35 Heavenly Homemade Food Gifts

I enjoy giving gifts to all my friends each Christmas. Unfortunately, my budget doesn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I do. Homemade gifts to the rescue. Homemade gifts, especially food gifts, allow me to show my love & appreciation to everyone on my list without straining my budget. I really do believe that it’s the thought that counts. Homemade gifts show that we thought enough to take the time to make something very special for those on our gift list. Stumped for ideas? Midwest Living can help you out with their list of 35 homemade gifts & fabulous ways to wrap them. Enjoy the season, share the love & fill your life with Simple Joy!

Homemade Gifts

50 Gorgeous Holiday Mantel Decorating Ideas

Decorating the mantel in your home adds such a brilliant touch of elegance to your home. While we don’t have a mantel in our home, so I use ideas like these on our sideboard, dresser & bar. It takes so little to decorate a flat surface like a mantel or sideboard. They aren’t very wide so I like to work with height. A touch here, a touch there and TA-DA! Christmas beauty abounds! And such a Simple Joy!

This tips & decorating ideas come to us from Midwest Living.

Christmas Mantel

31 Easy, Homemade Christmas Ornaments

When I decorate our Christmas tree each year, I am filled with memories as I hang various ornaments on our tree. The pin & white knit stocking made by a co-worker for The Child on her first Christmas. The bicycle ornament I gave Mr. D. when we were first married. The ornament the church gave me when I was a toddler. And especially, the wax filled ornaments my great-grandparents brought with them from Germany.

As beautiful as those ornaments are, the ones I love the most are the handmade ornaments from friends & made by The Child as she was growing up. Do you have handmade ornaments on your tree? If not, it’s time to add some! If you do, you can always make room for more!

Country Living shares their selection of 31 easy to make ornaments. Many can be made with & by your kids. Prepare them for your tree this year. Then, enjoy the memories they stir up each year as you decorate your tree!

What is your favorite ornament on your Christmas tree? Tell us about it! Share the history & why it means so much to you!

Easy to Make Ornaments

Holiday-Inspired Outdoor Decorating that Lasts

Many of us like to decorate early in the season for Christmas. The problem then is: how do I make sure my decorations last that long? No one wants a wreath that begins to droop before Christmas. Or a display that just begins to look tired & worn a week or so later. We want our home to look as fresh & beautiful the last day as it does the first. BHG shares a selection of outdoor displays that stay fresh looking throughout the season. Give your guests a warm welcome this Holiday with these beautiful, and lasting, ideas!

Lasting Decorations

12 Wreaths to Get You in the Christmas Spirit

As you may have guessed, I LOVE making wreaths! I work to keep them simple so my clients may add their own personal touches to their wreaths. A wreath welcomes guests to your home & should reflect your personality & your home.

While I would be THRILLED to have you (& everyone else) purchase their Christmas wreath from me, I would also be happy to know you have created a Christmas wreath for your home. Good Housekeeping shares 12 wreaths you can make yourself. If you are like me, you will make more than one to decorate your home! Enjoy!

DIY Christmas Wreaths

25 Ways to Show You Care

The Holiday season gives me the opportunity to show the people around me how much I care about them. I don’t have to spend a fortune in order to accomplish my goal. There are so many ways for me to show my appreciation for my friends. Midwest Living has created a wonderful list of ways for you to show others you care. They are so simple, you will wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself. Yet, as simple as they might be, each & every one of them might bring joy to one of the people on your list, a joy that stays with them throughout the year.

Ways to Care

10 Holiday Gifts to Start Making Now

My family puts a lot of thought into Christmas gifts. Well, into gifts of any kind. Some of our most precious gifts are the ones that didn’t cost much money. The Child returned from an event on Friday with gifts: a Batman shirt for Mr. D (who loves to glare at us while saying “I’m Batman!”) & a small Minion figure named Dave for me. I just LOVE those little yellow guys. Doesn’t matter how much they may have cost. Katy put a lot of thought & effort into getting gifts she knew we would like.

Some of the best gifts don’t even come from a store. Homemade items mean a lot to the people receiving the gift. They show you spent time creating something just for them. Homemade gifts allow you to share the Holiday spirit with a longer gift list without worrying about the cost. Browsing thrift stores & yard sales allows you to pick up unwanted items & turn them into a beautiful & unique gift for someone special.

Now is the time to get started on your homemade gifts. To help you make your list or just get your creative juices flowing, Good Housekeeping has put together a list of 10 simple & unique homemade gifts. Some so easy, your kids can create them for teachers & family. Remember, the best part about homemade gifts is the love you put into each & every item. That’s a Simple Joy that keeps giving all year long!

Homemade Gifts

Santa Claus Christmas Crafts Ideas 

Santa Claus Christmas Crafts Ideas

Kids are always so excited during the Holiday season. As the song says, they know that Santa’s on his way! And they can hardly wait! This year, give your kids a taste of Santa early when your family creates these fun Santa crafts. BHG has found ways to share the Jolly Old Elf throughout your home. Just the thing to make the kids happy until Christmas. And remember, at Christmas, we’re all kids!

Do you & your family make Christmas crafts? What are your favorites? Please share your craft projects with us!

Santa Crafts

DIY Holiday Ornaments You’ll Love

DIY Holiday Ornaments You'll Love

This time of year, I enjoy seeing all the elegant trees featured in magazines, on websites & shared by people on FB. I sometimes long for those perfect trees, decorated so carefully with items that coordinate with one another. Then I look at my tree. It is beautiful in its own way but there are a few items that would prevent it from being featured in any magazine. There’s the cloth ornament with “For Dad” on one side & “Fro Mom” on the other, made by The Child when she was young. There’s the faded ornament with my name written in glitter, given to me by our church when I was a toddler. There’s the 2 angels with The Child’s name on one & my name on the other. Our names were added with labels printed out by Mr. D. who wanted us to know we were HIS angels! These decorations may not be elegant but they are packed with memories & money can buy those no matter how hard we try!

Woman’s Day offers you the opportunity to create memories with your family this Christmas. They have developed a series of DIY ornaments that you & your family can make to added to your tree this year & in the years to come. Enjoy!

DIY Ornaments