Something Different for Christmas Gifts
Try something new this year,
I've always loved Christmas with all the people and food and excitement. Somehow the gift giving was not the highlight of the season, just a fun part of it. With so many people out of work this year, and with the economy so rough, I wanted to share a few things that you can do for gifts that will make Christmas exciting and fun-packed without all the hassles of shopping for just the right gift that you can't afford and they may not like. By using these suggestions, you can make this Christmas the beginning of a tradition that will mean more than all the expensive gifts combined.
1} If you have young children, you can have them draw pictures or color something from a coloring book, not necessarily a Christmas one, then put a small copy of their school picture, or any picture for that matter, in one corner of the picture and frame it with a small note in the other corner giving the name of the author, date, and a Warm Greeting.
2} Make a picture frame with your kids to give as gifts: take two large (about 2" larger than the picture) sturdy pieces of cardboard and cut out the center of one so that the picture will show through. Decorate the cut piece with colorful cloth, Christmas wrapping paper (be sure to use the foil type), macaroni stained with food coloring and then pasted on, glitter pasted on, etc. Let your imagination run wild (and the kids as well). Then place the picture in a clear plastic bag or plastic wrap (tape the plastic securely to the back of the photo). Secure the picture to the uncut piece of cardboard with tape or glue and then place the cut piece over it, centered over the picture, and glue it down. When it dries you will have a wonderful gift for any member of the family.
3} Take a plain white table cloth (doesn't have to be fancy even a sheet will do if it will fit the table) ironed and set out on a plastic covered surface. Separate it into small squares using a ruler and permanent ink pen (if you like) then write or draw pictures in each of the squares (have kids do the same). You could even have everyone write or draw something on Thanksgiving about what they are thankful for, or you could use a scanner to create transfers of pictures that you can put on the tablecloth. This will bring back memories for many years to come. Good for Grandparents or favorite Aunts and Uncles. Be sure to note that the tablecloth will have to be handwashed.
Just for fun...
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4} Buy plain plastic ornaments and have the kids (or anyone else who would like to help) decorate them with glitter, stickers, sparkles, or anything else you would like. Put a colorful ribbon through the loop at the top and tie a small knot.
5} Christmas is a hectic time and people are usually pretty worn out by the end of the day, so to help out, print, color, write, or decorate small pieces of cardstock with the words "Gift Certificate" on the top and something that you will do for them listed below. It could be something simple like clean a room for them, or walk their dog one day, or take them to the store, or help take down the Christmas tree and decorations. As long as it is something that you know they will enjoy (or be happy about) you can write it on the certificate and give the certificate as your gift. Make up several so they can enjoy a special gift year round, or just one that's super special. These types of gifts are relatively easy to give and cost practically nothing, but mean the world to the receiver.
6} Purchase a medium tote or basket and fill it with small things that you know the person can use or often runs out of like stationary, their favorite body wash, measuring sets if they bake a lot, pens and pencils, samples of favorite coffees, or peanut butter and jelly for their favorite sandwich. You can just put the things in and give it to them with a bow or you can wrap each item before setting it in the tote or basket for extra unwrapping excitement.
7} Bake...Bake...Bake-You can make just about anything you would like including cookies, cakes, breads, candies, fudge, cup cakes, etc. Wrap them in colorful plastic wrap and cover with a pretty bow. These things are always popular especially if it's something that they don't usually have during the year.
Happy Holidays from the heart!
Remember, whatever you make will mean much more to the person receiving it because you have made it yourself with love and your own form of creativity. Have fun this Christmas and make your families dreams really come true (well, in a manner of speaking).
© 2011 Cheryl Simonds
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