30 November 2015

On the first day of Christmas...

Well, it's that time again.  The holiday season is chugging on in like a freight train.  Do you ever feel like you are behind on gifts in July?  That's totally me every year.

If you have read here for any length of time, you know I love making lists.  That feeling of accomplishment you get when you see everything written out and then get to check things off, oh it's addicting.  So, I've put together a little list {yes! and I have checked it twice} of twelve personalized or homemade gifts you can give your loves.

1. Manicure in a jar: I've always thought this was a cute idea.  The perfect teacher or friend gift.  You can find mason jars just about everywhere these days.  Add a cute polish, clippers, file and some cotton balls and you are all set.  {A little tip for you; check TJ Maxx or Marshalls for nail polish on the cheap.  They carry Essie and OPI at half the cost!}

2. Christmas cards: I'm addicted to paper goods.  Christmas cards are my favorite thing to do every year.  Living in a military town means we have friends move away all the time.  This is the perfect way to keep in touch with those friends and family who you don't get to see all the time. Tiny Prints has an awesome selection and I fell madly in love with their foil-stamped cards. They are even more gorgeous in person!

3. Christmas cookies:  I love to involve my boys in Christmas activities each year.  Gideon loves helping me "make" and always drags a chair to the counter when I am baking.  Christmas cookies are a must and the perfect thing to bring to a holiday potluck or to gift to your neighbors.

4. Hot cocoa mix: This time of year calls for hot drinks all around.  Bust out some more mason jars, add some hot cocoa powder {strapped on time?  Just buy the packets and pour them in.  Ain't nobody got time for homemade!} and some marshmallows {heavy on these!}.  Tie on some cute tags and hand out to co-workers or your mailman, hairdresser, and everybody you pass in the street because who couldn't use a little holiday cheer?

5. Holiday playlist: A mix tape, if you will.  I remember making my friends mixed CDs our senior year of college and I'm pretty sure I even gave my husband (then boyfriend) one that same year.  Pick your favorite holiday songs; maybe a little Mariah {All I Want for Christmas} or Nick and Jessica pre-divorce {Baby, it's Cold Outside, anyone?} or any of the classics.  Share your playlist with friends starting at the beginning of the month to carry the fun all season long.

6. S'mores: I'm a sucker for s'mores.  Spring?  I want a s'more. Summer?  S'more me, please.  Fall?  Bonfire and a s'more, duh.  So, why not as a holiday gift? Stack a few graham crackers, Hershey's chocolate bars, and some giant marshmallows together in some clear cellophane or find some cute packaging {maybe these?}, then dress it up with some festive ribbon.

7. Kid-made thumb print art:  My sister used her kiddos thumbprints to make the manger seen one year and framed it for our parents.  I'm pretty positive they cried their eyes out and loved it more than the new robe I bought them.  This is a great gift for grandparents and will clearly melt their hearts.

8. Sharpie mug:  I'm addicted to mugs and I don't even drink coffee.  I have to restrain myself from buying them when I see cute ones {I'm looking at you, Anthropologie}.  I made a Sharpie mug for my husband for Valentine's Day this year which was a lot of fun.  Find a plain mug {dollar store for the win} and draw with a Sharpie paint pen whatever your heart desires.  Place them in a cold oven and preheat to 425 degrees.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Voila!

9. Movie in a box:  This is one of my favorite gifts to put together.  It is awesome to do at the beginning of the season with a Christmas movie.  Grab a fun movie.  Place in a cute basket with bags of popcorn, candy and drinks.  Great gifts for friends with kids so they can have a family movie night. {But, probably a more appropriate kids movie than Family Stone; insert monkey covering eyes emoji}

10. Coffee:  Ok, I don't drink coffee.  I know, I know.  But plenty of people in my life are addicted to it, so they will welcome this with open arms.  Do a Sharpie mug or buy a cute one {like these} and place a Starbucks or other coffee shop giftcard inside.  The gift of caffeine can't go wrong.

11. Burlap wreath: I've always loved this burlap wreath trend that is going on.  I was just too intimidated to try it.  It looked complicated.  But, it is NOT!  Simple to make and super easy to use throughout the year by just changing the flowers, etc.  Here is the video I used as a guide.  I dressed mine up with cotton stalks for fall and berry branches for Christmas.  These are great gifts for grandmas and aunts!

12. Personalized notebook: My sister is a teacher, so lined notebooks are something she can get great use out of. Tiny Prints has personalized notebooks that are the sweetest gift to give with a special little touch.  Order some for your kids teachers and help break up the never-ending candles and sweet treats they get {not that anyone is complaining about those!}.

* Christmas cards and personalized notebook were provided by TinyPrints

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