Last Minute Christmas Ideas

Decorations are in the shops from August in some places, carols are playing over the speakers in shopping centres, and Christmas comes earlier and becomes more commercialized every year.

Even kids are organized early, these days. When my children were younger, a lengthy Christmas wish list of various items ranging in price from in expensive to earth shattering out of my budget, expensive, would appear on my bedroom wall, about a month before Christmas Day. Just in case I was unsure of what exactly to buy for them for Xmas. 

Kids growing expectations of Christmas gifts

There is expectations around gift giving now. Mind you, can’t really blame the kids for trying, even if the follow through does not reach such dizzying heights.

Humbling was the child from a family, at school, who said, when asked what they got from Santa, “A new lunchbox for school.”  Did this pull at my heart strings?  Oh yes, indeed. Makes me think of many possible alternative options for low cost or free activities, as gifts, that one can request and give for Christmas.

(Write these up onto pretty gift cards, placed in a “surprise bag” and could be pulled out by each child/ adult, as a kind of lucky dip/Christmas game)
* A warm and cosy evening/day spent doing whatever each child wishes, one on one, without disturbances from computer, phone, mobile phone or Ipod, Ipad etc etc.  It might be a board game, cocoa and a chat, playing games, like hide n seek, or pictionary/ monopoly.

* A Christmas themed movie or power-point presentation for Grandparents and/or extended family

* Building a cubby house, go cart, or raft together. This can be as complex or as simple as you like: the full wooden hammer and nails bit, or a large cardboard box.

* Sewing or embroidering a calico/reusable plain shopping bags, with permanent markers or paint

*Make low cost decorations for the tree with pre-printed felt, ribbon and glue.

Embroidery star decoration
Simple – cut out printed felt or embroider and glue to make low cost decorations

* Making the Christmas cake/ lolly or cookie jars to give to others.

* Setting out tea light candles all along your street and letterbox dropping others on surrounding streets to do the same. We do this and call it ‘Santa’s highway’.

Tivoli

* Making a card or memory album for Grandma

* Constructing a year in my family chronicle to give out to family members at Xmas with recipes, funny stories, and photos.

* Challenge the kids to present a puppet show or play to family members on Christmas Day. Make a video to give to them when they are older

* A talent quest for family members with a Christmas theme

(Chocolate Prizes for all entrants)

* Swimming or running races or even Trampoline competitions if you have one

* A Forest hike

* A walk or play on the beach, perhaps with the promise of ice cream afterwards.

* If the kids are into books, a trip to the library or bookstore or book exchange

Lucerne christmas

There are plenty more ideas available on the net or in books, so these are just a few that came to me, off the top of my head. This kind of experience will stay in a child’s memory for longer than the short lived joy of getting a cheap plastic toy that may be broken/forgotten in a few months time.

Christmas need not be super expensive. Be creative and have fun, and still be giving a priceless gift that has the bonus of being environmentally friendly.

These activities will surely be something kids might ponder about when they reminisce about Christmas past.

Ways to save money this Christmas and still have fun with the family.

How do you manage Christmas spending?

Have you got a way to save money and still have fun with the children?

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DIY Mini Note Book Covers

DIY Craft

I just love this fun idea of using up beautiful paper. It is practical and functional and you can appreciate the lovely paper far more often than before.

The next best thing to pretty fabric is pretty paper! Although I don’t scrapbook, I love to walk through that department at my favorite craft/sewing stores and couldn’t resist buying some when I saw it marked down.  Of course, then I had to come up with a project for it, so here it is!

Sometimes the paper is so pretty, I am reluctant to use it, but I had no such trouble with this project. Some are planned to be small gifts, others I will use myself and then I can appreciate the paper each time I use them.

The therapeutic and relaxing nature of craft is something we should ponder about whilst stuck in traffic jams, heading to work each week!  🙂 Continue reading

Travel theme: Fabric

bird

Traveling to different places in the world gives me an excuse to investigate folk traditions in fabric design. Something I find incredibly inspirational when it comes to designing my own artwork. Fabric and furnishings can also reflect the cultural and historical nuances and traditions of a region.

Norwegian embroidery and weaving

IMG_3620 (Small)

Where would you find a beautiful fabric motif like this, but Innsbruck?!

fabric innsbruck

Hardanger embroidery on a cafe curtainhardanger embroidery

Norway is a country, where you will find many original and distinctive fabrics in many different forms.

Click on each individual photo to see a larger version

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Norwegian National dress

If you have some fabric that you have discovered in your travels, post a link to your blog or join in with Ailsa’s photographic travel theme challenge.

 

Something to Ponder About

 

DIY Bathing Towel Apron

Fantastic idea for Mums of little ones. And a wonderful recycling/upcycling idea as well!

Diary of a Mad Crafter

I saw this idea on Pinterest (of course!) and thought what an awesome idea! When pulling babies and kids out of the bath, you can just cuddle with them and dry them off at the same time! I took a good look at the pic, and figured out how to make it. It’s super simple, and a GREAT baby shower gift!

I used a towel I had from home. We have collected way too many towels in this house and no room for them, so I figured I’d give one a good use other than sitting in the closet. I loved this print with the light blue (which was actually a pillow case–same thing, we collect this stuff without realizing, I tell ya)! You can either purchase 1 or 2 yards of the cotton fabric for this project (I’ll explain in the second step).towelapron1

The top part of my apron…

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