While I am busy writing a new story, I am also getting ideas for Christmas. Yesterday I spent some time with my neighbors and found some clever things we can do that do not cost a lot. The best idea came from a lady who starts buying her gifts the day after Christmas for the following year. She does nothing but bargain shop. She spent her money wisely and now she has nothing to do but mail out her gifts. Yet, for those of us who are now just trying to get by...here are a few other ideas I heard.
Are you a bit nostalgic around the Christmas season? I used to love to smell the baked goods in the air when visiting my Grandmother. Instead of pasting on name tags to your presents, why not put a recipe index card on istead? Put the name of the person to whom the gift is going to and then write out your favorite recipe.
We live in the world of fast paced computers and game boys, ipods and flash phones. Yet, it's still a time of a poor economy and many do not have the cash for those gifts. In many Christmas gift stores I have seen mason jars with powdered mixes for hot cocoa or even cookie,or cake mixes inside. The mason jars are wrapped with a pretty bow. I looked at it one day and realized that although it is unusual and sweet...it is also easy to do. A little ribbon, a piece of fabric cut to size of jar lid and your own ideas can give you a very nice gift idea.
Thankfully, my grandmother taught me to crochet at an early age. But, only recently did I realize the pleasure of thrift stores and garage sales. Folks throw out yarn by the huge bags at times. So, I scoop it up and create all sorts of things. You can get free crochet patterns on line. From the beginner to the very experienced crafter...all for nothing but the time. Crocheting is a relaxing passtime after a hard day's work. Women of old crocheted after all the dishes were put away and the day was over. It relaxed them and was an ever useful tool. It still is.
Another neighbor and I got to talking about her gift ideas. She collects fancy photo albums and fills them with either old family photo's that she's copied or recipes from family members. She also buys picture frames from dollar stores, thrift stores etc and gives them away with photos of family. She also buys baskets at the thrift stores and fills them with assorted things like lotions, powder, or food items even and wraps them with a bow. I was told of so many ideas I hadn't thought of.
Yet, the greatest gift we could recieve was the one we received on that first Christmas. The reason for the season is a phrase that is used to remember Jesus was born that day. It's a rather romantic thought as we see the manger and the three wise men. Yet, few realize that it was a smelly place with cows mooing, and drafty at that. This baby caused such a stir that to this day...many would like to forget He is the reason we give gifts. God's gift came down at Christmas and died and rose again on Easter. He died to give us the gift of eternal life. Who can top that gift? No department store can sell it or wrap it or deliver it. God delivered it for free and wrapped it in swaddling clothing.