Just a quick Christmas wrap up post. The hardest part for me about Christmas is the gift buying/making. So, so many factors play into this: I am not good at gift selecting, all of the adults have waaay too much junk as it is, we don't want any more random stuff ourselves, I don't like shopping in 'new stuff' stores, and I don't like spending gobs of money.
What I usually do every year as one of the gifts is to give home baked goods because they don't take up any space except around the waistline.
This year I did it a little different and I think it was better on my holiday mental state of being. It really is one of those moments when you smack yourself on your forehead and say, "geez, why have I not done this before?" Usually with the baked gift I put it in one of those aluminum pans with the paper topper, like for take out. I use these because I can cover the paper lid in cute wrapping paper and then when the treats are gone, the container can be recycled, leaving the recipient with nothing to take up extra space. I happened to stumble on a blog or something through clickety clinking around that was about upcycling and using stuff from thrift stores as gifts. Ohhhh! That's a fun idea! It seems so obvious that it's what I should have been doing this whole time. We pretty much buy everything used in our house, but our families don't, so I have been shying away from it. I decided to start by seeking out interesting containers for the treats for each person's interest at thrift stores. I had about 6 different ones I needed to find. I was pretty happy to find neat and interesting ones for everyone on our list. A couple of cute vintage Christmas ones for friends, a hand painted Japanese bamboo tray for my mother -in-law that lived in Japan, a ceramic golf ball shaped vase for my stepfather, a plastic chip and dip tray with lighthouses for my grandmother, a simple uncluttered no frills (her decorating style) glass centerpiece bowl for my sister-in-law, and best of all, a vintage aluminum colander for my mom. I used my amazing June's Miracle Cleaning Cloth to polish everything up to a high shine, looking brand new! I then packed up the treats in the containers and wrapped them in some clear cellophane with white snow flakes (bought an entire roll from a thrift for 25 cents) and curling ribbon. They looked fantastic and everyone loved them. This made Christmas shopping not so stressful and aggravating for me and I enjoyed hunting for the perfect vessel in places I like to shop. I think I am going to venture more into gift giving for next season through this way. I have a whole year to search for stuff!
Another new thing that we did this year was put up our cardboard fireplace on Christmas eve so we had someplace fitting to hang our stockings (we don't have a fireplace). I don't have room for it to be up with the holiday decor for the entire month so it's nice to be able to have it up even if it's for one night.
Our Christmas went pretty well this year, with minimal whining and complaining "Well, this might be my last Christmas" from family, so for that we are truly grateful!
I hope everyone else had that same 'peace on earth'!