A great Christmas frugal hint for NEXT YEAR is to use Swagbucks as your search engine and earn Amazon gift cards. I earned $40.00 during 2010, without really spending a lot of time or trying to work the system. I'm sure that's much less than many people earned, but it was so nice to be able to order my grandson some Christmas presents on Amazon at no cost, using the gift cards.
On Friday Amazon had a good sale on Melissa and Doug toys. Since my youngest child is now 23 (I think I'll swoon), I have never heard of Melissa and Doug toys. But after looking at the selection on Amazon, I decided these toys would be a nice departure from the standard toys found in the toy department at your neighborhood superstore. They are made from quality materials, are educational and just plain old different than most toys for sale nowadays.
But, as a final note, I did a quick search on Wikipedia to check out the Melissa and Doug Company, and was saddened to find out that while this company is an American company founded in the owners' basement in 1988 and the toys started out being manufactured in America, NOW the toys are manufactured in China. In 2006, the Melissa and Doug company had only 200 employees in America and 1000 employees in China. What does one do? Its nearly impossible to buy our children and grandchildren any toys that are American made.