One of the most difficult parts of blogging, for me, is striking a balance between sharing ideas I think are ingenious and not sounding like a pompous know-it-all. So I hope you know I don’t think I’m all that and a bag of chips, but I do have lightbulb moments on occasion!
That said, today I think I have three really clever things we do around here that make Christmas all the more fun, while keeping it easy and frugal.
Idea #1: Annual Memories Ornament
The hubs and I exchange ornaments each year, usually from wherever we go on vacation, but I like to make this one, instead. I simply find an inexpensive ornament with a large writing surface, and use a silver Sharpie (one of my favorite things EVER) to write a memory from each month of the year. I found this flattened circle ornament at Target for $3.
Idea #2: Color-coded Gift Wrap and Initials
For the hooligans, I buy a roll of gift wrap for each of them, in the same color each year. Princess Thundercloud gets pink, of course, and the boys get blue and green. I can’t stand gift bags under the tree, by the way, and put everything in a box to wrap. That’s just my opinion, gift bag makers…don’t hate me. If something is too large for a box (like a bicycle or doll high chair), it comes from Santa and doesn’t get wrapped.
Anyway, I wrap each kid’s gifts in his color, and put his initial, just to have a place to write the “From” info (I do all the shopping from relatives for them, usually). This year, I’m excited that I could cut out a whole sheet of big initials on my Silhouette instead of stamping them or cutting them out by hand.
This makes it super simple to hand out gifts on Christmas morning, and the wrapping instead of gift bags means it takes longer to open things. Then the hooligans can anticipate as they unwrap, and we avoid a lot of chaos.
Idea #3: 25 Gift-Wrapped Books for 25 Days
We have a whole plastic tote full of Christmas books that we only read during December (the kids get to keep a few out all year). I wrap them individually and put a number on them, then we unwrap one each night in December and read it.
Before you roll your eyes at the amount of time and effort to wrap those books, let me tell you…it took less than an hour, while watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, and less than a roll of giftwrap (on sale at Target this week for $2.50). I cut the numbers on my Silhouette, but you could easily buy a sheet of number stickers. The hooligans love getting to open things before the big day, and it’s as though they have all new books each year!
So there you have it…my three ideas on making your holiday simpler and more fun. And now I’m spending the morning hauling all the decorations up from the basement…the hooligans get out of school at noon today, and have been counting down all week to decorating. I’m sure to be overwhelmed with assistance!