Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Holidays are Coming! The Holidays are Coming!

In my experience, there are two approaches to the holiday that involves dread, stress and a sigh of relief once it's passed, and one that involves family, child-like wonder and a sense of joy and love.  While I will admit to the former sometimes creeping up on me, I can honestly say I try to dwell in the latter.  Truthfully, there is so much I love about the holidays.  Spending lots of time with family and friends, good food, pretty decorations, coming up with new and fun (stress free!) ideas for gift along those lines, I would like to share with you some of my favorite inexpensive or free ideas for gift giving and holiday fun!

Amazing recipe for spiced hot cocoa.  (How cute would this be with a little vintage teaspoon tied to the side?)

Cookie dough gifts!  (Honestly, who doesn't love cookie dough??)  You could even put them in a basket together with the cocoa.
Homemade soap (which would be adorable combined with the next suggestion..or just wrapped in some pretty fabric and tied with twine.)

Embroidered towels!  I love Sublime Stitching Patterns.  These Gil Elvgren ones are my favorite.

Ravelry is a brilliant place to get gift ideas if you knit.  Last year I made some of these lovelies.  Cute vintage pattern and they knit up in no time at all!

My husband (aka "The Man") and I host a holiday party each year for siblings, cousins and good friends.  One tradition we keep each year is the "White Elephant Yankee Swap".  The only rules are that the swap gifts must be creative and/or funny and either re-gifted or under $5.  It's great for a laugh and takes the sting out of holiday financial woes!  Some favorites from past years; A copy of the movie "Jaws", An old beer box filled with Slim Jims and Big League Chew labeled "Redneck Survival Kit", "Pornaments" (which were, hysterically enough, ornaments of reindeer in inappropriate positions..courtesy of my brother) bacon band-aids and faux facial hair.
We also have a contest for the ugliest holiday sweater (My sister in law remains the champ with the lovely gem in the photo below..)

Though my oldest daughter and I gave her a run for her money in our hideous holiday vests and who-like hair styles..

She still ended up being the victor and taking home the trophy.

I hope some of these suggestions are helpful to you in planning your holidays this year :)  What kinds of traditions are you looking forward to this holiday season?  What gifts will you be making?

Hugs and Smooches,


  1. I love, love the holidays as well - and really do embrace the childlike wonder of it all. (I am so glad you do as well!) Those are some great gift ideas. We draw names in our family, and three years in a row I have picked my baby brother (which means buying something for his X-box) so no creative cocoa mixes and cookie dough for him. Though I love the idea and may consider it for some friends.

  2. Oh, Annabelle, if you ever have gift suggestions for a young guy, please let me know! I have to buy a gift for my 17 yr old cousin (who also happens to be my godson) and I NEVER know what to get him. My baby brother is 30 and I have two daughters so I just don't have a clue!


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