Don't ask me how this happened but Christmas is now officially two months away (sixty-one days to be exact). It seems utterly impossible that a whole year has passed. I mean, really!?! We just did this whole thing like yesterday, right? Well, the impossible has happened in my world and I'm looking back at another year. And for as much as it seems an impossibility it is in fact a reality...one that I know I best start preparing for. Now if you're one of those people who thrive on last minute preparations, read no more. For the rest of you out there like me read on...
When I start thinking of Christmas the obvious first thought is gift giving. (Don't blast me for saying that. I am speaking in practical, physical terms. I know the real reason behind Christmas and firmly believe that we all should daily keep our Savior first and foremost in our minds and the motivation behind all we say and do.) This can be either the biggest thrill of our year or the biggest headache of our year. To keep it from being the latter, take a few minutes this week to write down who you want to bless this year. Then go a step further and write down some ideas by their name. Then go one step beyond that and list the items you'll need to gather for the gift you want to give.
Now as you do this keep in mind the gifts need not be grand in nature to be the blessing you want them to be. For most of us something homemade that shows the giver has put thought into pleasing the recipient really are grandest gifts of all! Basically, just consider the needs of the person/people you are gifting. Someone who has "everything" can always use something consumable. Have a family you want to gift but not sure what everyone likes? A gift basket filled with the makings of breakfast, movie night or game night are fun options. How about a college student? They're always broke and a care box full of toothpaste, soap and shampoo is more than welcome. Throw in a gas card and they'll think they've found the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow!
Once you have your list made keep your eyes open and begin gathering items. Hitting yard sales and thrift stores are two of our favorite ways to gather things we want to use to make gifts. Doing this also stretches your dollars so you can give more. Honestly, though it may sound cheesy to do so I have yet to EVER have someone ask "Did this come from a yard sale?" Most recipients have loved those unique items more than if I had bought something brand-new. Oh, and don't stop gathering once this Christmas is all set. You'll get a feel for what kinds of things you'll use so gather those items year 'round. This makes for even less stress, both on us and our wallets.
And don't overlook items you've been given that you can regift. Nothing cheesy about that, either! Remember, it is all about blessing people and when that is the motivation behind the gifts you give the recipient of that blessing feels the love you are showing them!
If you're stuck and needing some ideas for homemade gifts surf the net. There are oodles of ideas out there...from the zany to the tasteful. (Okay, pun was intended.) Here are a few sites that I've come across with some cool ideas.
This first one has gifts in a mug and is perfect for someone on your list who is single or watching calories:http://www.budget101.com/frugal/mug-cup-mixes-193/
They also have an extensive list of other gift ideas:http://www.budget101.com/christmas-winter-solstice-yule/christmas-gift-ideas-2735.html
I must say here that I have not thoroughly been though this website but from what I have seen I have not come across any offensive material while going through their gift ideas.
As always, Martha Stewart delivers some classic ideas:http://www.marthastewart.com/christmas
Okay, okay...Martha doesn't live at my house, either, but she does have some great ideas.
Lastly, this site offers many homemade craft/gift ideas for the various people on your list:http://familyfun.go.com/christmas/homemade-christmas-gifts/
So now it's time for you to begin your list, check it twice and get to gathering! As for me...I'm off to do the same...