I know it's way early to be saying "Christmas" out loud, but as a person who is always late (anyone who knows me can confirm it!) I am going to take a chance and try to start early for a change!
I strive to buy handmade or local when I can, but when our family budget gets tight it feels like it becomes more and more difficult to do so. I have been thinking about the upcoming holidays and how to stretch our budget while still giving nice, meaningful gifts instead of compromising with last minute impulse purchases from big box stores.
Hello handmade Christmas.
This year I am going to try to be organized and proactive with my Christmas list. I always have good intentions but rarely start actually shopping until the very last minute. That makes it hard to come up with the thoughtful gifts I'd like to give and just leaves me desperate and trying to find something that will work. I love Christmas shopping, crafting, baking, wrapping...so this year I want to really enjoy it instead of giving in to the last minute rush.
I'm hoping that writing this all down will make it easier for me to stick to it. It's a nice theory, right? Here are the things I want to do:
1. MAKE some sort of gift for everyone on my list. Whether it ends up being baked goods, tree ornaments, a card or a t-shirt.
2. Fill our Christmas tree with handmade ornaments. My kids love making ornaments. I love making ornaments! I remember making strings of popcorn garland with my family when I was a kid. I love this tradition and it's about time to start it with my kids!
2. Spend extra time wrapping gifts. I love love love to wrap gifts and for the last several years, I always end up wrapping super fast around the holidays, using whatever I have and making it work. I love using recycled materials, leftover ribbon, fun stickers, etc. to make every package unique. If possible, I would love to just put aside one special night just dedicated to wrapping.
3. If I can't come up with a thoughtful, fun handmade gift that I can make myself, I want to make an effort to buy something handmade from someone else. I will be attending several craft shows, live in a city with tons of shops that sell beautiful handmade items at affordable prices, and have access to etsy and other handmade marketplaces online. Now I just need to make the TIME to find the right thing.
4. I would like to stick to a reasonable budget. This is the part that always takes a lot of creativity. I know that gift giving is not the reason or even an important part of Christmas, but I really enjoy exchanging gifts with family and friends and just like to make it special. I know that it's possible without spending a lot of money, but again, it involves TIME (something that I am constantly short of) and planning (something I am famously not great at.) I believe it can be done, though.
5. I'm not going to beat myself up about it if I totally fail.
That's all I've got for now.
Are you planning YOUR handmade Christmas? I would love to hear what projects or ideas you have in the works to make your holidays special!