Thursday, December 18, 2008

Simplifying Christmas

I have been beating myself up over the fact that, once again, I didn't prepare for Christmas early this year. Then I read two refreshing posts here and here that said that not preparing early or getting organized early for Christmas can actually be a good thing! Can it be true? Can we really wait until December 1st to start thinking about Christmas? Are you tired of feeling bad because your Christmas shopping wasn't done in August? I am!

This still doesn't mean that I will wait until the last minute for everything and become a crazy person! I have a new plan. I would like to do one thing per month in 2009 that will contribute to the peacefulness of Christmas 2009. This might be to make one homemade gift. It might mean keeping an ongoing list of gift ideas that I notice during the year. It might mean to address a few Christmas cards. I think if there is something that stresses you out every Christmas, then that is the thing to work on ahead of time or eliminate.

One thing I have done this year to simplify Christmas is to cut down on the amount of decorations. I only put a fraction of the many ornaments we own on the tree. It was so easy! It will be so easy to take down too. I put out a few Christmas pillows, a couple of Christmas throws, a small nativity scene, a Christmas wreath on the front door, and voila! Its Christmas at our house!

Here are some simple ideas:

This Christmas stocking was purchased for my unborn grandson at the after Christmas clearance sale at Cracker Barrel in 2006. I cross stitched his name, pressed under the edges and hand stitched it onto the stocking. I want to make new stockings for everybody in the family some day!

Its such a shame to throw away some of the beautiful Christmas cards we receive. You can frame them and make a nice little Christmas touch for your home.

This card came from a special elderly aunt. Its also a way to remember her in the years to come.

This one hangs above my hubby's "NC State Shrine" year round.

I wanted to include bookmarks with books given as gifts, but forgot to pick them up. So last night I covered cardboard with scrap fabric and made these.

All you do is cut your fabric so that when you fold it over its the right size for your piece of cardboard. Then with right sides together, fold it over and stitch on two sides, leaving one short end open. Turn it right side out and put your piece of cardboard in there. Then tuck in the open end very neatly and hand stitch the opening closed. Just make sure the cardboard isn't too thick. This is nothing fancy, but serves the purpose. You could embellish the fabric with ric rac or any number of things before sewing it together. After its made you could attach a tassel, etc. These two were a last minute project, so they are kind of plain, but if I worked on some of these during the year I could make them extra special.

So as you are finishing up the last week before Christmas remember: KISS (keep it simple sweetie)

Happy Thursday!


Terri said...

Thank you for sharing that Debbie. I usually always try to start early but this year has just been so packed with "stuff" that I didn't and now I'm stressed!

Lyn said...

Debbie, I say whatever works for you is great! We all have to do what works for us, and then not beat ourselves up.

I really like your simple Christmas touches - the stocking is adorable (love snowmen!) and the bookmarks are a great idea too.

The holidays do not have to be complicated. They are as complicated as we make them.

Have a lovely day!

Dianne said...

Your ideas are great! Love the one where you frame old Christmas Cards. Some years we get some that are so beautiful. Another idea for old cards is to cut off the front picture, punch a whole in it, tie a ribbon on it and use it for a gift card on packages with a hand written message on the back. Our daughter does that. It works great and utilizes the old cards, too!


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