Hi friends, Our December issue is all wrapped up and at the printer, there's a nip in the air, and I don't know about you, but I don't even have time to think about Halloween: Christmas is coming and there's no time to waste!
OK, OK, I haven't started making anything except my gift list. Actually, each year I make three lists: one, a list of who gets what; two, a list of what tools and materials I'll need for each project; and three, a list of what I'll have to buy. Then the calendar comes out, and I plot what I'll make, and when. Now, I can guess what you're thinking: who wants to be all bound up in lists and schedules at Christmas time? It's a time for being festive and
, isn't it? Right. But in the years since I started making my own Christmas gifts, I've learned (the hard way, natch) that a little bit of organization goes a long way when you're preparing for a DIY holiday. Sure, it might make me seem a bit Type A, but I make those three lists because they help me:
- ensure that everyone who deserves a present, gets a present;
- outline exactly what (and how much) I need to buy when I go to the craft store;
- keep my spending within my budget; and
- prevent the dreaded last-minute, late-night, Christmas Eve Craftapalooza.
Over the years I've also simplified my ambitions a little bit. Here are my personal DIY Christmas guidelines:
- I only make "expensive" (that could refer time or money) gifts for my immediate family members. Handmade gifts are often smaller than what I could buy for the same amount of money, but I think they know there's love in every stitch!
- My friends receive variations on the same gift (there's a lot to be said for assembly lines). The last few years, I've made calendars.
- I keep a stash of "ready-to-give" gifts on hand (a snap coin purse or pencil case is almost always gladly received).
- Taking my ineptitude at paper crafting into account, I now buy my Christmas cards.
- And then there are the gift cards. Much as I hate to admit it, the truth is that there are people in my life who just don't appreciate made-by-me gifts to the same degree they appreciate a Starbucks gift card. That's fine. (And hey, have you had a toffee mocha yet? Yum!)
What are your favourite strategies for conquering a DIY Christmas? Do you have a go-to handmade present?