The 12 Months Of Christmas

Read "A Christmas Secret," a children's story by Susan Molthop


DVDs/Videos If you're a TV or movie buff, you probably know the best old movies and TV series that might have escaped someone on your gift list. If you have cable TV, you may have access to channels that show those old gems during the day. You could start a tape for each person, recording only the movies and shows you think each would like, but might not know about. This idea also works for educational, how-to, and cultural programs. Set the timer on your VCR, if these programs are on when you're asleep or at work.


Cookbook Another idea is a family cookbook. You could be sneaky about asking family members for their favorite recipes, add a little humor and some pictures, and "publish" the results next Christmas. Laminating and spiral binding are not expensive (especially if you know someone who has the machines and will let you use them, for just the cost of materials).


Used Books and Videos Used books and videos make another good gift. You can often find good books at a fraction of their new cost, at garage sales and thrift shops. Video rental stores off great bargains on their old stock.. If you're embarrassed to give something used as a present, wrap them in newspaper, tie them with string, tear a piece of cardboard for the tag, and make it a gag-gift.


Testimonial: We've been shopping thrift shops and garage sales for years, just because it's fun. Our kids and grandkids are used to getting used presents mixed in with the new. Last year, we found some golf toys for our son. We were afraid he wouldn't have his putter with him at Christmas, so we bought a used golf club for $2. It was an adjustable club, that we thought was funny. It turned out that he'd been looking all over for one of those adjustable clubs. It was his favorite present.


Needlecraft Pick out a "no-brainer" project to knit, crochet, tat, embroider, latch hook, etc. The idea is to keep it handy, to work on during commercials, long car rides, while waiting at the doctor's office, etc. My "no-brainer" this year was hand-knit guest towels (see p. __ for directions). Even if you don't have the time or inclination to start these right now, this is the best time to decide what to make, while last Christmas is fresh in your mind. Think back to what everyone got for Christmas, which presents they liked best, what colors, sizes, and styles suited which people. If you visited their homes, think about their decorating styles and colors. Now is the best time to write down your impressions of what you could make for them for next year. You'll have plenty of time, later, to choose patterns and materials, but now is the best time to make plans.



Put away last year's decorations, keeping out anything that needs to be repaired or replaced. Also keep out the Christmas cards you received for use in future projects.


Gift cards don't have to be boring. Attach them to a jar of cashews, a package of socks, or any other small gift, and it turns into something special. All year long you can search for free gift cards online and save them for Christmas gifts.


Create a Christmas kit, with replacement bulbs, ornament hooks, and leftover decorations. Add the items that need repair and the Christmas cards you saved. Keep it in a handy place, so when the mood strikes, you can jump right in.

Keep envelopes from anyone with new addresses, or from people who weren't on your list. Later this year you can use these to update your Christmas card list. Buy Christmas craft, yarn, and fabric items on sale. Buy timeless gifts during after Christmas sales (like socks, towels, etc.) Cut back the poinsettias and repot for next year. Repot live Christmas trees and put outside. Determine what you spent on Christmas and start a savings plan for next year. A detailed list of what you spent last year (which was only last month) could be very helpful in breaking the habit of running up credit card debt that has you still paying for last Christmas next December. Be sure to factor in the extra cost of food, travel expenses, decorations, and long-distance phone calls. Sometimes it's the hidden cost of Christmas that breaks the budget, rather than the gifts you buy.

Love Your Pet Expo Sanctuary

Original patterns, articles, and links to other online resources for people who love to knit or crochet easy projects.

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