Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Buying gifts for the ungrateful this Christmas.

Buying gifts for the ungrateful this Christmas.

We all have a relative who makes Ebenezer Scrooge look positively cheerful at Christmas and it can cause lots of stress. We had a relative who was never happy with any gift and my Mum spent 30 years trying to get her a gift she would be pleased with. All gifts would get a smile, then be placed back into the half undone wrapping paper never to be seen again, they would either reside in the back bedroom, be given away or quite often, wrapped up and given back to us years later! She always wanted what others got, a good example was she used torches all the time and had a big fear of power cuts, she used little naff ones which didn't give much light so my parents brought her an expensive torch which had different settings including one which lights up the whole room. She moaned that a friend got a security light for Christmas and that would of been better, Dad lost his temper and said 'but there's a bloody lamppost outside your house, how much more light do you want'. In the end we finally gave up trying to please her with nice gifts and our lives became happier for it. We just gave socks, something food related, trousers identical to her normal ones, a pair of socks and ginger wine. Her last Christmas was spent in a nursing home with dementia, we gave her some biscuits and a box of tissues as she seemed to like pulling them out of a box.

Most of us want to please our grumpy relatives but if they are determined never to enjoy something then it's an impossible task that takes both time and enjoyment which could be better spent on enjoying Christmas. Why do we feel guilty though when it's the person who takes it upon themselves not to enjoy things?

In the end we finally cast our guilt aside, she doesn't want any main gift? Fine, just buy her a few things we know she needs. She doesn't want to join in the family activities? Fine, it's her choice, as long as you have invited then there's no reason to feel bad if they have chosen to isolate themselves. They just want a sandwich after looking at what your cooking? Fine, let them have a sandwich.

Cast your guilt aside and spend your time and energy on those who actively want to enjoy Christmas. After all, if someone doesn't care about it then it is just another day on the calendar.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sweet Christmas trees

I've had a bad week M.E wise so no Christmas crafting has been done except for making a sweet tree yesterday. I had the idea ages ago but never got around to trying it out. As a very quick attempt I was quite pleased, I used Tesco fizzy belts (£1 for 3 packs) and Haribo Stars which also happened to be fizzy (60p a pack). I think a mini gem would make a good 'pot' but I'm just going to cellophane them.
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Crafty gifts, making presents and finishing abandoned projects

I'm having a crafty week and trying to finish lots of things I've started over the past couple of years but never got that far. First up is peg magnets, I've stuck ribbon along the peg with PVA and once dried I've added an embellishment of some kind (what ever I have, I've not brought anything new) and then have stuck a strong magnet on the back with glossy accents. The magnets were very cheap on ebay. When finished I plan to clip some on a piece of card (maybe with a message on) and then in cellophane for gifts. It's an easy thing to make but I'm surprised at how much time and energy they have taken. Next I've been sewing cute little bells onto ribbon. Studio 24 sell nice bauble storage boxes (£3.99 this year, last year they were £2.27 so I'm hanging on to see if they reduce), they do the job but are very plain, just green with red trim. I've taken some red gingham ribbon I already had and brought some tiny bells from ebay (£1 for 100 multicoloured) and have sewn them on. Once I've got the storage boxes I will glue the ribbon across it. I did this last year and was pleasantly surprised how it turned out. I've also been doing some painting this week. Painting is not a skill I have, that's an understatement! A family friend works for the local disabled children's respite centre and made clay shapes for the kids to paint and be sold but they ran out of time. I offered to paint as they only have to be at the standard of a young child, now that is something I can do (although I'm sure a lot of 3 year olds can do better than me!). I painted them with glaze so hopefully the colours will be prettier and shiny once out of the kiln. So that's my crafty week, Christmas is fast approaching so it's time to get prepared to avoid last minute stress (and last minute relapses in my case).

Monday, November 4, 2013

Some Christmas gift ideas

Now it's November people are thinking about Christmas. I'm a bit of a Christmas nutter and aside my love of Christmas decorations, one of my favourite things is presents! Not in the greedy 'give me gifts' way, I just love coming up with ideas and searching out the perfect gift for everyone. I entered a gift idea competition last year and 3 of my entries were selected, I won the year before too, probably as I think of ideas year round!

Today I thought I would post a few ideas Incase your stuck for inspiration.

To start here are some gifts I've made in the past for friends and family

Name- Colouring book for adults and older children
Cost-£7.99 on Amazon

'Secret Garden- an inky treasure hunt and colouring book', it's the most beautiful colouring book I have ever seen. The artist was inspired by The Secret Garden and the level of details in her drawings are mind blowing, there are also sections to doodle, mazes to complete and little things to hunt and find. I first brought a copy for a friend (adult) who was very stressed and loves children's literature, so as soon as I saw it I had to get a copy for her. Colouring is such a fantastic way of relaxing and doesn't take much energy. I ended up buying one for myself and my friend liked it so much she brought one for a friend.

Name- Chimney magic
No extra cost, just extra magic

If you have a chimney that Santa comes down then add some magic to the day by him dropping a present. Take any little gift (either for the purpose or one you had brought anyway) and wrap in a box about the width of the chimney then jam the box into it. When the kids wake up see if they spot it or direct them to the gift that Santa dropped!

Name- Santa hot chocolate cones

Cost- under £1 when making several

You will need red and white candy canes, mini white marshmallows, hot chocolate and some clear cellophane cones (cones are cheapest on ebay, you need 2 per finished hot chocolate cone).

Take one mini marshmallow and squash into the very tip of a cone (this is the bobble on the end of the hat), then add small chunks of crushed candy canes until it's the size of 'hat' that you want. Twist cone, cut off all excess and tape down. Slip this hat into another cone and add hot chocolate powder. When it's the size you want it to be twist the cone and tie very tightly with some ribbon, make sure it's very tight so no powder can leek out, add a bit more ribbon and curl. Trim off most of the cone leaving just a few cm under the ribbon. Turn around and you will now have Father Christmas, draw on some eyes with a marker or add wiggly eyes and draw a smile.