Monday, October 6, 2008

Christmas Ideas

The past few days I have been talking to a couple of my daughters-in-law about Christmas gift giving and we have decided to curtail our spending this year in light of the impending financial crunch. We talked about: 1) focusing more on the children and 2) being more practical in what we give to the adults.

I am making some of my Christmas gifts. The past few weeks I have been creating some adult surprises for family members that I won't describe here. For neighborhood giving I am making knitted cotton dish cloths in glorious colors. I plan to make up some of my favorite spice mixes and put them with the dish cloths for adult-type gifts around the neighborhood. I also plan to begin making some of my food gifts early. I am open for more suggestions if anyone is into the Christmas-gift-making mode at this time.

I am hoping that we do not have to endure prolonged economic difficulties, but I do plan to use some of my ingenuity to create nice Christmas gifts without making a big dent in our budget this year.

Today I noticed that Barbara has a blog article on getting prepared for an economy crisis by saving for an emergency. She lists things that one might want to stock up on and in doing so might save some money in the long run. You can view her list by clicking on her name above.


  1. I haven't thought much about Christmas yet, but I think it's time I started. I'm going to suggest that our big family draw names this year and concentrate on the children.

    Also, Christmas is more about getting together and celebrating the birth of Christ, than all the materialism we've gotten into.

    I like your ideas about handmade items, too.

    It can be called "an old fashioned Christmas." I think we'll try it, if I can get others to agree.

  2. I love that your whole family agreed to do that at Christmas! I struggled so many years to get members to do something besides spend a fortune on things we didn't need but it is hard to change habits.
    I like the idea of buying for those who really need it or just getting together to be together.

  3. I'm excited that we can tone down the gift giving some this year. I hope those that don't believe they are creative can come up with something inexpensive. Everyone has their talents, but sometimes it's hard for us to see them. My girls really got a lot out of writing everyone in the family notes last year telling them how special they were to them. It was truly a labor of love on their part(having a five year old and seven year old hand write several letters!)but one I think that helped them to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Those are the things that will be cherished in years to come:)

  4. Kara,
    I love your idea about writing family notes telling family members how special they are. What a lovely idea. I had to do that for my parents as a college class project and it was quite moving for all three of us! Great suggestion!

  5. i've always liked making christmas gifts! i used to make christmas cards and gifts for my friends and family in junior high. i made tree ornaments for my mother and spiced nuts for my father and i made felt mittens for my friends and filled them with stuff us kids liked... pretty pens, hair ties, candy... I remember the American Girl magazines always had good ideas.

    What sort of spice mixes do you make? I need some ideas for my parents this year!

  6. Amy,
    I just came across these today for popcorn. How about one or more of these with some packages of microwave popcorn--maybe in a cute container for a Christmas gift?

    Susan's Herb Snips
    from Susan Albert's Collection of Herbal Lore
    Mix-N-Match Popcorn Sprinkles
    Tired of the same old bland popcorn? Reduce or eliminate salt and add healthy taste with your own garden-grown dried herbs and a few from the grocery. For easy preparation, make several different sprinkles at one time and store in labeled shaker-top bottles. Each recipe uses dried and finely powdered herbs and makes about one-half cup. A great kids' project-the sprinkles make unique gifts, too!
    Mama Mia Sprinkle
    2 tablespoons each of basil, thyme, marjoram, garlic powder.
    Serve with a shaker of Parmesan cheese.
    Creole Crazy Sprinkle
    2 tablespoons of paprika
    1 tablespoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil
    1 one-half teaspoons each of thyme, lemon pepper, cayenne pepper, salt
    MexiCorny Sprinkle
    2 tablespoons each of chili powder (mild, medium, or hot), parsley flakes, cumin
    1 tablespoon each of onion powder and garlic powder
    1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

  7. Pat, in my life it is graduation gifts that seem to be a problem. Yes, money is great, but I also like to get photos from the graduates family, scan them in and make a photo album for the student. I use different softwares and then in 3 or 4 days, I have the school memory book to give them. It has been a hit.
    Good luck with your Christmas presents. We don't usually do "real" presents. Sometimes a trip, sometimes a play etc. None of us need anything. We do make pumpkin bread and cinnamon butter for all the neighbors. I usually attach a cute spreader and if they stick around several years, they end up with a set! ~cathyv

  8. I love the idea of the school memory book for students! Thanks for the tip. That would work for Christmas also.