Gifts from home…

Posted by Annie on Dec 10, 2010 in Seasonal |

It’s Christmas time and the stores are packed. To be honest, for the long distance relatives (those living in Michigan, Arizona and Northern California), I like to order my gifts online and send them out early. Why wait until the last minute? Besides I think Christs birthday should be all about Him.

Sending gifts to mom and  our siblings early, also allows me more time to work on gifts for the close family members who we see over the holidays. I try to get creative and work within my budget. One year I bought material and made snuggly blanets for everyone. Yeah, it’s cheap and easy to buy them from the store or online— I picked some up one year for all the grandkids at Kohl’s (3 for $9.99) the problem with those kind is that they generally run 50″x60″, so they are too short for an adult of normal height.

By making them myself, I was able to cut them extra long and I had a much wider selection of designs to choose from — besides it was fun working on gifts for people I care about.

A couple of years ago, we bought recessed frames, close to this Swing Design Frame, except it had a walnut finish that we used to frame 8×10 photos we had taken while visiting Yosemite National Park. I had a lot of fun selecting the images for each individual  — the preparation was therapeutic even.

Everyone seemed thrilled with the gift. I had taken the extra measure of wrapping each framed picture with heavy  brown wrapping paper  first, then I had some really heavyweight wrapping paper I had purchased the year before (for $.50 a roll — for good quality wrapping paper) from Staples on clearance.

I a few rolls of really nice thick ribbon that I had also purchased on clearance the year before. It took a few tries and watching a video or two to get the hang of it but the gifts were a thing of beauty — even if they never opened them. The frames were nice enough so that if they didn’t like the picture I had selected, they could always reuse the frame. I gave a dozen of them out for Christmas that year at a cost of about $19.75 per gift.

Everyone got a unique gift selected just for them, I enjoyed the process of gifting this particular item at least as much as those who received them.

If you don’t want to spend that much, there are plenty of cheaper frames out there. In fact, my sister (the creative one) actually decorates picture frames with all sort of unusual objects. They are simply incredible. I can’t even describe how she does it. Maybe I can get her to share her tips with us all. I paid about $12.00 per frame but nice ones can be found as cheap as $1.00 a piece — you can spend as little or as much as your budget allows. A really creative person could probably pick up some terrific deals on beautiful frames at the second-hand store and repurpose them for next to nothing.

I guess my point is, the best gifts are those that come from the heart. One of the things I hate about Christmas is feeling the need, to buy fancy looking junk, to give to people, who will end up tossing it out anyway. I know I would prefer a gift of homemade fudge over another scarf with glove set  any day.

How about you? Do you prefer homemade gifts or the store bought kind?

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