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Christmas giving on my mind!

Updated on December 15, 2009

As of December 14th ONLY 10 days until Christmas eve!

That's only 10 DAYS Folks.......Woahh I can hear the screams coming from almost every corner of the globe..... A pep talk to all the 'hand-made gift creators' ...... steady does it, you can do it.

(Gotta go... steady does it...I can do this)

As of August 25...there are 17 weeks left till Christmas!!!!!

Ha, did that get your attention??? I knew it would.

The big expense of getting the kids back to school is almost done with, they are back to school next week. All you parents can rejoice as you survived another summer, yeah another summer of them moaning and groaning about being bored is over...

Now that you're all cheered up, guess what as of August 25th you have exactly 120 days left until Christmas eve. Yup, in my mind once the kids are out of the house again regularly it is time to start thinking and planning that Christmas giving list.

As I'm a firm believer in handing out hand-made gifts to my children and granddaughters I need to have a firm plan in place so that there is enough time to get everything accomplished. (not that I don't usually bite off more then I can chew each year which makes me scramble without enough sleep the last couple of weeks anyway...but then 'ces la vie')

I hate shopping in the malls and the thought of spending hours and hours there is enough to want to pull out my hair by the handfuls. Being of a very 'green' mind and making the best of the lousy economy, saving some environmental footprints by eliminating a bunch of trips to the mall also makes me very happy. Usually there, at the malls, I always just walk around frantically trying to find just the right gifts for all, on my shopping list.

I truly believe it's time to bring back the old fashioned spirit of Christmas. In our frantic world it is so vital that families re-bond. Spending more time together even if just trying to squeeze out a few hours each weekend, (of which there are 17 until Christmas) might just be a fun way to create some super duper gifts for all. This will also forge some fabulous memories for the whole family to hord. Things made together do not have to be expensive. The efforts put into handi-work will give the 'gift-getter' a warm and fuzzy feeling that you have actually taken it upon yourself and spent the time to create.

Putting together a list is really easy. I make a chart with every name of my to 'buy-for' on the top of every column. My children and grandchildren are at the start of this list then come the seconday people and so forth. The best part.... brainstorming.... Into each column I first fill in the regular every year things such as PJ's, housecoat, slippers, knitted sweater, knitted hat-scarf-mittens set, books etc. then each of them gets their big gift, last year they each got a quilt. This year each of my three children is going to be getting a hand- embroidered tablecloth with twelve matching serviettes as their big gift.... My son-in-law is causing me a bit of a problem as I haven't figured something just right and special out for him yet.

This is when you should sit down with the kids and decide what type of gifts you can make. Gift ideas are available all over the internet or magazines. You can set up a list of handy-work gifts that follow a theme. Some that are made for personel use or home decor or ones that fit into a food basket.

The 'to-do' list options are just endless...intricate or simple all will be appreciated and loved.

Once my list is made then I go through the items one by one and determine what I need to finish up that particular item. All year long when ever I hit the fabric stores I'm always on the look out for specialty fabrics which I then buy and stash for the big Christmas sewing frenzy.

For example my youngest little granddaughter who is 4 is totally into animals, it doesn't matter if its cat, dog, bird, mouse or caterpillar they're all her friends, she loves them all and they love her too. (Well I'm not too sure of the caterpillar but.... you get my drift) I found a piece of fabric that has just about every animal possible on it, this will make a perfect nighty and housecoat for her....

So I go down my list and make up my 'need to buy list' which includes all the fabric notions etc.

This way only one trip to the fabric store will do it (as that is one of the most dangerous places for me to go to....there are just sooo many heavenly new projects there just begging me to bring them home)

This year I’m also planning on a “bakers dozen” basket for my family and friends. The baskets will be filled with delicacies I can make in my kitchen. Here is what I'm planning on adding to my treasure baskets.

Watch for hubs in the next few weeks for the recipes and how to’s too. I'll add the links as they are published.

There is still plenty of time to make these. I grow most of my own herbs and vegetables but you can get them all at the local roadside veggie marts too.

Bakers-dozen basket list!

  1. Rhubarb-Raisin-Walnut Dessert Sauce
  2. Green Cherry Tomato Pickles
  3. Homemade Antipasto
  4. Homemade Honey Mustard
  5. Homemade Elderberry Liqueurs
  6. Homemade Bruschetta Spice Mix
  7. Homemade Herbal Bread mixes - Portioned For Bread-machine (just add water)
  8. Homemade ‘House Blend’ Lemonbalm-Fennel Tea Mix
  9. Easy to make Piccalilli sauce
  10. Homemade Basil/Garlic Infused Vinegar & Oil
  11. Homemade Amaretto Almond Biscotti
  12. Homemade Dog Biscuits/Kitty Treats
  13. Handmade Cook Book Of Family Heirloom Recipe

Three or four months ago a local ‘Gift basket shop’ was advertising their going out of business sale. I’m a wicker addict and just couldn’t leave without buying enough of them for my whole Christmas list. These fantastically gorgeous baskets that were regularly out of my price range were available for a couple of bucks each. That’s when the idea popped in my head that I would buy these little beauties and fill them with homemade gifts for everyone for Christmas. I’m still exited about the whole process. Since then I’ve been hunting for pretty little bottles (for my oil, vinegar and liquor), fancy jars (tea mix) and cookie tins too. All the other items will be perfect in canning jars.

The rhubarb is in the freezer just waiting for me to make up the Rhubarb-Raisin-Walnut Dessert Sauce. Quite a few of the herbs that I’ll be needing are already dried and just waiting to be mixed and packaged. I just finished picking the elderberries.

Not that I want to wish the rest of the summer and the fall away but I know this year the gift prepping, giving and receiving is going to be sooooo much fun....

Remember the count down is on and there are 120 days until Christmas

Ralwus and Dohn121 in the comments capsules gave me a fabulous idea. And as its still early enough I have enough time to get these items made too. Here is a list of basket items that will be more suitable for the guys on my giving list.

Now I haven't made Brandy cherries yet but with Ralwus's recipe I will try. I used to make 'Kapow Peaches and Pears' a few years ago. I will dig up the recipes and share them.

Here is the my 'Christmas Bakers Dozen Basket' list that I know guys in my life will enjoy:

  1. Brandy Cherries (a la ralwus)
  2. 'Kapow Peaches' (peaches spiked in vodka)
  3. 'Kapow Pears Ice cream Sauce' (pears in bourbon)
  4. A bottle of Homemade Red Wine (I brew a batch of red and white wine at the local wine shop every year)
  5. A bottle of Homemade White Wine
  6. A bottle of Mom-made Elderberry Liqueurs (already in the works)
  7. Homemade Herbal Meat Rub (herbs already dried just waiting to be mixed)
  8. Homemade BBQ sauce (my dads recipe)
  9. Homemade Piccalilli sauce (recipe to follow)
  10. Homemade Salsa
  11. Homemade Aftershave
  12. Homemade Dog Biscuits/Kitty Treats
  13. Handmade Cook Book Of Family Heirloom Recipe

Count Down Capsule!

As of August the 25th there are 120 days or 17 weekends until Christmas

As of September 15th there are 101 days or 14 weekends until Christmas

As of September 22nd there are 94 days or 13 weekends until Christmas

As of September 29th there are 87 days or 12 weekends until Christmas

As of October 24th there are 62 days or 8 weekends until Christmas

As of December 14th there are only 10 DAYS  1 weekend until Christmas eve


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    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      USAPoolToy, thanks for taking a look and for commenting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • USAPoolToy profile image

      USAPoolToy 8 years ago from Florida

      Wonderful article...


    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Ashley Joy, thanks for taking a look and for commenting. My family is blessed with 2 birthdays in October and 5 in December all the way down to the 22 of Dec. then they continue on with 4 in January, 3 in February then finally a breather till May. My finance minister(me) tries not to think about these expenses too much. But you're right spread out the cost don't seem so bad.

      Glad you stopped in for a visit

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Ashley Joy profile image

      Ashley Joy 8 years ago

      I am glad I am not the only one thinking about X-mas already. I have three birthdays to shop for and then I am going to start getting presents for December. It spreads the cost out and makes it so I am not as stressed over the holidays.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Dohn121, the more the merrier on my list. You sure you've been good? I can contact the big guy and get him to check the list you about you becoming a flake, woops I mean being called one...I really can't see that happening. You might have to change a few of the things you put into the baskets. If you were to make an assortment of wine and add couple of cheeses you could have a fabulous basket too. That gives me an idea I think I will add another capsule to the hub. Thank you for that.

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Storyteller, my kids always seem to through a wrench into my plans too... next time I should tell them to fend for themselves...hahaha, ya as if I could or would.

      I hope your daughter feels better soon. Busing barf bowls was never my fave job either. Just to keep things straight, and I hate to say it today its a mere 119 days!!! Heavens!!! haha

      Always glad when you pop in for a quick visit

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Do you have room on your list for me, Zsuzsy? I've been a good boy and would love a basket! You have some really amazing ideas. If I wasn't such a guy, I'd copy you (but risk getting called a flake).

      Great hub! I enjoyed every word.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      I don't bake, I make books. I have them all paid for, now I have to put them together. But my daughter, who is a senior and should be in school, decided to get sick for two days this week. Now I am busing barf bowls and cooking chicken noodle soup. 120 days!!! Heavens!!! haha. Great hub.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Thank you Ralwus I appreciate it.


    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      OK, I sent ya all ya need to know. I think. 2 recipes for a wonderful treat.

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      Just take some cherries with the stem attached and put them in brandy and let them set for a few months in the fridge. About Christmas time you make a dough with some powdered sugar to wrap them in and dip in chocolate. I will get you the recipe dear.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Glad you came for a visit. I do plan ahead but then I still end up scrambling because I bite off more then I can chew. Mind you I seem to do my best work when I'm pushed for time.

      kindest regards Zsuzsy

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

      I like planning ahead, gets things done and reduces worry.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Ralwus, cherries in brandy that's something I haven't done yet. Please post a hub of how-to I would just love to try...that would be a perfect special gift for my son and son-in-law... Ralwus you're a genius

      hope you're well

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Gamergirl---How are you? I just love your wedding Avatar.

      Always glad when you come for a visit. Grizzly-bear hugs back to you.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      Oh my, thanks for reminding me. I need to pickle my cherries in brandy. LOL Love Christmas. thanks

    • gamergirl profile image

      Kiz 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

      Ooooh!! Cook me something for Christmas. :D *big hugs*


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