Last week I mentioned that on the 1st November I am allowed to get out all the presents I have stashed in the cupboard all year. I knew it was stuffed and over flowing as I had started putting things on top and underneath!
As we have gone along I have shown many of the crafts I have made during the year. Lots of crochet, packs of cards, trimming tea towels and face washers, wrapping soaps. printing Patsy's e book, drying all those Bay Leaves and packaging them up, making Lavender Sachets and so on. I try and do things in batches so there are decent numbers. I did around 30 tea towels... some I bought and trimmed but most I made from sheets and fabric that I had.
After last Christmas I found gorgeous wrapping paper marked down from $8 a roll to 50c. That went in first. All year I added little things as I found them. Recently packets of lovely labels to tie on jars of jam or food gifts. I am always adding to that cupboard!
By now I have forgotten half of what I have put away! So getting it all out is really fun. Before I do this I write up tags with names of everyone on my list. If I know the colours of their kitchens or favorite colours I write that on the tag as well. This way once all the presents are out I can begin working out who is going to get what.
For my photos I have had to hide a lot of stuff, maybe half, as a lot of things are going to be obvious who they are for! So I had to set aside the dead giveaways to not wreck too many surprises!
Still, this covered the lounge room floor and I'll show a bit...
I spent the whole afternoon grouping things into gifts and working out who they are for. There was a lot of arranging and re arranging. It is just so much fun.
And the end result is I have plenty. I have extras to go towards January Birthdays. I have small things I can post. And I have a whole basket of pretty things I can take to the nursing home to give even the ladies I don't know.
The joy of giving. Just doing this makes me excited that Christmas is coming and happy. I have all my little Christmas cakes as well ready to give. I have most of the ingredients ready for coconut ice, shortbread, gingerbread and rocky road. I am thinking I will give making caramels a go as well.
Working on crafts all winter makes that time really nice for me. Winter can get a bit gloomy but not so much if you are having a lovely time working on your presents.
I really don't need to spend any money on Christmas now. I have the family gifts already. I have all my friends gifts. I just have a lot of wrapping to do!
Wrapping is quite daunting as I like things to look lovely. So I try and wrap one gift a day when I can. That way it is enjoyable and not rushed. In fact getting something wrapped nicely and ready is fun too. I get excited about giving that present!
I am telling this tale as I hear people say they don't like Christmas, they find it all annoying, they don't like the rush of the shops and the push and shove and so on. Not to mention the expense. I think it is the most beautiful time and a chance to thank people. I don't like the rush in the shops either. But I won't be going shopping. I've done it. I can stay home and make gingerbread biscuits and package them up and things like that instead. I know there are some things we can't avoid but there are lots of things we can find a away around. For me last minute shopping was the worst thing (this caused me to spend way too much in desperation) and that was really the first thing I decided I needed to fix. That alone made Christmas much more enjoyable. The next was it costing too much overall... and the last was too much running around. More or less that one is improved too!
There is still time to make a lot of presents and save heaps of money there. But I find that starting on Christmas on January is like a miracle. Watch for amazing bargains. Stash them away. A couple of years ago Helen found beautiful little gifts and decorations for 5c each in the sales. I got lots for 50c each and thought that was good! My luxury paper was a good find, I also found gift packs of powders and soaps for a dollar each.
This year I watched for small items to add to my kitchen and pantry theme. I added pretty cup cake wrappers, labels, jam tops, herbs and spices and pretty kitchen implements. All for tiny amounts. But when its all put together it seems like a sensible gift! It is like anything... totally amazing how little things add up. Getting it all out in November or December is such a surprise. I am always shocked at how much it has added up to be. What a joy! I have everything I need. It is done. I am largely free to enjoy Christmas and don't worry about too many expenses.
This is one of the things I love the most.... getting ahead. This is done and the big bills we get in November I can tackle without worrying.
Some birthday gifts are done too. I am ahead with those.
We have been talking about getting ahead with pantry supplies so that we have extras if something comes up that could make us get behind. In so many ways getting ahead is a wonderful thing. I am writing a post on this... I love it so much. Little ways to get ahead with things. It all adds up!
On Wednesday the pantries post is going to be timely for the Australian ladies and not so much for the US ladies... but hopefully it will be helpful. That is easy ways to be ready and be able to take on large amounts of produce even if you are not expecting it. If someone offers you 40 pounds of very ripe peaches you can take them and not waste any! That kind of thing! After Christmas we have lots of fruit in our area. I say yes to everything. I can only deal with it by getting ready way before that time or I wouldn't have a hope!
Have a wonderful week. Now it is November the year is really slipping away and Christmas is coming.
Do little things to get ahead so that Christmas is just wonderful and not too stressful. xxx
The little birds...
If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.
Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.