Monday, November 16, 2009

A Home Made Christmas

This year, our Christmas buy list is short. Our budget just will not allow us to be extravagant with what we can buy, even from the dollar store (there is a smile here). But instead of being bummed by that fact, I am excited. I started realizing all the things that I could do to make items that will be one of a kind and much more meaningful to those who get them.

Knowing that many are in the same spot, here is a list of possible things that you can do and that I might be doing.

1. Create art using old photos.

2. Do a scrapbook (if you do not have the items needed, budget and watch carefully, this can very quickly turn out to be very expensive.)

3. Sew some clothing, for dolls or for people. If you do not have a machine, who of your friends does and see if you can trade something. Use scrap materials or old clothes for the material.

4. Make a "Blessed jar". Take one of those old vases that you got flowers in, print out your favorite Bible verses, cut them out, and then decoupage (either with the actual decoupage stuff or thinned elmer's glue and a brush) on to the glass of the vase. When it is dry, tie a piece of leather or ribbon at the top. All year long, as God blesses you, write them on small slips of paper and place in jar. At the end of the year or when you need a reminder, read them. Great gift.

5. Bake and wrap cookies, bread, etc.

6. Make candy.

7. Make a coupon book of services. Put stuff in like babysitting at naptime or for a night out, one free vacuum service, window washing - the sky is the limit. For children, donut trip with dad, baking cookies with mom, get to stay up till 10pm - you get the idea. Be creative.

8. If you have an old talent (or a new one), use it. Paint a picture, write a poem and frame it, take a photo and do a pencil sketch and put in a frame. If woodworking is your thing, make something...

9. Crochet or knit or embroidery an item. You can find all kinds of items and free patterns on the internet. If you are a beginner, put the word easy in the search.

10. Write a story for a child or the story of how you met for your spouse. Sounds corny, but we often forgot how significant those things are to the ones we love. Illustrate it with photos.

Okay - I have written a list of 10 ideas. I just reminded myself of a couple of these. If you are on my Christmas list, more than likely you will get to see one or two of these things under the tree.

This year, I am being reminded about the true meaning of Christmas. Love - a love so amazing, so divine that there are no words that can fully express the fullness of His love so pure. My heart sings. He came in a manger, not in a 5 star hotel. He was swaddled in simple cloth, not in expensive silk. His gift is one of simple Love so deep that it binds us all together in a purity that can not be broken.

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.

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