Saturday, July 21, 2012

Christmas Is Coming - Sort of!

I adore Christmas-actually I like all holidays. However, I am girl that believes in celebrating a single holiday at a time.  Each holiday deserves it's own space, all by itself, without worrying about the holiday that comes after.  To every season, and all that. I was absolutely appalled to find out that my local Hobby Lobby was putting out Christmas decorations (not crafting items, mind you), immediately after July 4th.  Looking forward, I see Labor Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving all appearing on the horizon before Christms (along with other lesser holdiays).  Seriously, what's the rush!

That said, I have both a personal and a finacial reason to look a few holidays ahead. As an artist/crafter and a writer, much of my income derives from seasonal products which must be created months ahead. And as a frugal gal who makes and shops year around for holiday gifts, this is the time when I need to get my proverbial act together.  Sharon reminded me of this recently with her Christmas In July post.  Sharon has decided to join Penny in her $100 Christmas. Some of you may remember my $500 Christmas, but more about that below.

Because the craft and art fairs begin in September, I need to have enough things to sell by the end of the summer. This means that I am working with Christmas fabrics and making small giftable items, some of them things such as scarves in team colors. Halloween and Christmas banners and table sets, cloth gift bags in Christmas colors, tree skirts and gifts galore are on my radar.  I'm attempting to get a few summery things in here and there, such as my recent placemat and napkin set and some gardening aprons. This is an area I struggle with, and in fact last year I did not do well. The upside of last year's procrastination is that I have leftover Christmas fabric, including pieces big enough to make hostess aprons (my current project). I hope to have enough things made to have a Christmas in July/August section of my shop as well as plenty to sell in person.

Closer to home and my own finances, I adjust Penny's $100 challenge upwards to $500.  Many families choose to cut out gifts, draw names, or give only to young children.  All are valid choices. In our familes, we have chosen to continue traditional gifting. We often share gift lists and gifts tend to be uniuqe items, consumables, or gifts we would not buy for ourselves. Many of these gifts are not expensive items.  I avoided buying a stovetop tea kettle for years because I figured I could zap the water for tea or hot chocolate. Last year I asked for a tea kettle and received one that matched my kitchen (and probably cost 12 dollars). These are the kinds of gifts we we exchange. 

 My family gifting involves twelve couples and my sister. I also have five nieces and nephews-three adult or semi adult and two babies/toddlers. Add my two children (on whom I spend a hundred a piece) and there you have it.  Add token gifts to my quilting group and women's support group, as well as an angel gift and that includes my holiday.  This does not include feeding folks (we alternate the big dinner) or travel to Denver. While my method could take a whole blog article (and will follow much closer to the holiday), much of my gift planning if of the 'casual" kind.  This means that I earn gift cards as part of my normal online routine each day. Occasionally I see reasonably priced or sale items that are perfect and I grab them and put them away. I make gifts (homemade body products, sewn items, and homemade food items).  For example, I have a list of about five food items (aside from cookies) to make. These will be put into baskets as gifts, and I will make them throughout the fall as the items are in season. We'll be making black berry pie filling this week.  Finally, because I do love doing some shopping during the Christmas season, I'll save all those points and earned gift cards for December spending-when I'll get last minute items and stocking stuffers. I'll share my gift creations as I complete them and put them away-when possible

All and all I'm looking forward to a lovely family Christmas-in five months. Meanwhile, I'm going to head to the pool, make miniature angel food cakes for dinner group tonght and then take a nap-104 degree days are deserving of a siesta or to.  What are you up to this July weekend


  1. Wow! You have a large Christmas recipient list! You must be organized to stay under $500! Can't wait to read all about what you are cooking er sewing up! :)!

  2. That quilt in the first picture has to be the prettiest quilt I have ever seen!! It is gorgeous!! You definitely have a knack for quilts.



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