Christmas “Lists”

Searching around online at all the “stuff” there is to do, to see, to make, to buy, to have at Christmas time–can be a bit overwhelming. In fact, sometimes it feels like my brain’s going in 17 directions at once. A person can blow up that way.

There’s just so much. But sift through it–I did–and bookmarked everything that made me sigh or smile or slow down for a minute and think happy thoughts. The rest can just blow away.

Now, understand–all I can really show you are things that work for me–but that’s ok. People have been scooting closer to whisper good ideas in each others’ ears since before the flood.

I think it’s how we keep each other warm.

Quick~Easy~Fabulous:

Gifts in a Bottle About a hundred ways to pack joy in a jar.

Recycled Paper Ornaments This should keep little hands pretty busy.

Salt Dough Ornaments Other food-ish ornaments as well.

Simple Christmas Simple, low cost Christmas Projects–just click past the ads.

Felt Cookies I know, I know…again with the felt!

So much fun stuff.

If you get a good idea from any of this–I hope you’ll share it with us.

Glass Pebble Magnets

These little fridge magnets were so easy and fun to make…

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I couldn’t get myself to stop…

Start with clear, glass craft pebbles–size 3/4″ and 1-1/2″ worked well with 3/4 in magnet buttons. I found all this at Walmart–but I’ve seen them at the dollars store too. You just have to keep your eyes open and snag them when you can.

Next, decide what you want as your pictures. I used stickers, fabric and tiny words from magazines. The original idea was to use photos, but I’m getting low on printer ink, so I had to improvise.

Cut your pictures out and glue them on the back. I just used Mod Podge–anything that dries clear will work. Next–once the glue is dry–use a hot glue gun to stick the magnets on the back. Be careful here, especially with the tiny pebbles. I thought I had finally made friends with my evil glue gun…

I was mistaken.

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Let the cute little things sit and settle for a day or two before making them hold the plum pudding recipe on the fridge. It will seal the bond to let it rest a bit. An Altoids box is a great storage case for your magnets–and also makes it easier to wrap them up as a gift.

Filled Glass Ornaments

Gather your family and make these pretty glass ornaments–filled with just about anything. The possibilities are endless…

Step 1: Buy a pack of clear, glass ornaments. You can find them nearly everywhere, but if you go to a craft store like Michael’s or Robert’s–they were a bit cheaper. Laurie says, to try the dollar store too. These ones were about $3.00 for 12.

Step 2: You must solemnly swear not to skip this step–even if you think you are very careful and brave. Just mind me anyway. Take a small strip of masking tape and put it around the top of the ornament. Fold the top of the tape down inside so that no sharp edges are exposed anywhere.

This could actually be a project that you do with a middle aged child–as long as the edges are covered and they remember to handle the glass carefully. I know, I know…I sound like somebody’s mom. Sorry.

Step 3: Curl and cut up tons of curly ribbon…no kidding…tons. Kids would love this part too.

Step 4: Wad up bunches of ribbon and stuff it in the glass ball. Snap in the gold ornament topper. It’s that simple–you’re done!

Try filling some of the ornaments with random things—we used old video tape, yarn, raffia, and yes…those are push pins. Just be OK with letting everyone’s personality come out. Lyndi thinks gummy bears would be good. I’m a Cheetos kinda gal myself, but they won’t fit…I know. I tried.

The good thing is that you can always empty it again if you don’t like how they look. Chances are—you’ll just love them!

{ The True Spirit of Christmas }

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“If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of the sweetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas season, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees—alone or with loved ones—give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that His Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve Him and keep His commandments”

Howard W. Hunter

Homemade Holidays

Here’s the list…

Don’t be afraid. It’s not a nasty old “to do” list. Well, wait…maybe it is. But not the nasty part. It’s the fun kind. The sitting-in-front-of-a-good-movie-with-a-project-on-my-lap-kind. These are some of the things I’m taking on for Christmas. A few are actually in the works and some are still just on paper. And I admit, a couple will likely never see the light of day. But I’m gonna make a valiant attempt. Because I think, homemade stuff is just…better.

When I was a kid, every few years my mom would say, “Let’s make presents for each other this Christmas.” At the time, I’m sure I thought, “Not a chance,” so the projects would never even get started. Ultimately, we’d end up buying something for each other at Woolworth’s, a few days after the school break. It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I realized that those words were mom’s attempt to rein us back in from all the craziness that holiday commercials can suck a kid into. That, and to keep us from spending every penny we had when we had so few. Sadly, we didn’t cooperate too well with her good intentions–if I remember right.

It’s different at our house now.

“Handmade,” to me is such a sweet word–beautiful even. My children have given me so many gifts over the years.  Surprisingly, most of the home crafted ones are still around. Probably, because the gifts made by the hands we love, are sheltered, and guarded and kept safely treasured—held carefully close–just like the sweet things that created them.