The above photo is the morning of my 40th birthday, our first day with family in the Philippines. These girls hadn’t seen each other for two, maybe three, years. They went for a morning walk to pick flowers for me. Such sweet, sweet memories!
Memories can be in our mind – or they can be printed. This time of year I start reflecting over the year we’re in (um…how are we in October already? how is October HALF way done?!), because we’re mostly into the groove of the school rhythm and gearing up for the upcoming holidays.
I am cheap – frugal – a tightwad…whatever you want to call it.
Not because I can’t spend money in a hurry (I actually have very expensive taste), but because I typically don’t have money to spend. I often hear the stress in people’s tone as they talk about the coming holidays and, in particular Christmas – the gifts & obligations part, not what Christmas is really about part. It makes me very sad.
Christmas is my favorite time of year
– the music, the spicy smells, the sense of contentment at home.
The making. crafting. excuse to slow down.
the gift of baby Jesus & what He means for each of us…
I absolutely love making Christmas gifts. I don’t typically spend more than $200-$250 for everyone total. We make a lot of gifts. One thing you really have to watch when making gifts – make sure your supplies don’t cost more than if you bought stuff! This is a really real issue!!! unless you’re not making gifts to save money, then I guess it wouldn’t matter :-). regardless, it is all stuff.
I do a lot of memory gifts. Photos in various ways – it’s what my parents really want and no one needs more stuff. We as a family have always also done thrift store or re-gifting our own things we know someone else would like. I grew up with the tradition of we had oranges, gum, little things in a stocking and one gift from my parents. We never felt deprived. Quite the opposite, we knew what we were given wasn’t easily purchased. It was the tangible evidence of my parents’ late nights or major thinking out of the box. As we grew into adults and there are now seven children between us – we’ve continued this practice with one gift. It might be from a thrift store or even recycle/upcycling something of our own for someone else. This has led to much more intentional giving in our family gatherings. I’ve really enjoyed watching my children adopt this practice and I love seeing how their listening to others comes out in giving what can truly be appreciated. Even when my son had plenty of money, and a car he could drive – he chose to spend hours upon hours in the shop with my dad, making gifts. It wasn’t because he had to, it was because he wanted to.
Anyway, I want to share a wonderful Shutterfly* deal with you. You can get a start on your Christmas list, or at least get a FREE calendar. Shutterfly is also offering 40% off everything until Sunday, October 16th. Please note, I am an affiliate for Shutterfly, (this means if someone places an order using my link Shutterfly will pay me a commission for sharing their sale with you = win-win for you and I!).
Any calendar I’ve ever ordered from Shutterfly has always been beautiful. The one time there was something wrong, I called them and they sent me a correctly printed calendar right away – even though it was a free calendar to start with. I was so impressed!
If you’re wondering, Shutterfly‘s books are also lovely. I actually like the books enough I was thinking I’d just get caught up quickly on the last 10 years of scrapbooking by making digital scrapbooks, but I’m thrilled my children prefer the “old” way of scrapbooking. I’m really excited to have the excuse to get to play with all my paper & supplies again – to get started on Christmas gifts!!!! :-D!)
Get One Free 12 Month Wall Calendar Plus 40% Off Everything! use code LUCKYU at check out. Valid until October 16, 2016.
*These are affiliate links. If you’re interested, here are more companies I like and trust and am willing to share with you. (The link will take you to my other website, Dot&Ink Designs. Just so you know.)