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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

'Tis (Officially) the Season

Thanksgiving is done, Black Friday is over (thankfully!), and there is snow on the ground.

It is officially the holiday season!

This year, like so many other families, we're doing a (mostly) Handmade Holiday- not only because it's a much more frugal way to celebrate, but also because now, more than ever (since Regan is getting bigger), we want to be mindful and intentional in raising our child(ren) to be grateful, giving, humble, un-materialistic, and not to feel "entitled".

We want the excitement of the season to come from the fun we have making & doing things for others, as well as from getting to spend time being with and celebrating with our family and friends, not from making pages-long wish lists of gifts for themselves, and not from expecting to receive a BUNCH of presents!

We want our kids to expect to get a few special, quality handmade gifts from us and for anything beyond that, especially from extended family or friends, to be just a nice "bonus".  Less is more.

So, the mad flurry of activity and work (because I, of course, couldn't possibly get an early start on these things!) to get gifts made is in full swing!

So, too, is the decorating of the house for the winter season.  This year the budget with which to do this is basically non-existent, so I'm doing my best to use what we already have and to borrow "extras" from family or friends (thank goodness for sister-in-laws who got married this year and for mother-in-laws who have hung onto the decorations!).

It's causing me to get creative, which- although sometimes frustrating and more labor-intensive- I maintain is good for my brain!

So far, I've come up with this (pardon the horrible cell phone pics- I'm pressed for time with gift-preparing!):

A combo of what we already had- glass hurricane, unscented pillar candle, river rocks & twig rounds, Christmas ribbon, and a placemat.

Same story here, only with a few pinecones added as well.

Red wreath from years past.

And Cinnamon Ornaments (currently drying), which I hope to hang with twine or ribbon by three's in each window.  
(I had completely forgotten about these since making them in elementary school.  And, they're so easy too- just mix plain applesauce and ground cinnamon until you have a stiff enough dough to roll out and cut cookie cutter shapes out of.  Let them air dry until they're nice and hard, then hang 'em up!  Pretty, and they make the house smell so good.)

I'm also hoping to borrow a bunch of greenery (or go to a nearby farm and cut my own) and white Christmas lights from my lovely mother-in-law to get creative with- possibly by hanging a garland and light "border" around my living and dining room, and trying my hand at re-creating these ideas: 

 Lights strung in and around pretty glass bottles (or candles).

 Lights strung around windows.

 Twine accent trees.

 Framed seasonal art made from scrapbooking papers.

Vases, jars, and "cloches" filled with pretties.

 Glittery string ornaments on glittery-
 or painted- branches.

 Candles decorated with glitter or...
 greenery- and placed in arrangements.

And simple, understated, indoor wreaths.

I'm also thinking about making some snowflakes from white tissue paper to decorate our windows with.
I've seen some really pretty gingerbread houses too- which would be cheap since I have all the ingredients to make them- but the really classy looking ones would be really time-consuming (at least for me!) to make, so that's one I'm definitely skipping this year.

I still need to figure out a wreath for the back door and get the table runner out and actually on the table, but I'm beginning to feel like our home is starting to become a little more season-ready!
Now, back to the gift-making.  I'm fairly certain I've, yet again, bitten off a little more than I can chew- and that I'm most likely not going to learn not to be quite so overly ambitious in setting my handmade gift goals in the future!  Oh well.  :)

1 comment:

Mary said...

Hi Jennifer,
I used one of your ideas today. I pulled out my (many) clear and etched crystal flower vases and stuffed lights inside and around them and placed them on my kitchen window ledge and up on top of my kitchen cupboards. It looks great - I knew I was keeping them around for some reason!