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Holly Jolly Christmas

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They just put up the giant Christmas tree at Union Square and I’m getting so excited for the holidays! Visions of sugar plums are totally dancing in my head and I can’t wait to start picking out gifts for my family and friends. My sister and I have a tradition where we open each other’s gifts on Christmas Eve, which started when we were little kids and just couldn’t keep it together long enough to wait until actual Christmas to open presents, so our parents let us pick just one to open on Christmas Eve. We always picked each other’s presents, and the tradition stuck with us even as adults.
If you’re trying to stick to a holiday budget this year (let’s face it, I usually make a budget and then blow it, so I could do better at this too), I’ve got a couple tips and tricks for you that you might not have thought of. First, scoop up all your loose change. You know, the change you can find in the bowl on your man’s bedside table, rolling around in your desk drawers, sitting in your car’s cup holders, and hiding in your couch cushions. Then, round up all of your gift cards to places that you don’t even like that you’ve been holding on to—you probably have at least one of those! Finally, take your change to the green Coinstar© kiosk and your cards to the yellow Coinstar Exchange™ kiosk (you can find a kiosk near you at and cash those babies in. And voila! Instant cash. That’s what I did before a little holiday get together, and all that spare change amounted to a nice bottle of wine! Host gift, solved. You also have the option on the Coinstar kiosk to cash in your coins for a no-fee eGift card or you can donate directly to a charity—such a great way to get into the holiday spirit!

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