Ideas to help make the Season Bright
Cross post from ProgressiveBlue.com
While I realize that everyone doesn’t celebrate the Christmas holiday, I also realize that most people understand what it is like to be out of work, or on slow work and low on money. So, I thought it might help us all to scratch our collective head and come up with some of our best ideas on things that we can do to help make the season bright. Come on ‘Time’s a wasting.’
First let’s look at things we can do for extended family, neighbors, teachers, friends, etc. One of the things that I have done in the past for people who didn’t even expect a present from me was to bake some of my ‘breads’, wrap them in cellophane, and tie a pretty string or ribbon around them before distributing them. Home made items don’t need to be plain, fancy them up a little. Many people have gushed over my breads though there is one type that I personally don’t like (I won’t say what kind.). So, if anyone would like my Pumpkin Bread recipe, I’ll be happy to share it with everyone. Don’t tell me you don’t cook, because I’ll use one of my mother’s favorite phrases on you ‘Well, girl (or guy), you ain’t going to learn any younger.’
Of course, if you have some home made jams and jellies that you canned last summer, that is always a great item and one that you are ‘giving a part of yourself’.
I just know there are at least one or two guys sitting out there smiling and maybe thinking I forgot anything for them. No way! I have some great things for guys. Also, I know some of the women are great with power tools and I’ll just bet some of you guys are great cooks. If you have a shop, there are lots of things to do. If you don’t have a ‘real shop’, there are still things you can do. For example make a bird house, or a butterfly house for a present. Don’t forget to leave about a half inch for vent space between the house and the roof. Make it out of something that will withstand the elements for a few years because whoever you give it to will love it and want to keep it. If the material allows, paint it something pretty … maybe like rainbow row in Charleston, SC. You know the birds mate in Feburary, so this is a great gift. You could also make a bird or squirrel feeder.
Also, don’t forget, you can really make some useful holders for a few extra rolls of toilet tissue and that’s not hard at all nor does it take much time. You do need to stain it and ‘pretty it up’ though.
One item that I can remember my husband making when he worked with Junior Achievement was something you could do if you have some specialty saws. Go to a place that installs counter tops. Most of them have some scrap pieces that they may even give you. Draw yourself an ‘apple pattern’ or another design and cut them out. You may stain the edges a little and you have a cool item. You can even make them in different sizes. The Junior Achievement sold them for cutting boards, but the smaller sizes (even round ones) could be used for coasters to go under house plants. (Now isn’t that ‘charming’?)
Okay, we’re on a roll now! Don’t make me do this all by myself or I may call in Sarah Palin. I’m sure she’d have something to say on the subject. (My mother always used a threat, so I thought I’d try it.)
Here’s another hint. Just because children have high tech purchased toys today doesn’t mean they don’t like the simple stuff. I learned that from my step-dad. We’d take our son or granddaughter to my parents and he’d drag out ‘stuff’ that was ‘old fashioned’ in my book and the kids wouldn’t put it down. They’d often manage to come home with it too. I remember he had an old hand made wooden wagon and kids absolutely loved that thing. Then, he made a wooden Chinese Checker board which my son loved too. I’ve seen tables recently in stores with checker/chess boards painted on them. Those could be made quite easily.
So, now that we’re started, let’s hear your ideas and suggestions and what you might do to cut expenses. We don’t have a lot of time to ‘think’ about this, so we’ve got to get moving. My husband repeats almost hourly ‘You can be either part of the problem or part of the solution.’ Now, we all know we want to be part of the solution. Let’s roll.