The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License,
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

Frugal Café Philosophy
Save more.
Spend wisely.
Use resources responsibly.
Laugh often.
Kindle passion in life.
Give back.





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So, You Had a Bad Day... Frugal Café Pick-Me-Up Page
Quotes, Anecdotes, Inspirational Thoughts, & Other Uplifting Stuff to Make Your Day a Bit Brighter


Fight for Your Dreams


Did you have a bad day? Or a bad week? Did something happen this week that made you feel like your dreams were slipping further away? Do you feel frustrated, angry, frightened, confused, defeated... or all of these?

Perhaps you are searching for something to help reinforce your faith in yourself, in your family, in your life. Something to make you smile, something to pick you up? Well, that's the mission of our "uplift" page. Each week, we'll give you new things that hopefully will encourage you, spark a flame within in you, make you laugh, or just take your mind off the stupid junk going on in your life, if for just a few minutes.

We're on the countdown to Christmas, aren't we? So much to do, so little paycheck to do it with. Don't despair... you don't need money or credit cards to have a great Christmas. In fact, the less you spend, you more you may savor the holiest of days in the Christian religion. With a little gumption, a lot of creativity, and good old-fashioned-non-smutty humor, you just may have a reversal of thinking—Christmas is a celebration of Christ's birth, after all. It is the spirit of love and charity and joy and hope, a time for reflection and appreciation. The biggest promise of all. It's the realization of why Christmas even exists and why it's so special.

"But," you think, with maybe a bit of anger or desperation, "you just don't understand. You're trivializing how I feel. I want this Christmas to be awesome, to make up for the crappy year. To make up for everything that's going wrong in Washington and at my job... things out of my control are stressing and depressing me. I need Christmas to make up for all the horrible upheaval our country is going through. I want it to FEEL like Christmas. How can I feel that without having the money or credit to buy gifts, to make it a fabulous holiday for my family, my children, my friends? And for me?"

We're not trivializing how you feel. Your feelings are very real. There is no magic potion to dissolve your fears or frustrations about having a meager Christmas. Sure, it's not what you expected, but that's life. However, you must believe that you can survive and rise above this current adversity. You can choose to be happy and fight for your dreams, or you can choose to be miserable and give up. It's up to YOU which it will be. It's just that simple.

If you choose to be happy, but are uncertain how to do that, reach down deep. Remember previous happy Christmases, especially those when you were a kid. Analyze your memories. You have no knowledge of the price tags on things you received, but you will definitely remember one or more special gifts that you loved. Why? Because they embodied you and your interests. Because someone took the time to show how much they loved you by carefully selecting or making that special item. But overall, it was not just the toys and gifts that make for happy memories. Discard that notion. More than anything, it is the crystal-clean feeling of joy, of togetherness, of doing fun, traditional activities with your loved ones, and laughing.

You just need that extra ounce of strength and hope and courage and drive to get moving. But first, you need to read a few articles we have just for you here at Frugal Café. Click the links and read the articles we've posted below—a few will help get your creative juices going and others will help you identify why you feel this way and give you inspiration to make this Christmas amazing without extra cash and without extra stress.

And please, don't forget to laugh. We keep saying that, but honestly, when you don't laugh and problems grow so huge that they nearly suffocate you, you can't function. They control you. And you will more than likely not want to laugh. But, laughter is so important to your mental health and physical well being. Life is never all bad or all good, even if you're broke at Christmas.

Sometimes, all you need is a sharp nudge to help you take back your control and squash down that sickening feeling of hopelessness that paralyzes you. You need hope and YOU NEED TO DEVISE A PLAN. A plan for success. A plan to achieve your dream. We can't do that for you. It's your life and it's your plan. Everyone needs a plan, just like they need a map to take a cross-country road trip.

You need to refuse to give in to the darkness and charge into the light. Be upbeat, even if you don't feel like it. You must NOT give up. You're strong and courageous and a winner... but you can be tempted to wallow in self-doubt and pity. Think about all the good in your life, and absolutely refuse to think about the bad.

Hard to do? You betcha it is—we know it just like you know it. But you CAN do it. You can pray for strength and wisdom, then, you resolve yourself to your plan for success (remember, we said earlier you must make a plan). Because things WILL get better. You just have to fight for your dream, your dream of the best (and most money-strapped) Christmas you've ever had.

This Week's Pick-Me-Up Songs: Week of December 1, 2008

Left-click to play, right-click to download (select 'Save Target As' to save to your computer). To play from the site, file will take a few seconds to load and then your audio player will open in a new window. All files are mp3 format.


Push to Play

Daniel Powter - You Had a Bad Day
(our Uplift Page theme song)
Length: 3 min. 53 sec.

Push to Play Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) - Hold on Tight to Your Dreams
Length: 3 min. 7 sec.

Push to Play Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Length: 3 min. 55 sec.

Push to Play Benny Goodman - Sing, Sing, Sing (upbeat instrumental, Big Band Era)
Length: 5 min. 5 sec. (short version)

Push to Play Tina Turner - Proud Mary
Length: 4 min. 57 sec.


Quick Pick-Me-Up: Jokes and Inspirational Anecdotes

(We don't intend to offend anyone, as these jokes have a bit of coarse language and macabre endings. But, we really thought these were funny, so we are throwing caution to the wind to share them here.)

American Soldier, British Manners

An American GI, serving during World War II, had just returned from several weeks of intense action on the German front lines. He had finally been granted R & R and was on a train bound for London. The train was very crowded, so the soldier walked the length of the train, looking for an empty seat. The only unoccupied seat was right next to a well dressed middle-aged lady and was being used by her little dog.

The war-weary soldier asked, "Please, ma'am, may I sit in that seat?"

The English woman looked down her nose at the soldier, sniffed, and retorted, "You Americans. You are such a rude class of people. Can't you see my Little Fifi is using that seat?"

The soldier walked away, determined to find a place to rest, but after another trip down to the end of the train, found himself again facing the woman with the dog. Again, he asked, "Please, lady. May I sit there? I'm very tired."

The English woman wrinkled her nose and snorted, "You Americans! Not only are you rude, you are also arrogant. Imagine!"

The soldier didn't say anything else. He leaned over, picked up the little dog, tossed it out the window of the train, and sat down in the empty seat.

The woman shrieked and railed, and demanded that someone defend her and chastise the soldier.

An English gentleman sitting across the aisle spoke up, "You know, sir, you Americans do seem to have a penchant for doing the wrong thing. You eat holding the fork in the wrong hand. You drive your autos on the wrong side of the road. And now, sir, you've thrown the wrong bitch out the window."


The Seaman and the Pirate

A young, able-bodied seaman met an old pirate in a bar, and they took turns recounting their many adventures at sea.

Noting the pirate’s peg-leg, hand hook, and eye patch, the seaman asked, "So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?"

The pirate replied, "We was caught in a monster storm off the cape and a giant wave swept me overboard. Just as me crew was pullin' me out, a school of sharks appeared and one of 'em bit me leg off."

"Blimey!" exclaimed the seaman. "What about the hook?"

"Ahhhh," mused the pirate. "We were boardin' a trader ship, pistols blastin' and swords swingin' this way and that. In the fracas, me hand got chopped off."

"Zounds! What an exciting story," remarked the seaman. "And the eye patch?"

"Ah, yes, me eye patch. A seagull droppin’ fell into me eye," answered the pirate.

"You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?" the sailor asked incredulously.

"Well..." said the pirate slowly, "it was me first day with the hook..."


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