I'm really excited about Christmas this year. It's an entirely new experience for us being in another place and I hope that helps to make the season more relaxing. Every year, I vow to get all the shopping done early so we can just enjoy the atmosphere of Christmas, but every year, I end up shopping up until Christmas Eve...and spending way too much!
This Christmas, I'm trying something new. It's either going to make Christmas a lot more budget-friendly and relaxing, or it will be a disaster. I'm sure it will be somewhere in the middle.
The idea is: I'm going to MAKE as many presents as I possibly can! Thanks to my new sewing machine I got for my birthday, combined with a few basic sewing lessons, I think I may be able to tackle a few simple sewing projects. The children and women are easy. I've thought of several craft ideas (not just sewing either) and I've even made a few things already, but it's the men and boys I'm worried about. What in the heck can I make that would suit them? Got ideas? Shoot.
Another part of my 2010 Christmas resolution is something that I've been wanting to do for a while (for obvious reasons). Whatever I can't make, I'm going to try to buy used! I've actually done pretty good this year setting aside some money for Christmas and I can't bear the thought of it not taking us as far as I thought it would (we have A LOT of people to buy for), so this might extend the budget some. Most of this will be felt in my immediate household. Mainly, Pack, Penn, Jude, and Me. I got the idea when I was thinking of how long it takes us to open all the toys on Christmas morning, only to find out that the boys just aren't that crazy about them as we thought they'd be. Hence, un-packaged, pre-assembled toys that are ready for playing and probably only cost a fraction of what a new one would!!! I shouldn't feel guilty for NOT buying my kids brand-spanking-new gifts. They could care less!
If you're in my extended family reading this, please feel free to join in and make us something homemade or buy something used for us or someone else on your Christmas list! I feel bad asking people to do this because I realize it takes a little more effort and time in most cases, but I feel that the holidays will be so much more focused on the true meaning and traditions of Christmas. Not electronic toys in perfect (or annoyingly imperfect) cardboard boxes, but gifts from the heart to represent the greatest gift of all...JESUS! The bottom line? I don't need anyTHING! It's all just stuff and I've gotten such an itch this year just to simplify my life.
I'll be the first to confess that not everything I gift this Christmas will be handmade or used, but I'm going to do my best and I would encourage you to give it a shot too. Maybe just hand make two or three gifts (I'm hoping I get some food, hint, hint). We don't need to kill ourselves. But who knows, you might end up developing a skill in something you never thought you'd be able to do!
And don't forget, if you've got any good ideas, PLEASE let me know...seriously:)