Is it crazy to already start thinking about Christmas? You could say crazy… or you could say clever. Christmas can be such a hectic, stressful season, with so much pressure to buy/give gifts for our friends and family members. Sometimes I think, “Ugh, I’m not getting presents for anyone this year, it’s just too much time/stress/money!” On the other hand, I really enjoy giving and receiving gifts – they don’t have to be fancy or costly, but I do think it is a nice tradition, and if we start thinking about it early, perhaps some of the stress can be alleviated.
Let’s explore my favourite kinds of gift giving: handmade, personalized, re-gifted, local, and online!
My favourite kind of gift to give and to receive is something “hand-created” – a song, a scrapbook, a picture frame – I just love that kind of stuff. But I know that these things take time and I certainly haven’t done a lot of that in recent years as Christmas tends to sneak up on me. I’m hoping this year will be different, at least in the kid department. My friend Zoe and I are planning on making some Christmas crafts with our little boys that they can give as gifts to family and friends. There is a plethora of ideas on Pinterest and the internet of “DIY gifts people will actually love”. Here are some of my favourite things I have done in the past or plan to do this year:
–buy a journal/notebook and scatter quotes/doodles/pictures throughout it. If it has a plain cover you could decorate it. I like to cut pictures and letters out of magazines, make a nice design and then cover it(oh so carefully) with clear packing tape.
–paint a pot and plant flowers or herbs in it. Or make a cute terrarium with a glass jar and succulents.
–sew a stuffed animal for a child – I am attempting to do this for Sebastian’s first birthday!
Personalized gifts – there are so many different things you can do with your photos, especially! In past years I have made photo books for family members, mugs with grandchild pictures, tote bags, and calendars. Vistaprint.ca is a great place to start, but there are many others as well. I love to make photo books with the iPhoto program on my Macbook. They are so professional looking and easy to make.
I also really like re-gifting. I was just thinking back to my university days when I lived with four girlfriends. For Christmas one year we decided to give each other something we already owned. We played a little game – we each wrapped four gifts, brought them to the living room, and picked one gift from each person’s “pile.” We then were able to steal or trade for a different gift. It was something like that, anyway, and I remember it being so meaningful and fun. We don’t need to spend tons of money to give gifts. It also helps you to de-clutter!
Buying something locally from a Christmas Craft Fair is always a fun experience for me. I love buying a product directly from the person who made it. Or you could give a gift certificate for a family photo shoot and support your local photographer! 🙂
Here are some of my favourite things you can get online:
- Gift cards: iTunes, Amazon, clothing stores, etc. These are great for just about everyone, especially those loved ones who live far, far away 😉 You can buy and redeem them online, reducing waste(and saving on postage!).
- Beautiful crafts hand made by African women from Ubuntu Collective. I love buying gifts from places like this. They have many beautiful items to choose from; picture frames, paintings, baby blankets, mobiles, play mats, purses and bags, wallets, puppets, aprons, oven mitts, and much more.
- Essential Oils. It was what Jesus received on his birthday, so you could say it’s extra Christmasy 😉 You can buy a diffuser and a couple of oils(they even have frankincense) for a friend or family member. I love the oils I received in my Starter Kit and I use them every day for one thing or another. Read my previous posts on essential oils for more ideas of how to use them. You can order the oils or a Starter Kit straight from me. (just leave a comment on this post or email me at lindsay.c.muller @ gmail.com if interested)
- Handmade items from Etsy, which is a wonderful website where you can buy directly from the seller(and can sometimes make custom orders).
- Well.ca. I LOVE this website and am so sad I can’t use it in Brazil!(I could, but the shipping and taxes would be ridiculous) They are such a great company(I know first hand because I worked for them when I lived in Guelph!) and have free shipping when you spend over $29. They even did free gift wrapping when I worked there. They have lots of gift ideas – board games, toys, baby items, personal care products, chocolate… you could certainly get all of your stocking stuffers!
What was a favourite Christmas gift you received? What’s your preferred method of gift giving?