Around the House

Take A Deep Breath

Yes, the holidays are upon us. It isn’t as if you weren’t aware, right? Unless, of course, you might have been in a coma, off planet, without electricity, gas, or WiFi.

I’m sounding harsh? Really? Sorry, been there, done that, moved on. And you can, too.

If you’ve been reading here for very long, you might have noticed that I have mentioned that it could be a good time to start early holiday prepping…like in June? Back when it was warm and there were so many other things to do…

Honestly, the one reason we start seeing so many holiday themes in Summer is that crafters need to have time to prepare their crafts. Many of those projects require TIME.

But on a realistic bent, it is easier to budget not only your time but your money if you start early.

But what about NOW?????

Okay, let’s think this through.

How many gifts are you thinking about giving? How many gifts is realistic with your budget?

What can you make yourself? If you have a great recipe for cocoa mix or cookies or quick breads, now is the time to pull them out and start making a list. Some things will freeze well for a couple of weeks (make sure you have room in the freezer!), some things won’t stand up for very long. (Party mix with butter is a possibly no-no for long term storage.)

What about putting together a meal kit? You could collect the dry or canned ingredients for a soup or chowder, put ’em all in a basket or decorated box along with the recipe and meal ideas. You aren’t limited to soup, why not put together a pasta box? A box of pasta, jar of sauce, some bread or bread mix would be a great option. Is one of your recipients a coffee or tea lover? Find out what their favorite is and see what you can find to put with it in a box. Note: I’d think twice about a mug…most people have more than they need.

If you aren’t a regular visitor to the Dollar Store, or similar stores, put them on your To Do List. You will be amazed at what you will find. The same with charity shops. If you go in with an open mind, you can find all kinds of things for gifting. Granted, some might require effort on your part to freshen them up a bit, but over all they are great budget busters.

Gift cards can be a great option when you find yourself stretched too thin or the recipient is hard to buy for. I’m a big fan of gift cards or subscriptions for books as I inhale them. If you have a reader or audio book fan, check to see what they like and consider adding that to your list. Catalogs can be expensive, but if you are sure about the quality, you can find some great ideas for just about anyone.

Don’t overlook the gift of a manicure or pedicure or a haircut! Luxury! Which reminds me, if one of your recipients has a 4 footed canine companion, maybe a day at a doggie day care or a trip to the doggie spa would be appreciated? The feline companions might be a tad more difficult to buy for…perhaps some great toys or treats? A new bed?

I hope these ideas have given you food for thought. They really are just a jumping off point as every group is different. They don’t have to be expensive, they can be quite thrifty, and even creative.

For the moment, however, the first thing you need to do is take a long, deep breath. You’ll get through this! Really! 🙂

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