Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keeping Christmas Simple

Some of these treasures are from my bloggy friends.  Do you see something that you made for me.  I am only beginning to start decorating.  But this year I am taking it slow and keeping it on the simple side.  This little shelf I refinished last summer.  It will change over and over again before I get it right. 
I remember one of my pre-school students telling me that they put up their stockings and a Santa on the mantle.  They decorated a real tree as well.  And that was it for decorating.  The parents actually went to Target the three hours he was with me and did ALL of their shopping.  I will always remember how unstressful that must have been.  Good for them. 
I remember one year having some sort of injury and not being able to shop early.  I went to Kohl's and bought almost everything on my list.  I had Doodle with me.  She wasn't very old but I was still able to do all that shopping.  It was probably 8 years ago.  I remember spending over $300.  (Only one grand at that time)  It was a good feeling to do so much at one stop.  I'm sure there was more spent on Christmas that year but not alot more.
One year our kids and I decided we would do a $25 gift for each other.  It could be made or we could buy it but we had to stay to that amount.  The grands weren't included.  I loved that.  It was fun coming up with ideas.  For instance. for my son I got a shadow box frame at 50% off and filled it full of his Army mementos.  For some reason we only did this one year.  I wish my kids were more into handmade gifts but they are so busy with life, work and kids that it is hard for them. They aren't too crazy about getting homemade gifts......not like I am. 
Lots of years I have done themes.  Like jammies and books.  That simplifies the shopping as well. 
There have been years when I got discounts and everyone got their gifts from that vendor.  For instance, I worked part time over the holidays at a print shop for a friend.  Everyone got personalized paper gifts.  Another year I sold 31.  I used my starter kit items and discounts for gifts.  It was fun as I could put their gifts in those items.  I didn't plan on selling 31 for very long, so this saved me lots. 
 Most of my shopping is done for this year.  That is because of the money I found.  I ordered gifts online. So that made it simple as well.
When I was setting up the Cup of Kindness Cup Swap (Swappers please follow to the bottom to read some information about the swap) When I made up an example in the blue mason jar, I had an idea.  Wouldn't it be fun to do every one's gift in a mason jar.  It wouldn't have to be the blue ones, hah.  You could put gift cards and small gifts.  I may even do that with the big kids this year, but they won't get my blue jars, hah.
Simple is fun and not as stressful.
The little shelf I refinished this summer.  Another Putz house that I bought years ago.  Little Eve as a baby.
The deer is from Elizabeth.
This cute putz house was made by the other Elizabeth from Tennessee in a house swap last year hosted by Cindy from Ric Rack and Gingham.  She hasn't been posting lately and I sure miss her.  We have talked on the phone and she is well.
This Santa was a tuck in with the doll I had made for Mabel last year.  Nice tuck in isn't it.
I find that I like my life on the simple side.  How about you?

Swappers........if you haven't heard from me please contact me.  Just leave a comment on here.  I sent out all the information on your swap partners 10 days ago.
I have a new person that would love to swap with someone.....anyone interested.  I would but I am doing 2 now and also another secret gift exchange. 
Also please keep my friends in your prayers......Sharon, Summer, and Gene.  They are all facing battles right now with their health.  Also remember Ceejay.  She is another blogger struggling.
Thanks my friends.


Blondie's Journal said...

What a sweet bunch of ideas in this post! I'm not very good with handmade things, but I love getting them! I am going to do most of my shopping online as usual, I have loads of family and a list a mile long and it's impossible to go out and shop alone (unless I have an elf to carry my bags!). I will be in downtown Chicago for several days while hubby is in the hospital, so I'll take some breaks and hit the stores there. That never fails to put me in the Christmas mood!


Sweet Posy Dreams said...

It seems to get harder every year to buy gifts. My parents are elderly and don't need anything. Husband and I don't really need anything either, and the "kids" at 20 and 23 are also hard to shop for. I have a couple of homemade ideas up my sleeve. We'll see how it goes. Love your decorations. So nice that each one seems to have a special meaning for you.

Anonymous said...

We also love handmade, its always best, you have some beautiful ideas here and the shelf and doll house are so cute, I think most people would always prefer homemade, it has some love added .

Nan said...

Hi Debby,
I think this Christmas we'll be alone as it's so costly to travel for our kids especially within the state of Alaska. My grandson in college in Fairbanks will go to Kodiak for a month but they don't plan on coming here even on the ferry it's over 500 dollars. We don't want to go there as we now have these two dogs to take along on the ferry which is a hassle. Take Care Nan

Ellie VanCaster said...

I'll keep your friends in my prayers. I will weigh in that I also like homemade-I usually make food gifts since I love to cook.

Susie said...

Debby, you have a good heart. I will pray for your friends. I love getting hand made gifts. That is what Ted and I give all the children and my sisters. I also give money, let them do the shopping...it's too much for me to do. Smiles to you, Susie

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

The older I get the more simple I want things to be. This year is going to be very different because of family dynamics that have changed. Kind of sad so I am keeping it low key. I haven't bought a thing as of yet. I decorated a little bit outside but nothing inside yet. Maybe I will start that in the next few days. I love homemade gifts too and I love to give homemade. It is very meaningful to me. ~Hugs, Patti

NanaDiana said...

Debby-I always love coming here to read your post. It is like visiting with an old friend. We started last year with the $25. gift exchange and it has to be hand done-or put together with found things for that amount. Last year I got my son and make him a "garage kit". It was quite funny (imagine that)...and included an 8 x 10 of me to keep him company in the garage...lol

Take it easy, Debby and do what you can-as you can. Blessings- xo Diana

Carlene @ Organized Clutter said...

I definitely have to make a putz house next year. They have such a vintage look.

Marissa said...

Simplicity is fancy!!! I keep telling myself!!! when reminded of all the things I have to pack after Christmas!! looks neat!!!

Little Susie Home Maker said...

Great ideas for all of the gifts. I love the idea of keeping it simple. It just is too hard when your family gets larger and larger. I concentrate on the children, and then the adult. some years it maybe a cup and homemade cocoa mixes, etc. Who is missing a swap partner? Maybe my daughter would like to swap?