Sorry, late start today! I left work yesterday, stopped and picked up a few gifts and then met the family at the Christmas tree lot for 5. I remember how Christmas tree shopping used to be an all day affair. We (I) would look over the trees at the first lot and when I couldn’t find the perfect tree, we would move on to the next lot and then another one after that. After several lots (and hours), I would decide that I liked the tree we saw at the first lot. It was a true test of Tim’s patience, but we always got a beautiful tree. Over the years, I have learned to let a few things go. Shopping for the “perfect” tree is one of them. I can still be a bit indecisive and it can take some time to make a final decision, but rarely do we go to more than one lot. We have found this little gem that always has beautiful trees that are well priced. I seriously should have won some kind of an award last night! We (mostly me) picked out the tree in warp speed. I hate to say it, but being warm far out weighs getting the perfect tree. We have been in a severe temperature cold snap over the past few weeks (or at least it seems that long) and I hate the cold. We zoomed up those tree isles, pointed out the one we liked and then left Tim out in the cold to tie it on the roof of the van. (I love that man!) I think we were at the lot about 10 minutes. I was so impressed with our efficiency that I decided to do a bit of shopping before heading home. The family headed home and got the tree in the stand to begin thawing and I knocked off about a dozen gifts on my list. (It was a gift in itself to miss the actual “standing” of the tree. For Tim and I it is a bit like putting up wall paper. Somehow we tend to lose the spirit of Christmas during this task. I was happy that Shay took over the task of holding the tree while his dad secured it in the stand.) The stores were amazingly quiet and I wanted to avoid weekend shopping at all costs. I am not done, but feel so much better and have lots that I can wrap over the weekend. Hence the late start….I was totally exhausted after a very busy week and was out cold by 9:30 and slept in until after 8. By that time, I had to wait my turn to get on the computer.
Homemade Snowman Kit:
Last year, I made up a few snowman kits to give as “hostess gifts” and to a few families with young children. I picked up the “felt” hats at the dollar store during the Halloween season, with this project in mind. The hats are cheaply made, but perfect to leave outdoors on your snowman. I think these were $2 each. I used some of the wire ribbon that I had bought on clearance at Michael’s and added a little “branch” embellishment to the hat.
I also picked up a few Old Navy fleece blankets that were being cleared out for $4 each. You could purchase the fleece at a fabric store, but I loved the colours and design of the Old Navy blankets and they were very reasonably priced. I cut the blankets into strips and slit the ends to make a fringe.
For the other elements, I used a combination of odds and ends. I found a little plastic set of face pieces that were meant to be added to a pumpkin at Halloween. There were googly eyes, funny noses and silly smiles. On their own, these were a bit cheap and tacky looking, but I added them to some of the other items to make a cute little kit with several options. I had found some small fruit ornaments on clearance at Michael’s and used some oversized buttons from my collection. I then bagged-up the items, labelled them and made a little sign for the hat that said “Just Add Snow”.
I actually don’t have a photo with all of the little baggies inside the hat, but everything was just set into the hat and delivered without any wrapping. These were fun to make and cost very little, but it does take some insight to shop around for just the right items to put in your snowman kit. You could always include a fresh carrot for the nose. This doesn’t have to be given during the Christmas season, it could be given as a birthday gift for someone on your list with a winter birthday! Watch for those ornaments and embellishments that clear-out just before and after Christmas and plan ahead for next year. Have fun!
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