It’s Never too Early to Prepare for the Holidays

Confession:  I’m one of those people who begins planning for the Christmas holiday in June…. with the goal of being done with my Christmas shopping by the end of July.

I don’t always complete my shopping goals, but I do get a good chunk of my shopping done and most of this is accomplished by targeting deals (mainly online deals– I’m not a big fan of going to malls).

I begin my shopping early for two reasons:

  1. To find good deals (I mean, really? I am Frugal Fran 😉 )
  2. To find gifts that are personalized

For me, it’s not just about finding a cheap gift. I want to find a reasonably priced gift that is actually something that the intended recipient will value and appreciate.

Too often, we end up buying expensive, last-minute gifts because we are pressure prompted.  The worst thing about this is– these last minute purchases end up being items that the person doesn’t like.

When you buy something like a gift card, you end up spending $25 or $50 when you could have purchased an item for $10 from the person’s favorite store or given them an item that they had been saying they wanted/needed.

Even better– you can make your loved one something that they can actually use or will admire.  This type of gift giving requires that we develop relationships and pay attention to those we interact with.  I enjoy making holiday wreaths and ornaments for many of my friends and family members.

Here are a few shots of a wreath I made for my Grandmother for Mother’s Day, earlier this year.

 

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I’ve been making wreaths since I was 6 years old in Children’s Church so it took me all of 30 minutes to make these. #TrueStory

 

Testing one of the wreaths

 

Round Glass Christmas Tree Baubles Spheres Ornaments are a great crafting item to have on hand. You can fill these with glitter or feathers or other decorative items.

The metal clip can be easily removed so that the heart can be filled with the item of your choosing.

One of my favorite memories is of my personalized ornament with one my baby photos. My mom had one of her coworkers make one using a baby photo of each of her daughters.

I recently made one for a couple at my church using their daughter’s first christmas photo (Sadly I could not find a copy of my photo of the ornament in time for this blog post 😦 ).

I used the following steps to create my ornament:

  1. I took the Christmas photo and rolled it in half (without damaging the image);
  2. Used tweezers to insert into the bulb;
  3. Allowed the photo to naturally unravel itself;
  4. Clipped several sections of curling ribbons (in complementing colors — red, gold, and green);
  5. Used tweezers to insert (and adjust) the curling ribbons around the photograph (This is a great way to fill in some of the empty space in the bulb without blocking the image).

When I make a gift like a wreath or an ornament for someone, it truly is a labor of love and I think it shows. For me it is both personal and meaningful and it comes straight from the heart.

I hope this inspires you to think a bit differently as the holiday season approaches. You have plenty of time ahead to start working on some personalized gifts.  Time to start fixing some things! 😀


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