Friday, June 15, 2007
My Christmas Notebook, Part 3
Here's the next installment in my Christmas notebook:
In New England, we have a chain of stores called the Christmas Tree Shoppe. They offer a lot of unique gifts (and yes, some junk too) at very reasonable prices. They tend to offer some of the same items -- maybe in different patterns -- every year. Things like glass cutting boards, ceramic loaf pans and pie plates -- things that make wonderful additions to or containers for gift baskets. They also have beautiful (imported from Italy) paper napkins for Christmas for only $1 or $2 -- I love to tuck a package of these in with a kitchen gift. Anyway, all that to say that in my Christmas notebook I have several page protectors filled with ideas I've clipped from Christmas Tree Shoppe flyers and pasted to construction paper.
Following these, I have a bunch more page protectors similarly filled with ideas I've clipped from catalogs over the years. These are ideas for Christmas gifts and decorations, most of them things I would like to make myself. If I take the time to page through these ideas, I never fail to be inspired by them. I've actually used some of the ideas!
Case in point: Rice Krispie Pops -- squares of Rice Krispies™ treats on popsicle sticks, dipped in white chocolate, decorated with an icing Christmas tree, all wrapped in a clear wrapper secured by a plaid bow. How hard is that? Not hard at all. Great stocking stuffers, small gifts for kids, or a neat little add-in to a gift basket.
Another idea was a set of wood or papier mache Shaker boxes, painted to look like a snowman wearing a top hat, with a strip of plaid flannel for a scarf and a couple of buttons adorning the bottom box. I found a tree ornament that looked just like a set of Shaker boxes and painted it the same way. An adorable, one-of-a-kind ornament!
Another idea: a basket of pine cone fire starters. I made my own that looked just like these by collecting my own pine cones (heat them in the oven to dry them out and kill any insects). I colored melted paraffin red and green with broken crayons, poured this into muffin tins about 1/4 full, and stuck a pine cone in each one. When the wax hardened, I just popped out the fire starters. A basket of these, tied with a ribbon, costs close to $20 in a catalog and is practically free when you make your own. These make a great gift for people who have a fireplace or people who like to go camping.
The idea pages go on and on. I have gotten some wonderful gift and decoration ideas this way.
That's enough for today. More later on my Christmas notebook!