I'm so tired of seeing my loved ones in a lather of high expectation and credit card debt at Christmas.
So the last few Christmasses, we put some rules in place.
First of all, as all my children are grown (and whilst you might argue that this makes a difference, I'm not so sure and I'll get to that in an upcoming post), we decided on a Secret Santa, where each couple in the family, including us as parents, only buys for one other couple with a limit of $100 for both people. Not each....both.
The only ones getting any more than that allocated for gifts, is anyone under 18. For now that is my daughter, my grandson, and my two granddaughters.
Marjorie Hillis wrote a darling book called 'Orchids on your Budget' way back in the 1920's. I penned an Orchids on Your Budget series for Christmas last year, and you can read those posts here, here, here and here.
Basically, Christmas is about the giving. And things must be very dire indeed if you can't gift something. If you start now, today, you can still have a lovely little stash of pretties to gift, even if you are really broke.
My first idea for you is embellished soaps. Discount stores are a great source of boxed or scented soaps that can be wrapped elegantly and beautifully, and have you looking like you've spent $20, instead of $2. It just takes imagination.
I'll be sharing more than 30 ideas for wrapping soaps over the next week, just to give you some food for thought.
Here are the first ten....
So first of all, this soap, purchased for $4,and scented beautifully with Frangipani, is simply wrapped with Ivory cotton lace, and a sliver of kitchen twine. This would be perfect for the Shabby Chic loving person in your life. A set of three of these, if you're wanting to really lash out and spend just a little more, would look stunning presented in a sweet box.
Taking that idea one step further, you could invest some time and effort and just a couple of dollars, in learning to embroider some Inchies as I posted earlier this week. These are the cutest things ever, and are the perfect size to top a sweet soap.
If you want to get a little more romantic, cameos trimmed with more lace, are a gorgeous idea, and again these can be sourced easily and inexpensively on eBay. And you still have time if you source them now, to use them for Christmas!
Alternatively, grab those oranges from the fruit bowl, slice them, and sun dry them, or dry them in the microwave. They look fabulous as a trim too.
Pages from childrens books are sweet....
....as are pages from vintage Boys Own style books for the men in your life. Make sure you scan and print these for use so you have them over and over....
Confectionery foil gives an entirely different effect, topped with a gold heart sticker...
And for something that looks really upmarket, you can't go past Chanel-esque black and white, with a personalised ribbon trim. Mine says 'Atelier Bliss' and a roll of 50 metres cost me about $50. As much as that sounds a lot, it does give a very 'boutique' look to so many gifts, and 50 metres goes a long way if you're careful!
Simple A4 copy paper and a cute stamp, with black ink and a bit of glitter glue looks incredibly stylish....
...and I credit Annabel at The Bluebirds are Nesting with this adorable idea of tearing vintage floral sheets into strips, then using it plain, or stamping it with anything that takes your fancy, to turn it into One-of-a-kind gift ribbon to tie around your soaps as seen here and at the top of my post...
The ribbon itself can become a gift too, and I'll be sharing that soon.
Together, we can have a stress free, stylish Christmas with NO credit card debt. I promise.
Will you join me?
Todays Neverending Five Star Frou-Frou linkup feature is....
Carol at Comfort Spring Station. Carol shows us how to make embroidery hoop art, and idea I've been meaning to try for ages. Just so sweet! Thanks Carol!
Do share your ideas and projects at Five Star Frou-Frou, the Neverending story. I feature someone each time I post. Thankyou to all who continue to link!