Home-Sweet-Home-Made Christmas

I have been busy redoing our budgets for the coming year and haven’t posted much in the past few weeks. I also had a great visit from my step-Mum who came up from Georgia. This got me to thinking about my family and extended family. I also have been making my holiday plans…Budgets-family-Christmas…

In thinking about our needs for the next year and beyond, the Christmas season coming up very soon and got me to thinking and looking around for what I want to do for my family this year, in addition to what I usually do. The mood of the nation, our community, and even family is one of conserving & cutting back and staying home.

To try and sooth all of this I am calling Christmas “Home-Sweet-Homemade” this year. I mean to say that is my theme. Everything will be homemade and for the home to keep the family happy at home.

Here is what I am doing:
I’m going to fill shopping bags I sewed over the summer from remnant fabrics. I usually only purchase fabric when it is on sale and save it for a future project.

I am going to start with recycled glass jars I have saved and fill them with home made dish soap I have been making lately. Probably will tie a hand knit dishcloth (I bought these at our fall foliage festival) to the side with a nice ribbon. Along with the recipe on a recipe card.

Home made dish soap:
1 gallon of warm water
2 cups shredded bar soap (I use Ivory)
Large pot
2 Tbl. Liquid glycerin
½ cup lemon juice
2-5 drops Essential Oil (I like eucalyptus)
5 drops Tea Tree Oil (Antibacterial)

  • Mix warm water and soap flakes in a large pot. (I have an old enamel pot only for soap making)
    Dissolve the soap flakes in the water on the stove over low heat. Continually stir the mix while it is heating.
  • Stir in the glycerin and remove from heat.
  • Let cool until almost room temperature and then add lemon juice (or white vinegar).
  • Mix in your favorite essential Oil and Tea Tree Oil.
  • Pour the mixture into bottles and shake well. I have been using old dish soap bottles I got from our town’s recycle center.

A few bars of the lotion bars I made
A jar of the Healing Salve I made
Apple Butter I made
A fresh loaf of bread I made
A fresh journal book and a new pen
A bag of peanut butter balls I made
A bag of Ranch Crackers I made

These will be for close friends, schoolteachers, and special people (teacher/respite providers) for both my older gentleman and granddaughter.

My own family:
My husband and I decided not to exchange gifts this year, we purchased our gift this summer, the new riding lawn mower we have been needing. Also we need to build a new bedroom for my granddaughter. We think this more important than a gift to each other.

Our 2 sons are going to decide within the next few weeks 1-2 things they really have been wanting and I will surprise them with the thing I choose. I have a bet that son #1 will want the GPS for his car.

The bet is with my husband and the winner will have either 1 full undisturbed hour to take a bubble bath or 1 full undisturbed hour to sleep. You decide who wants what. 🙂

My granddaughter, she needs new toys. She has a bunch of expensive store bought toys that kept her amused for a short time and 4 months later won’t even look at them. They were given to her. They are going to be expensive to replace, so I have decided to make her toys. I always made by boys their toys and they received store bought ones from family and friends for their birthday or holidays. Occasionally we would see some in a yard sale they had to have and brought those home too.

Right now she loves the Fisher Price Little People so I went to Ebay and purchased a couple of sets for her. The doll house, the Zoo, the School bus, the Farm set, and a few extra animals and people. (These are not home made but are second hand and in very nice shape from some other little child who was only amused by them for a short time.)

The other store bought item will be a couple of the farm animals from Schleich or the Safari Plastic Animal Replicas.

From the dollar store I bought several packages of long boot laces, and large wooden beads. I will glue some of her art work to the out side of an old shoe box and cover that with some clear contact paper to store them in.

I will find some cute pictures from her coloring book she has colored & glue it to a piece of thicker card stock and have it laminated then cut out the basic shape. Then take my hole punch and punch holes along the out side edge and make lacing cards for her. She played with some at a friend’s house recently and loved them.

Right now she is becoming aware of her community and surroundings so I am also going to print out several pictures of our family, special teachers, friends, pets, and places we have been this past year. Laminate them, punch a hole in the top and use a metal shower curtain ring to make a flip book for her. She loves to look pictures of herself, people and places she knows.

I sewed some bean bags from flannel and filled them with old fashioned dried beans. I saw some at the store that were filled with plastic beads and they were expensive, almost $1.50 each…. We will have a great time making up games to play with these. Mine I made into shapes, star, circle, square, triangle, oval, and gingerbread man.

I do have several boxes of crayons, markers and other art supplies I bought when the back to school supplies went on sale. I will also find some new coloring books.

I’m sure I will come up with some other ideas between now and then.

Here are some links for toys I think you might like:
A quick search for handmade toys will give you many to choose from.

My other family members I have been collecting things they mentioned through out the year. I won’t mention them now because I know my sister reads this daily.

Our family doesn’t see Christmas as the expensive, under appreciated gift giving media hyped event it has turned into. We like to visit with each other, have a good meal, maybe go sledding or take the horses out for a sleigh ride. It’s a day about being with family not expensive gifts.

It will be interesting to me to see what others decide to do this year with the way the uncertain economy is going and how they choose to celebrate. I suspect many will be cutting back, I hope so it will give them time to enjoy some of the simple things in life ….


Posted on November 10, 2008, in Crafts, Family, For Fun, House Budgets, Natural Cleaning Recipes, Planning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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