Thursday 8 December 2011

Christmas Tip and Ideas - Week Three

Linking again to Angela at Tracing Rainbows and the rest of the Tips Team.

BUT if you have to......

.... make your money count, keep control of the finances and start next year positively instead of sitting down at the end of Christms Day thinking ' was that it....was it worth it, how will I repay all that money'.

It's one day, it's a family day, it's a religious day, it's a 'what you make it' kind of day.  You can't buy love, you can't buy happiness, you can't buy family.  Sit and have love, you have happiness and if you're lucky you have family.  Show you care in little thoughtful ways on Christms Day and throughout the year.

And because this post is supposed to be about tips and ideas, heres some of my favourite ones just for you.  They help the environment, make every gift a double gift, and mean you can use up something you might already have in the house.  If you do have to spend, do it wisely, do it thoughtfully, it will be appreciated all the more.


The best type of wrapping (in my humble opinion) is brown paper ('brown paper packages tied up with string.....').  You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you wish, keep the paper plain or stamp it, or draw on it, let the kids go wild with the felt pens and turn it into their own designer wrapping paper, stick pictures on it....use your imagination.  Simply use paper and string, or tie your parcel with ribbon, or tinsel, or ric rac or strips of fabric,.  Finsh off your parcel with handmade gift tags or print off a favourite photo of the recipient and use that as your tag, with your message written on the back.

After Chrstmas this is much more easily recyclable than the glossy and foil papers, you can flatten it all out and use it to line compost caddies, when tipped into the compost bin it will decompose naturally.

Chose a tin to suit your recipient, new or old, collectable or jokey and fill it with a couple of little gifts, maybe on a theme..... a few sewing items for a crafty lady, some seeds and gardening labels for a keen gardener or some toiletries, all wrapped in pretty tissue.  Just treat it as a mini hamper and run with your imagination.  If buying for a child choose a money box tin and fill it with sweets or little farm animals and maybe a couple of coins in the bottom to get them going on a life of saving.

Use jars for packaging pretty soaps, or toiletries.  Make your own mix of pot pourri and give it in a jar to keep the aroma fresh as well as looking pretty.  Measure out all the ingredients for a batch of biscuits or cakes and tie the recipe in a little card at the neck of the jar, noting any extra ingredients that the recipient will have to provide (eggs, milk etc), if it's biscuits that need cutting out, tie a nice shaped cutter to the jar with the recipe.  For the guys in your life make it an old fashioned sweetie jar with retro sweets, flying saucers, mojos, black jacks, a sherbert fountain etc. Finish off your jar with a sweet shaped label and a big festive bow.

Simply stand your jar in a re-uasable gift bag or a swirl of brown paper.

Tie your gifts up in a scarf, either a lovely silky square or a woolly one, make the scarf match the presents and finish off with a tinsel pompom and gift tag.

And lastly buy or make a couple of extra presents of tins or jars of biscuits or chocolates (anything YOU like) and stand them under the Christmas tree in unsealed gift bags with a label wishing the recipients a very merry Christmas with lots of love.  This is ideal for when the unexpected visitor or neighbour pops in with a gift for you that you really weren't expecting, you can simply pull one of your gifts out from under the tree with a flourish and wish them the same.  If you don't have to use these gifts they can simply be added to your larder at the end of the holidays or donated to a Food Charity of your choice, the bags can be saved and used next year.

So use your imagination....think outside of the box...or jar.....or tin, above all have fun with your presents.  Presents given with thought and love are worth ten times as much as those given with stress and guilt over spending far too much money.

Sue xx


  1. Fab ideas, there are some lovely tins in the shops at the minute too.

    I have been thinking of making reusable fabric drawstring bags all next year to use for presents instead of paper for next chrismas.

  2. I especially like the tin idea. I do like tins!

  3. Brown Paper??? I wrap in fabric! Quilters and all my sewing buddies LOVE this! there are so many beautiful fabrics on sale this time of year. what can be nicer than to add to the stash or know that nothing will be thrown away?

  4. I have used brown paper. In a country home it looks very rustic and natural. One year I gave mulled wine kits presented in wooden wine crates we bought cheaply from a vinters,another year I gave muffin kits presented in cookie jars. One guy called me as his muffins were baking to thank me for the experience of "home baking", and the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen.
    Great tips, Sue!
    Jane x

  5. Some lovely ideas- thanks Sue x

  6. Great ideas Sue, makes me feel Christmassy just thinking about them. I am giving jam, marmalade, chutney and quince fruit leather as gifts this year.

  7. Great ideas, instead of handstitched cards for my family, I'm making Xmas tree decorations this year, so at least they can be reused every year. I'm also wrapping some small gifts in pretty fabric, so it can be reused.
    twiggy x

  8. I love your post - this subject is very close to my heart. I have a number of makes on the go as presents . I have made some jams and chutneys and am making little Christmas tote bags to give them in. Great post!


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