Gift Giving and Other Stressful Adventures

The expense joy of the holiday season is almost upon us. This year I am hearing that people (and not the usual early shoppers) have already started shopping and snatching up things that seem like a good deal.  The only problem with this is when I do it,  I always forget what I bought and who I bought it for.  Inevitably this leaves me looking for some small items to “even the score” during the last week of shopping, paying top dollar just to fill under the tree. I can feel myself start to grumble about the looming bills once again this year.

What happened to the days when there were few gifts given but lots of entertaining?  When I was younger aunts, uncles and cousins came to call with gifts of homemade cookies, candy canes, eggnog and ornaments in hand.  It was more about the time spent with family and friends rather than making sure someone got the exact electronic device they put on their list.

Seriously a list?  Doesn’t that kind of negate the idea of a gift? The only person I knew growing up who had a list was Santa Claus and we were more worried that WE were on it instead of the things we wanted.  If we made a list it had better be filled with necessities.

I remember one year my brother’s girlfriend made Christmas ornaments for my mother with sequins and ribbon and they had our names on them. Since there were eight of us, this thrilled her to hang them from the top of the tree to the bottom in age order.  They were gorgeous and I can tell you if someone did the same for me I would be thrilled beyond belief they had spent the time and really thought about what they were doing.

The picture above is from a fellow bloggers page on how to make these beautiful ornaments yourself, certainly a blog worth following. Just seeing it made me think of our tree growing up. Here is the link if you want to create your own version. Perhaps you could add some names!

I believe in the concept of “Real Gift Giving” so strongly that I am going to focus a few of my blog posts this month on some idea’s for homemade items that are within anyone’s talent range to make…and I am not talking about a pink bunny suit from Aunt Clara! (Poor Ralphie) If you have any ideas you want to offer up please send me some pics and I will happily post them here to share.

Given the current devastation from the wrath of Hurricane Sandy there will be a lot of people who will be grateful for our love and friendship this year during the holidays…forget the economy, its time to turn around the way we think and act.  I don’t care what religion you follow, Christianity, Judaism, Muslim or Buddhist, you want to give someone a real gift? Pack a basket with a few snacks and a thermos of tea or coffee and stop by their house for a chat.

I would love to be able to document great ideas that cost very little or nothing so the word will spread to those who need it the most. If you are reading this right now, can you do one of two things, or both?  Share the link to this page on your Facebook page or other social media so other’s will join in and if you are on Facebook, stop by our page at and leave your suggestions and pics there if you want.  I hate to sound hokey but this year let’s try to remember what the holidays are all about…remembering each other. As Susie Orman says “People first, money and things last!”

If you have a few ladies (young or old) on your list and you like to sew, I will post a “How To” on Eternity Scarves. They’re really easy to sew (straight stitches) and are very popular this year. I will post a few other ideas as well, some that even the kids can make.

Let’s start to take a step “back” in the right direction and keep the holidays simple. I think once you get into making some of these gifts, you’ll find a piece of happiness pie you’ll never want to go another holiday without making! And please, especially this time of the year, “Treat your family like friends and your friends like family!”

About fnfkathy

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12 Responses to Gift Giving and Other Stressful Adventures

  1. Reblogged this on Life With The Top Down and commented:
    I had to Reblog this wonderful message. Enjoy.

  2. you are single handedly bringing back the spirit of Christmas

  3. I remember making those Christmas Balls! My sister was the Queen of design!
    This is such a wonderful message and much needed reminder. Last year I started by buying from small businesses or purchasing artisan pieces that could be remembered and I vow to continue that this year.

    • fnfkathy says:

      I love receiving those types of gifts myself. Our city has been opening up little shops that carry those types of things. Even when I cook I buy from a local small spice merchant.

  4. free penny press says:

    Wonderful post to redirect us away from the Flashy store signs and on to the real meaning of gift giving.. !!

  5. Elyse says:

    That sounds wonderful. A much needed break from the mall.

  6. Tori Nelson says:

    The idea of gift lists irks me, too. Starts to feel like stocking up on school supplies! I’m always a fan of original gifts!

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