Friday, July 01, 2011

CHRISTMAS IN JULY - What's it all about? How can I do this?

Let's get a jump on the 2011 holidays NOW! Love to craft? Need a financial break from holiday shopping overload? Here is how I do it.

Start with a list of all the people you hope to give gifts to for the holidays 2011. My list every year has pretty much the same people with just a couple additions of newcomers. For example, let's say you have 25 people you would like to give something to. But only 10 of them need 'bigger' gifts and the other 15 can be smaller tokens.

Next assess what you have a LOT of to work with. What are your already available resources? Paper crafting? Beadmaking and jewelry findings? a large and bounteous garden? a lot of paint and canvas? Tons of basket-making materials? Or dried flowers? Or oodles of cotton fabric aka quilting supplies? How about unfinished kits for specific crafts? Make a list! Be specific ...Now count it up ... Which of your friends needs a travel album? How many dried wreaths do you have the grapevine for? Does Grandma need some greeting cards? How many canvases do you already have on hand to paint onto? etc. Let's make that stash WORK for you.

Last year (it makes me blush to say it!) I had an overabundance of 'almost done' items and I determined early on (about august) that I really wanted to USE THEM UP and get them given out to others whom I loved. I actually made 9 gift scrapbooks last year WITH STUFF I HAD. It is, after all, why I got this cool paper-crafting supply stuff in the first place. To share and create and gift it out. It took time --but no extra money except for adhesives --for those 9 gifts for my close family members.

You can do this too. Match the recipient names and the gift supplies up. Which person would love a gift basket of jams and jellies? Who loves home decor? Who just loves to quilt but can't afford new fabrics? BINGO! Match them up with the stuff you have to share. (Remember that packaging is over half the battle so use MORE supplies up making the presentation cute!)

Take that list of supplies and make the old fashioned "match it up lines" on paper from the supplies over to the names of the people who would love that item! Now you have just made a gift list and better yet-- A GOAL LIST.

Here is my own 2011 supply list:
12x12 binder style albums and protectors - 5 assorted styles and colors
6x6 mini albums- 4
8.5x11 albums -3
clipboard to alter and cover -2
travel album -1
blank family tree charts- large- 2 (Hmmm, I have two kids don't I?)
fill in the book family tree info book- 1
quilt project- table runner kit
quilt project -wall hanging kit
tote bag pattern and lots of cotton fabrics
cherries in garden
apples in garden
mulberries in garden
crabapples in garden
lemon balm in garden
pint jars x 24 (you can see where this one is going... LOL)
beautiful photo frames -4

As I am seeing here I already have 25++ things listed! I won't put my gift recipient names here but you get the idea that I will match up people to gifts pretty easily now. As for that perennial problem of what to get the men....FOOD gifts seem to be coming to mind.

The beauty of this method is that when you plan in July, you can make a gift a week and still have time to enjoy the holiday season later. So let's get planning!

I will try to send in gift ideas as I see them as well so keep your eyes open in July. It's Christmas/Holiday season in july! :) Please feel free to send links in also that are examples of gifts from items we might have on hand. It's a great way to use our resources and be green about it all too. And it's economical! Make it homemade but keep it classy!


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