Saturday, November 8, 2008

It's That Time Again.

So you've just finished putting away your Hallowe'en Costume (homemade from thrift store finds  and recycled items, of course) and we know the election results...  Time to start making our holiday gifts!  
And why not?  If there was ever a time to make your holiday gifts, this is it!   Many a Christmas season past, I procrastinated my holiday shopping until well into December  and while waiting in some line for an hour and a half I would make a pledge that next year, next year, I would plan ahead and make my gifts again like I used to when I was  a kid.  
I was just talking with my cousin Molly about this over dinner last night.  Our Moms were the ones who got us making our own gifts, partly because money always seemed tight, but also because handmade gifts can mean so much more than something storebought.  Making gifts takes time, but it's time spent getting into the Spirit of giving and less time spent waiting in lines shopping.  Even diehard shoppers can lose the spirit in holiday shopper crowds.  
First, make your list and check it twice.  Of course your parents, siblings,  and your spouse get something unique from the money you save making gifts for others, but 30 or so of your family, friends and coworkers would be titillated by a small one-of-a-kind gift.
I have so many great family Holiday  memories involving glitter, felt, and the occasional applehead doll.  Mom and I would set up a little assembly line and an ornament that hangs on a relative's family tree thirty years later would be created.  Could the same be said about that click of your mouse at  
The year we purchased our cabin, Ted and I made ornaments out of leather scraps that I had saved.  I painted them with fabric paint to look like our little "gingerbread house".   Ted bored holes in their tips and red ribbon looped around for tree hang-age.  I still see them in friends and relatives' houses during the holiday season!   They are such a great reminder of a milestone in our lives and they were extremely inexpensive to ship.  
This last year, I recorded a CD of holiday music on Garage Band on my iMac.  I was able to make   thirty five copies with a festive label and CD case that served as a holiday card of sorts.  I also was able to email mp3's from the CD to people as a Holiday E-Card.  I can picture that this would be a great gift idea from young parents.  Even if you go into a studio, for just a couple hundered dollars you could record your child singing or talking and relatives could cherish it for decades. 
How many of you reading have too much stuff?  Me.  I have too much stuff.   My husband and my parents have too much stuff.  There's nothing wrong this year with sending a card that indicates that money has been donated in your loved one's name to your favorite charity.  Or why not send a homemade gift certificate offering a personal  service (tailoring, accounting, balloon tying)?  Or a movie night?  It's time to get creative, people.   No worries.  Next season you'll be able to purchase the newest useless expensive gadget from Brookstone or Christie's again.  Why not use this season to search your soul?

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