(Or, how to have a bit of Christmas when you're a Miser)

(Or, how to have a bit of Christmas when you’re a Miser)

This year, I’ve got a bit more holiday spirit than usual, even though I’m broker than I was last year — and that’s saying something! So I’ve been thinking hard about how to celebrate in modest style without feeling like the Grinch. Here’s what I’ve got planned so far:

Cookie Swap We’ll be getting our spritz on this coming Sunday. It’s proven to be a bit of a chore to organize, since my Spanish guests have never been to one and I’ve had to explain a few times what the point is and why exactly you are supposed to bring so many cookies. But I’m looking forward to baking without the temptation of then eating  all those cookies, and any occasion for making artichoke dip is a good one!

Broke-girl bonus: I found a cookie press for only 6 euros at a kitchen shop that was going out of business. And cello bags are 3 euros for a hundred at the Unión Bolsera.

Baroque Christmas Concert Next Saturday, I’ll go with a couple of friends to a gem of a Baroque church that’s walking distance from my house. The program is guaranteed to include neither Drummer Boys nor Peces en el Río.

Broke-girl bonus: Admission to concerts at Las Góngoras is usually a kilo of rice or lentils. If cash is required, it’s 10 euros.

Christmas Eve Dinner An expat friend and her sister — and possibly another stray or two — will join me for some low-key celebrating here. We’ll cook together and eat together, and since it’s not a cast of thousands, I won’t get stuck in the kitchen for hours doing clean up, either.

Broke girl bonus: I’ve already got the festive silver-and-white tablecloth from last year, and the makings of a cheaptastic but glam centerpiece. (Yes, I’ll post photos.)

Boxing Day Movie Night Watching a couple of old favorites on iTunes with a big bowl of popcorn and a cup of cocoa is the perfect way to wind down. Plus I can sniff as loudly as I want to during the sad parts of It’s a Wonderful Life and replay the leg-lamp scene of A Christmas Story over and over while shouting “fra-gee-lee”!

Broke-girl bonus: Movies in your jammies. What’s not to like?

Thanks, but no thanks. (image from sergiotraveling.wordpress.com)

Thanks, but no thanks. (image from sergiotraveling.wordpress.com)

New Year’s Eve A small group will gather to share nibbles and gobble down grapes at the stroke of midnight. It’s much more fun to be comfy at home than out with the hordes at Puerta del Sol.

Broke-girl bonus: Everyone brings a little something and a bottle to share, so nobody has to do a ton of work or spend a bundle.

What about your Christmas plans? Any good Miser-ly ideas to share?