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!


  1. I really like the idea of keeping craft ideas in page protectors. I never even thought of that! I usually see something, think I'll remember it, but by Christmas time it's gone and I don't know where to find it.

  2. Hi Susan,

    This idea sure does help with remembering where to find those great ideas! Filing these ideas in the page protectors is an ideal activity for those low-energy times when you're tired or don't feel well. I find the child-like activity of cutting and pasting to be quite therapeutic in stressful times!


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