Now that Halloween is over, Rememberance Day is just around the corner (wear your poppy with pride!) and before you know, Christmas will be upon us. My mom has been suggesting for years that we celebrate the “commercial” (i.e. gift-giving) side of things as the Dutch do, celebrating St. Nicholas, early in December for Sinterklaas Day and leaving the 25th for a the true reason for Christmas, a celebration and rememberance of love’s greatest gift. After a hectic October and what is shaping up to be a busy November, my siblings and I discussed (and decided) that, hey, maybe Mom’s onto something here. So with my immediate family, we’ll be celebrating Christmas in early December (not actually on Sinterklaas Day, though.)
This is all excellent in theory… but it means I’ve lost close to 3 weeks in my “making-a-list-and-checking-it-twice-all-while-staying-on-a-budget” window of opportunity. Don’t get me wrong – I’m organized on paper but my ideas aren’t really gelling this year. I
want need to keep things to a minimum and honestly, I’m the kind of girl who goes a little overboard, especially at Christmas – just because I love all things merry and bright – and incorrectly think that the more I do or give, the more expressive my love.
Every year I try to, not necessarily simplify, but do less commercial gift-giving. Yes, I still stuff the stockings and pick out those perfect gifts, but I’m trying for heartfelt or homemade, without being chintzy, cheesy or cheap. I’m a crafter at heart, even if those ideas don’t necessarily translate into physical realities as nice or often as I would like. I’m all set on crafts to do with the kids – the idea folder (in my head!) is chock-full of goodness. It’s the nice-to-give, lovely-to-receive things that I have a harder time with.
I need ideas so I’ve been scrounging the internet, magazines, catalogues and even browsed one of the local craft shows (ok, who am I kidding – I went to shop!) for some easy-to-implement homemade holiday ideas. This has led me to a number of blogs and Facebook groups I’ll be following (I’d share the links but I have them saved on my laptop and I’m logged into the home pc.) I stumbled upon Martha Stewart, Stampin’ Up and Close To My Heart – and I think I’m suffering from inspiration overload but still haven’t found those perfect somethings that I’d like to create.
|Candy Countdown Calendar
by Stampin Up
I am definitely going to do some of my “gifts-in-a-jar” (or bag or box) – mixes for homemade goodness and of course some homemade treats. I also found a cute (I absolutely love it!!!) Advent/Countdown Calendar kit from Stampin’ Up – which I am not going to buy but will use as inspiration for creating my own take-out box Advent calendar garland for the boys (thereby tapping into my endless supply of scrapbook materials!) After tinkering with my printer, Adobe and some papers, the question of the day becomes: do I create my own (48!) takeout boxes or do I splurge on the boxes and just embellish using my own supplies??? Decisions, decisions….
Here’s my next question (or two or three) of the day: What homemade holiday decor, gifts, packaging, etc. ideas do you use or share? What traditions or do-it-yourself projects do you incorporate to keep things more heartfelt and less commercial?
Less than 2 months to go – I’m sure my posts will be very holiday-themed and I’ll try to keep you up to date on the Advent garland project. Share your ideas, comments, etc. – you know I welcome your feedback. Enjoy all the preparations as you get into the holiday spirit and remember that neverending, unconditional love is the reason we celebrate the season and should be the basis for all we do to make it special.