Sometimes, it’s difficult to admit our shortfalls but when we do, we have an opportunity to help others. Years ago, I was so fixated on making things perfect that I failed to budget. I felt perfection, appearances were more important than the cost. I won’t bore you with details but you can see the problems this would cause down the road. Over the years, I have seen other families fall into this trap, spending to not just keep up with the Joneses but to surpass them at all cost. Not good!
Christmas can be one of the worst times of the year for overspending. Mr. D always reminds me to avoid guilt spending, feeling an obligation to buy expensive presents out of guilt. I have learned many lessons over the years & I work to learn even more. One lesson I have learned it that we can have a beautiful home during the Holidays without spending a fortune. One way to accomplish this is by making our own decorations. right now, our home is filled with handmade decorations I have been working on the last few months. They didn’t cost much & they allow me to create a low cost version of the beauty & perfection I could never seem to buy.
This year, avoid spending so much on Christmas that you spend all 2015 paying for 2014! One way to avoid this is by making decorations like these 9 craft projects from All You. Homemade decorations & gifts allow you go create unique items unlike any other. And to me, that is the best Simple Joy of all!
Affordable Holiday Crafts
A wonderful friend gave me a box of old mason jars recently. I must be honest. I really haven’t done much with mason jars before. However, I was excited at the prospect of creating mason jar snow globes. I have made a few & have a few more to make. Or, I might just switch over & make some of these fun crafts from Country Living. I am ALWAYS looking for new ways to use old things and these ideas are fabulous!
You can enjoy using old mason jars. Or new mason jars. And you don’t even have to buy a whole box to do it. The dollar store in my neighborhood carries individual mason jars for, well, $1! So you can buy one or two & try out a few of these fun Christmas crafts. I warn you though, you will be heading back to the store for more jars faster than you can say “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire!”
Tip: After make 1-2 crafts with dollar store jars, should you decide to create multiples as gifts, price a box of jars from the local neighborhood hardware store. You may find the jars are less than a $1 each when purchased this way.
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!
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.
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
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!
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
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
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!
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!