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Simple Holiday Ideas – by Sheryl Simons

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  • Sheryl
    The Simple Life Yesterday morning as I drove to work, the sun was just coming up, bathing the snow laden trees and landscape in a pink- golden glow. It
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2005
      The Simple Life

      Yesterday morning as I drove to work, the sun was just
      coming up, bathing the snow laden trees and landscape in a pink-
      golden glow. It followed me all the way to work where it faded to
      blue skies. It was just magical. That's how I want my holidays to
      be. We just sit back and watch the glow. Not much effort on my
      part, but just enjoyment and relaxation. Easier said than done.
      The only way I know how to do this is get it done ahead of time.
      Make lists and get my gifts in a row.

      For those special people in our lives, a card isn't enough
      and we give out cookie plates. Or, some years I baked several
      batches of cinnamon rolls and take them around to the neighbors.
      Muffins are good, too. Or for something really easy, a decorated
      sheet cake cut in pieces and arranged on a strong paper plate and
      wrapped in cellophane with a bow.

      Christmas cards are kept on an ongoing list, and sent with
      cards purchased the year before, and the week after Christmas.
      Always with a REAL Christmas message, unlike some of the major
      department stores who are forbidden to say "Merry Christmas!" Can
      you imagine not being allowed to say "Merry Christmas" in this great
      country God has given us? I make sure to say "Merry Christmas" to
      all my customers and I hope I never have to work where it is not
      allowed. J.C. Penney and Sam Walton would definitely not approve.

      Now the real fun of Christmas is picking out something you
      just know your loved one will get a tickle out of. Each year it is
      a task to find something my husband would really like. But last
      year was easier than some. A few months before Christmas, he walked
      by a saw in a store and said "that might be something that would
      come in handy". That's about the biggest tip I've ever gotten.
      When he got it for Christmas, he wondered how I knew he could use
      that, and didn't ever remember the remark. All the better! He
      always says he doesn't need anything for Christmas, but I'd be
      disappointed if I couldn't surprise him. I know a saw doesn't sound
      too romantic, but that is my husband's hobby, and he loves almost
      nothing better than to be in the garage with his tools.

      We all know a special hobby that our loved ones have. How
      about a basket of goodies that will be special to their hobby? For
      a family movie night a basket (left over from something else, or
      bought at a second hand store or a yard sale), maybe spray painted
      in a festive color. Filled with a new or old release movie, puzzle
      or game, popcorn packets, movie candy, and a two-liter bottle of
      their favorite beverage and tied up with a bow?

      For a quiet time, a basket, complete with cocoa, mugs,
      chocolate covered pretzels, or cookies, cinnamon apple drink
      packets, a nice candle, and some fire starter sticks, and a good
      How about a car care basket for a first time driver,
      complete with car wash, wax, wash cloths, and air freshener and
      anything else you can think of? Maybe car wash coupons or kids
      might give a coupon for a car wash and clean up job they will do
      themselves for mom and dad!

      For a coffee lover, a couple mugs, some biscotti, creamer
      and sugar, and some various flavored coffee, and maybe even a coffee

      Dollar stores are a great source of inspiration – maybe a
      personal care basket complete with nail clippers, polish, travel
      tooth brush and paste, etc.

      Dollar stores may not be the least expensive though, if you
      can buy a large package that can be divided between several
      baskets. If you are buying food, you might want to buy at very
      large amount, say cheese and sausage and package it in smaller
      amounts to put in several baskets.

      For a fisherman on your list, use a tackle box instead of a
      basket. If you are not a fisherman, ask a sales person what might
      be appropriate.

      How about a sewing basket, art supplies, stationary, a dog
      or cat basket, a spa basket, cook or baker's baskets, or how about a
      coupon for a special dinner at your house (even if you would do it
      anyway – it's fun!), a coupon for dog watching, (during a
      vacation). Grandkids can use their imaginations when it comes
      helping their grandparents with just about anything from household
      maintenance to snow shoveling, or lawnmowing.

      For the Ice Cream Lover - Place tissue paper on the bottom
      of a basket. Add sundae dishes, an ice cream scoop, nuts, hot fudge
      sauce, butterscotch sauce, chocolate syrup, Maraschino cherries and
      a gift certificate for two gallons of ice cream.

      Or, for a simple evening dinner, a Soup Basket - In a
      basket, stock pot or bean crock, add large soup mugs, 7 bean soup,
      cornbread mix, cookie mix and oyster crackers wrapped in cellophane
      bags and tied with a ribbon.
      Ingredients and a recipe for a favorite dish or dessert will make a
      great basket for anyone who says "Can I have your recipe for that?"
      How about a Pizza coupon for pizza and a movie to spend an evening
      with your favorite friend tucked in a Christmas card? Time spent
      together is the best gift!

      Recipe for a Simple Water Bottle Shoulder Bag
      This year for Christmas, I've been making these for some of
      my favorite friends who always carry a water bottle, or other
      beverage. Since I crochet, that's how I make them, but if you knit,
      you can knit them. You can use a coffee mug, or use the size water
      or juice bottle that applies. With your friends favorite yarn, chain
      5 and join. Double Crochet, or, using your favorite stitch, crochet
      around increasing until the appropriate base size is achieved. Now
      crochet around, for this round, in the back of the stitches, to
      start moving up. Decrease a few stitches, and then continue up until
      you reach the right height, probably 6-8 inches high. It should fit
      around the bottle well. Since these only take a few minutes to
      make, just rip it out and start over until you get it just right.
      Now you are ready for the shoulder strap. Crochet 4 or 5 stitches.
      Go back and forth until your strap is the right length. Directly
      across bag, slip stitch and chain off. Now you have a nice and
      Simple water bottle shoulder bag – a gift that only takes a few
      minutes to whip up!

      There are alot of gifts you can do that are very nice, but
      not expensive. Even a babysitting coupon is a great gift.

      Keeping it simple,
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