Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Homemade Christmas

Hello Everyone!

I'm sure you are all as busy as me these days trying to get ready for Christmas... and a wreath on the front door was the extent of my decorating because we're spending Christmas with my in-laws in Charlotte.  Instead, I'm working away making gifts for friends and family.

This year, instead of giving away cookies or breads or meaningless trinkets, I've decided to make a nice jar of homemade yogurt for friends and co-workers.  This is a really neat idea as well from Coco at Roost Blog: A spiced Ginger Cake with Rosemary Apple Butter. And I found this fun craft idea this morning on Design Mom: Sharpie-Dyed Clothes.  Most of my homemade gifts I'm keeping secret for the surprise effect on Christmas morning, but I'll be sure to post them after Christmas.

I've been noticing that the more thought I put into Christmas, the more meaningful it is.  I'm actually at the point where I get angry about spending tons of money on "stuff" for Christmas.  I'd much rather have someone buy me a gift randomly, because they saw it and thought of me, then just give me something because its Christmas or my birthday.

Last night David and I watched Charlie Brown Christmas on Hulu. If you haven't seen the movie, its about Charlie Brown's search for the meaning of Christmas.  Charlie Brown confides in Linus that even though Christmas is approaching he still feels depressed, despite all the presents, cards and tree decorating, due to the over-commercialization of Christmas.  Boy did David and I identify with that!

Our favorite things about the holidays are the little things... I don't remember the gifts I got as a child, but I do remember the time my dad took us down to frozen Lake Wisconsin in our old Willy's Jeep and threw a rope off the back and then pulled us around on sleds whipping us all over the place.  We had so much fun we laughed until it hurt!  Or the bonfires... My family made legendary bonfires on our land.  Those, I will never forget.

I'm curious, what makes Christmas special for you?  How much do you think is too much to spend on a Christmas gift?  At what point does spending money become more about yourself and less about the gift or the person you're giving it to?  What is your best technique for maneuvering the holidays while keeping Christmas cheer in your heart?    

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