also, who can't use more ideas for thoughtful gifts that don't take up much space?

This is why I salivated all over Northern Cheapskate's post on 7 Gifts for People Who Have Everything. It's not just 7 gifts, by the way, it's 7 amazing ideas that don't just speak to buying for those hard-to-buy-for-friends-and-relatives but also elaborates on being especially thoughtful in your gift giving. It will not surprise you to know that Columbia and I are a big fan of #6: Experiences. This has always been a favorite gift to give each other. A night away to a B&B, a frugal but fun weekend in Boston, a 'Saturdate' with all the trimmings, or tickets to a favorite show or game have showed much more thoughtfulness than just a gift wrapped under the tree. I may have even liked them better than jewelry (Columbia, when you read this, know that this is true but I do absolutely love the above mentioned sparklies).

If you are finding yourself more and more drawn to DIY, then Sew, Mama, Sew has ideas for every person on your gift-giving list. Sew, Mama, Sew is also posting great ideas submitted by their readers, like this one on homemade Irish Cream (scroll down - Yum!), so check their site daily for more ideas.

I have been inspired so much this year that I am not sure how I am going to get to all of the projects I have planned. Putting up Christmas decorations might be a good start, though...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Free Museum Friday... and Saturday and Sunday and....

I was all set to post about the great free opportunities for visiting Museums on Friday evening, when lo and behold I discovered that there are museums offering free entrance everyday of the week!

NewYorkology posted a comprehensive list that you can access here, but I've posted the museums offering free Fridays below. We are taking Pumpkin to the Children's Museum of Manhattan tonight. While it's free for her until she's one, Columbia and I would have to pay $10 each if it weren't for there free hours the first Friday of every month.

Free Museum Entrance of Fridays
  • Museum of Modern Art - Free from 4 to 8 p.m. (normally $20)
  • Guggenheim - Pay-what-you-wish from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m.; last admission at 7:15 p.m. (normally $18)
  • Whitney Museum of American Art - Pay-what-you-wish from 6 to 9 p.m. (normally $15)
  • International Center of Photography - “voluntary contribution” admission from 5 to 8 p.m. (normally $12)
  • Morgan Library & Museum - Free from 7 to 9 p.m. (normally $12)
  • NY Hall of Science - Free 2 to 5 p.m., but only September through June (normally $11)
  • New-York Historical Society - Free from 6 to 8 p.m. (normally $10)
  • Rubin Museum of Art - Free from 7 to 10 p.m. (normally $10)
  • South Street Seaport Museum - Free Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m. on the third Friday of each month, sometimes with free harbor sails (museum admission normally $10)
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan - Free the first Friday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m. (normally $10)
  • The Noguchi Museum - Pay-what-you-wish on the first Friday of each month, all day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (normally $10)
  • Asia Society - Free 6 to 9 p.m., but free Fridays are suspended July 4 to Labor Day. (normally $10)
  • Folk Art Museum - Free from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (normally $9)
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Free all day every Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but only from Nov. 20 - Feb. 29 (normally $8)
  • Bronx Museum - Free 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (normally $5 suggested)
  • Museum of the Moving Image is closed for renovations, except for the “Behind the Screen” exhibition which is free with an “optional contribution of $5”