November 27, 2007

Holiday Ideas

I'm not a big Christmas person. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the season. I love to see Christmas lights, and to go caroling, and I love to listen to Christmas music and how everyone seems to truly enjoy each other, or at least tolerate one another better.

But I'm not into getting gifts for everyone I've ever met in my life. We don't participate in the family gift exchange. I'll get stocking stuffers for people, but I don't ever spend more than $1 per person... Go ahead. Tell me I'm cheap. I don't care.

As far as my own family goes, I get everyone (meaning my kids) 5 gifts.

1. something to read
2. something to wear
3. something to sleep in
4. something to play with
5. something to remember

It's a pretty fabulous system. Then I can be sure that I'm being fair. I'm all about fairness. But with DadGuy going back to school, and us requiring lots of diapers, plus my general cheap-ness, I do homemade gifts.... a lot.

I usually make everyone matching Pajama Pants. (DadGuy and myself included) And you can never beat the Macy's clearance for kids clothes... Likewise, I hit up the bookstore's all year round and buy the clearance books (you'd be amazed at what you can find for $2!) And I generally hit up Toys-r-Us at the beginning of fall when all their summer toys are clearanced.

But I have been known to make a few things...

Bean bags are always a hit. I trace a bowl on some scrap material, sew up the edges, fill it with rice, and voila! Hours of fun. Bean bags are also great for Family Home Evening games.

Blankets. I made my kids bedding. Mostly because I knew what I wanted, and couldn't find it. Plus, we have toddler beds and there's not many choices (I mean, there's TONS of choices if you're a baby, but if you're two? Not so much)

I have also been known to search for the best deals out there...

Costumes. Oh yeah. Wal-mart, the day after Halloween? Score. We have cowboy hats, sheriff badges, wands, wings, pistols, crowns, jewelery... We like to dress in character around these parts. And *hint* pillowcases can be made into anything... Ghost? Knight? Monster? Doctor? check, check, check, check. We have a communal chest filled with all sorts of costumes which are great for the imagination.

Dollhouse. If you want, you could buy a kit, and put it together yourself. Or you could make one... I'm thinking this is a good design...

How easy is that? You make a box, then frame out the cubes, a couple of nails, and you're done! And decorating is fun! Go get some "samples" from the carpet store, or the tile store, use leftover paint from your own house, or you can buy the small samples at Home Depot, the possibilities are endless. And you'd have your very own custom dollhouse, and you'd know it was good and sturdy, and you could make it however big or small you want!

Keys. This is a great option for those of you with small kids or babies. Go to your local hardware store, and ask if you can have the keys that were "messed-up" Generally, there's always a few that didn't turn out quite right, and the store is just going to throw them out anyway... Besides, babies know the difference between real keys and those plastic ones you keep shoving in their faces... They want the real deal people.

Merry Christmas!!!