Monday, December 20, 2010

brown paper packages tied up with string

These are a few of my favorite things!

As part of our effort to stick with a Simpler Christmas this year, I used just one roll of the brown craft/shipping paper to wrap everything.

And tied each gift up with twine.... With a simple red or green cutesy little polka dot tag.

No rolls and rolls of coordinating paper, no uncurlable curling ribbon, no smooshed bows... just simple.
And I love it.

p.s. on the gift wrapping...
I saw Linda posted today that she opted for the same wrapping! I love her stickers and stamps and simple ribbons and pretties in lieu of tags... may have to remember that for next year!

Okay, so I know I promised the deets on my gifts like, oh, weeks and weeks ago, but you probably all know me and my blog by now. When things get promised here, you best not believe this here Liar McLiarpants.

'Cuz look- surprise, surprise, here I am, just four days 'til Christmas, finally getting around to posting about the presents. Only I'm NOT REALLY. Because Ryan told me I can't ruin the surprises for everyone now that there's only four days until they open their gifts. He doesn't believe that a "no family allowed" post will work...

Mostly the reason I wanted to post about all these gifts is to let you know that homemade/handmade gifts don't have to be cheesy and cheap looking and can still be quite simple to make and while they can be a tad time consuming (mostly only for me because I make it up/figure things out as I go and really have no idea what I'm doing until I'm done) they really are a great way to spend less money (seriously- way less) and yet be more intentional in giving.
I have had so much fun this year thinking of ideas family will like and spending the time on things specially for them.

And you guys!
The biggest thing I've learned this year in having 95% of our gifts come from scratch is the huge difference it makes in the whole attitude of giving. Not just for me, but especially for my kids.
While we were busy not wandering around stores or scouring the internet with a list of people to grab things for and cross off the list, I have been able to watch my kids have the greatest experience with Christmas gifting this year. They have experienced creativity, flexibility, thoughtfulness, resourcefulness, patience and just a different kind of generosity. They are genuinely excited for recipients to get their gifts. So much so that really, their own list of wants... has gone pretty much entirely unmentioned this year. They have been so focused on the giving... everything from making treats for the mailman to decorating keepsakes for teachers to creating games for their cousins, that the usual somewhat greedy expectations of children have not (at least outloud) surfaced. In fact, the only thing Savannah could come up with for the Santa we visited last night was "well, I guess I need a new soccer ball".

And the brainstorming and creating of all the gifts has spilled over to the few things we did buy retail... they both were itching to get out and pick out a gift for their dad and for each other (yes, I got lazy when it came to our simple immediate family and didn't go totally homemade).

Anyway. All that to say, I knew I wanted to try a [mostly] homemade Christmas, just because I love making things like this so much.... but little did I know it would so change the way I feel about giving, about the simplicity of gifts, about my kids views on gifting, that really- I want to do things this way every year!
Although I'm not sure how possible it is to keep up for years on end... unless I throw in some favorite repeats here and there... because I have a limited supply of ideas! Especially when it comes to the guys in the bunch. :/

So after Christmas I"ll have a parade of presents of sorts for y'all, just to show you how cheap and easy and fun making gifts can be and that way if you see any ideas you like, for birthdays or Christmas or whatnot, you can file them away for next year!


Mom said...

I'm glad you did NOT spoil the surprises.And I actually like your packages and tags a lot better than Lindas'. But I have always been very fond of polka dots.XOXOXOX

Nicole said...

Okay, seriously... are you reading my mind??? I did use semi-matchy wrapping paper this year, but I used TWINE and a simple TAG to tie my presents too HAHAHAH! Must be the year for that. OMG I haven't read Linda's blog in SO SO long.... HAHAHAH Freakin love her holiday letter!! HAHAHAHHA! I did a lot of homemade this year, too. Love it. But I kind of feel like I'm "gypping" people in the $$ spent department. I know that sounds dumb. I'm just used to have a dollar amount tagged to how much I spend for each person so this year has been kind of weird for me to get past that. I agree... wait till after the holidays to do the homemade-gift post. I've started mine... post dated for Jan 5th. :)

beanski said...

Really bizarre, I did almost the EXACT same wrapping this year. Yarn, craft paper, felt flowers for bows :) I was going for ecofriendly! I wanted all handmade too but that totally didn't happen.

Mary said...

I can't wait for your post! You are so creative and I love seeing what you come up with! Merry Christmas :)

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