Gifts for Elderly FriendsIt is not easy to find a gift for elderly friends and relatives. I give them stationary, a ball point pen and stamps.
By Jean Sterling
Christmas Wreath With a Bicycle TireA beautiful Christmas wreath can be made by covering a bicycle tire with chicken wire, then weaving pieces of evergreen boughs through it. Then attach a brightly colored ribbon and anything else that you wish to add.
Keeping Christmas Wrap Rolls from UnrollingWhen putting my Christmas wrap, ribbon, bags, etc. away I noticed the rolls wouldn't stay rolled up without the aid of tape (which ruins the paper). I'd just removed a pair of knee high nylons, with a run in one of them.
Christmas Card Photo Ideas IIWe have had so many great photo ideas submitted that we have broken this into two articles. Post your own Christmas card photo.
Gift Tag DilemmaWe re-use our gift bags which is not unusual. But since we can't "re-use" the tag and using the sticky tags to put on a gift bag ruins the bag, I came up with this solution. I purchased from the dollar store some dry erase labels. Now I can leave the labels on the gift bag and erase them each time I use the gift bag.
Felt Killer Hornet OrnamentNothing says 2020 like an infestation of killer hornets! Do we even dare to ask "What's next?!"? You can make a single hornet or a whole swarm to adorn your tree.
Felt Clorox Wipes OrnamentClorox Wipes have definitely been part of our daily lives during the Covid pandemic. Commemorate your fabulously sanitized surfaces with this silly wipes container ornament!
Face Mask Felt OrnamentMasks, masks, everywhere! If this isn't symbolic of 2020 I don't know what is. Celebrate the glorious mask with this fun ornament!
Felt Hand Sanitizer OrnamentIt seems like we have all been tackling germs this year with gallons of hand sanitizer! Another unforgettable staple this year that surely needs to be remembered for years to come.
Felt Toilet Paper OrnamentWere you one of the lucky people that didn't have to visit a bunch of stores and stand in long lines just to get toilet paper? Most of us have the epic TP search seared into our brains. I know I will never under appreciate easy access to it again! Commemorate this wonderful necessity with a fun felt ornament. Add the year if you want too!
Easy Christmas DecoratingAn idea for Christmas decorating is to use wrapping to wrap framed art work you no longer want or are tired of. Put a nice bow on it for a finished look and hang on the wall. At the end of the holiday, pack it away with your other holiday items.
Making Christmas MemoriesIt's not always the expensive gifts that people remember at Christmas, but the feelings of the season. Those feelings build memories that are a part of all of us, and will hopefully never be forgotten.
A Little Holiday Entertainment Planning Goes Long WayWe have all heard this our entire lives: plan ahead. It's actually a good idea at any time of year, but in this run up to Thanksgiving and Christmas, this is a good time to look to the little things so they don't become big things. Here are some examples:
Save Halloween Candy for Christmas StockingsIf you are looking at your kids Halloween candy and thinking you really don't want them eating it all. You could consider "borrowing" some of their candy that is not Halloween themed and save it for their Christmas stockings.
Nebraska Christmas CharitiesCharities that offer help during the holiday season in Nebraska. Please post feedback about any charities you may know about.
Shipping Christmas PresentsDue to the current state of things, more people will be staying put this holiday season rather than traveling to see family. If you do not usually ship gifts, you may want to consider it this year. The post office offers priority flat rate boxes that only cost $8-20 depending on the size of the box.
Stress Free Holiday BakingI am in my 60s, and have been baking since I can remember. Every holiday season, I churn out many dozens of cookies for gifts for neighbors, friends and relatives. People ask for certain types every year.
Pendant OrnamentsYou can turn any pendant into a Christmas tree ornament.
Rudolph PlanterThis is a simple Christmas decoration I came up with. I used a snake plant in a plain planter and stuck a big red pom pom bow on it for the Rudolph nose. It might be a bit abstract, but I like it like that. You could add some big googly eyes if you like.
Christmas BirthdaysIf you have a child whose birthday falls during December, it's easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of Chistmas. My son was due 12/26, but he came early on 12/5.
Recycled Christmas Card CoastersI like to make Christmas coasters from recycled greeting cards. Cut the front off of a Christmas card and with Mod Podge paste it to the front of a 4 X 4 white tile. On the back paste a piece of sheet cork cut to fit. It takes about an hour to complete the coaster including drying time.
Thrift Store Dishes for Food GiftsWhen I have homemade baked goods to give away as gifts, I go to a thrift store and find a pretty dish and put my goodies on it to give. I let them know they can keep the dish,too
Free Tree Trimmings For The HolidaysOften where you purchase Christmas trees, they also trim them for you. The great thing about this is the trimmings are free for the asking. They make great arrangements, wreaths, garlands and, my personal favorite, artificial tree and garland filler! I have a older tree that needed a little help! By cutting and tucking my limbs between the openings making this a great filler for my tree, garland and other arrangements for free!
Quick and Sentimental OrnamentsHere is a quick tip on how to make sentimental ornaments. Have your child select any "special" to them items and place inside clear plastic ornament. Add the year to the back of the ornament for memories.
Family Christmas TreeIn our big family, we have our annual Thanksgiving on the "weekend before the holiday, so all our kids are not running between families on Thanksgiving Day. During our day we have a time when we draw names for Christmas grabs between the children and this picture just made itself.
Hanging Christmas Lights Without A LadderWe don't have an extension ladder, just a standard ladder and we're not really looking to spend $100's on the extension ladder just to hang Christmas Lights. Luckily our home has hooks already in place from the previous owners.
No Present ChristmasWhen my mom got diagnosed with cancer, we had one last Christmas. We all decided we all are having a no present Christmas. Honestly presents were the last thing on our minds. As sad as it was that Christmas was the best Christmas. Just the three of us together. I learned that the presents isn't what makes Christmas, it's truly just being with the people you love the most.
Felt Lipstick OrnamentOne of my work friends loves all things pink, so I decided to make her this bright pink lipstick ornament. It was made using multiple layers of felt, all stitched together using a backstitch. The details were also created with a backstitch.
Felt Shallot OrnamentI made this shallot ornament for a coworker for Christmas. The main part of the shallot is made with two identical pieces so that the green part could be sandwiched between the pieces. The details are all backstitched on and the pieces are sew together using a backstitch around the outer edges. The roots are created with embroidery floss.
Felt Mismatched Sock OrnamentsI decided to make all of my friends at work a felt ornament for Christmas last year. One of my friends always wears mismatched socks, so I decided to make this adorable purple pair of socks for her. I used both a backstitch and a whip stitch to attach the pieces together.
Felt Elephant OrnamentI was part of a Secret Santa gift exchange at work last year. The person I was given loves elephants, so I made her this felt elephant ornament. I gave it to them as my final gift, so I attached a little pocket in the back, where I tucked in a note revealing my identity. I used backstitching to add all of the details to the elephant.
Food Containers for Ornament StorageI have submitted something similar here so I will just share this. Today I took my tree and ornaments down so I could do a project. I have been keeping these wonderful grape boxes for a while now. I also have this apple box from 2016 and wanted to share how you can use food containers for all kinds of things.
Reindeer Antlers Ceiling Fan DecorHere is a fun way to decorate your ceiling fan for the holidays. Simply get reindeer headband antlers and place them on top of the light bulb covers. Take two light bulbs out and they look like eyes. It looks even cuter in person. :)
Santa Goodie Bag HuntThis idea was my 7 year old granddaughter's thought. She suggested to me, "Nana, you know how we have an Easter egg hunt? Why can't we have a Santa Hunt?" As she stood there with her hand on her hip. (She is quite dramatic). I told her, "Kate, that is a fun great idea!"
Save Time, Money And Aggravation During the HolidaysAre you old-fashioned like me and still like to go to the store to see and feel the gift you are selecting? Do you still enjoy the process and thrill of finding that special gift, wrapping it, and giving it?
Garland Made from Dollar Tree PaperclipsAll the garland I found was too flashy for me. The only place I had to hang it was along a shelf made from a bi-fold door. So again, it would have blocked the TV. So I came up with this. I made a garland of red, blue, and green paperclips. As you can see, it worked great.
Decorating an Artificial Tree with EleganceI always had a beautiful full fresh real Christmas tree until I became alone. It was just too much! So with my artificial tree, I had to start getting crafty with it! Let me show you! I went to the Dollar store and bought bunches of poinsettias & sprays of holly. I filled in all the spaces with these bunches and added a few sets of extra clear lights!
Mardi Gras Beads As Christmas GarlandUse them on a small Christmas tree as garland. I have a small tree I put up in my dining room, and I put small ornaments that would get lost on my big tree on it. Instead of tinsel or garland, I loop Mardi Gras beads of all different colors together and drape them around it. They shine, even when the lights aren't on.
Thoughtful Christmas Gift IdeasI am looking to gift others with lasting items this year. I liked how this seasonally decorated tray looked and I paired it with a seasonal adult coloring book. I decided to top it off with a small box of chocolates.
Use a Blanket as a Christmas Tree SkirtIf you are on a budget, a Christmas tree skirt can be pricey. Instead, you can use a blanket as your Christmas tree skirt and get more use from the blanket. Christmas skirts will sit in storage for most of the year anyway. Afterwards give your blanket a nice wash after being on the floor for a month or so.
Hang Wreath with RibbonHere is my do it yourself on how to hang a wreath with ribbon and no nails in your door! It is also really quick, taking only about 15 minutes. This is perfect if your door does not have enough clearance for a wreath hanger (applies to me), or you don't want to purchase a wreath hanger.
Saving Chip Bags for GiftsMy family eats chips a lot. I have found that some of their favorites are in bags with a gold or silver surface inside the bag. I save these and use when I want a special bag for small presents. Also sometimes I have a gift in an unusual shape or size. Gift bags are ideal but sometimes they are too small or the paper winds up tearing. My solution is $1 shopping bags at Dollar General or Dollar Tree. They hold more and are more durable.
Packing Christmas Decorations and StorageIf you have an empty closet that you can use to store your Christmas decorations, use the walls and the rod to hold items and stack boxes on the floor in a very organized fashion in order to accommodate all the Christmas decorations. Put them away very carefully and organized with electrical cords and other items.
Christmas Gift for your Mail CarrierI think I found the most unusual gift this year for my mail carrier, Pete! While I was at the Post Office the other day, I bought him and his wife a book of stamps and put it in a very cute Christmas card. I think it will be his most unusual gift EVER! What do you think? They need stamps just like you and I.
Christmas MemoriesThis year is pretty tight for us but I was reminded today of an almost devastating Christmas in 1953 when I was 13. All I wanted was a dictionary and a pair of hose. My grandmother was told about the hose and under the tree was a hose box. Hose back then came in slim boxes.
Wrap LED Starry Lights for Twinkling StarMy old Christmas Star Topper does not have any lights. I really like how the new toppers have twinkling lights but they cost $20-30.
Bring Wreath Inside at NightI bring my wreath inside at night because I don't want it to get wet from moisten air or spider webs from forming. Also, there has been a rise of thieves stealing holiday decor in the area.
Thrifty Gift GivingI Christmas shop all year. Here's how: Any time I receive a special value sale flyer from my favorite store, I purchase at least one of their on-sale items. I do this when I get those rewards points! I then use my rewards points to purchase other gifts
Homemade Christmas Gift TagsWhile putting away Christmas this year and taking down all my Christmas cards. I decided to cut up the cards and make nice large gift tags for my gifts next year. I did this this year and loved it, because I could write a loving note with plenty of room to write it.
DIY Holiday CenterpiecesA coworker was complaining at work that she spent $60 each for several holiday centerpieces. Later, she happened to come by my home and saw mine. She was asking where I bought mine and how much it was. She was shocked to learn I made it and did not have to buy a thing to do it. I just used what I had on hand.
Curtain Rod For Hanging Christmas StockingsI use a curtain rod to hang the Christmas stockings from the fireplace mantel. It will handle more weight then the stocking holders do and its easy to slide the stockings to the side when we light a fire.
Decorated Tabletop Christmas TreeAt Christmastime when you are making bows for various places in your home or outside, save all the scraps of the ribbon that you use. Use them on a small table top Christmas tree that would be for a tablescape.
Gift Idea for Someone on MedicareNeed a Christmas/birthday/anniversary gift idea for someone who is on medicare and often gets prescriptions? Get them a gift card to their pharmacy. If you give them a gift card for their pharmacy or a prepaid visa, they can use that to pay their copay on something they may otherwise go without.
Infant Spoon Christmas OrnamentI place my children's infant feeding spoon on my Christmas tree each year to remind us of the simplicity of the meaning of the baby Jesus in the manger; and to remember the fun times we had, watching our children growing up with the excitement in their eyes at Christmas.
Snowman Sock OrnamentI wanted to make a little snowman out of a child's sock. I plan to hang it on a gift later on, or on the tree. I stuffed the sock with scraps of fabric, then tied off three parts with embroidery thread. Finally, I added a bow. I also turned another plush ornament, which was not a snowman, into a snowman.
Affordable Family ChristmasAs newly retired parents to three young adult children, we have decided as a family to reframe our Christmas into something more meaningful than gifts to us. Rather than buying and receiving expensive items that our young adult children can't afford (with college loans and life expenses), we are starting new traditions with our family. Maybe you might want to use one or two yourself!
The Best Way to Store Christmas Tree LightsIn Christmas movies where trees are decorated, I often see the lights in a jumbled mess. As a child it was the same way; untangling those lights took forever! A few years ago, I had an epiphany. Why not use paper towel rolls to store the strands? I have used this method for at least four years.
Preparing Ahead for a Christmas PartyI am very organized. Not bragging at all. I come from a very large family and I am very used to having very large holiday dinners. I'm also good at finding many short-cuts to make my life easier.
Start Preparing for Christmas in JanuaryChristmas is one of the best times of the year; spending quality time with family and friends; sharing some hearty meals and building new memories. Unfortunately it is also one of the most expensive times of the year, a time that could leave your budget in a complete mess.
Your Kitchen: A Treasure Trove for Small GiftsI like sharing the joy of Christmas with my family, friends, and neighbors. For me, it is not about the size of the gift, but rather it is the thought that counts.
My First Artificial Christmas TreeThis is the first year in 44 years that I didn't put up a fresh cut Christmas tree. My son suggested it and I caved in and said yes. He bought it and I could not believe how easy it was to set up. But, it just did not look right to me.
Beginner Snowman Craft KitThose little cross stitch crafts are complicated for beginners. Here is a seasonal kitchen towel with a delightful snowman to stitch around. There are no sharp needles, which are hard to thread, but only a large plastic needle and yarn to sew with.
Rose Arbor Christmas DecorationsThe roses at each end of my rose arbor are very young and have not climbed over the rose arbor so therefore at holiday times I decorate the arbor to reflect the holiday. At Christmas time I made a plywood ornament and the word Joy and then put other items to commemorate the holiday.
Reuse Special Christmas BowsReuse special Christmas bows for years to come, as you can see in the photos. After the present is open, you can easily remove the bow and use again.
Christmas Door Hanger as Gift DecorationI am delivering a present to someone who loves Diet Coke. I didn't want to wrap the gift, but wanted to add a keepsake. I put a pretty door decoration which has bells on the package. Once the drinks are gone, each time the door rings from the decoration, I will be remembered!
Use Seasonal Oven Mitts for Christmas StockingsThere were such cute seasonally decorated oven mitts at the Dollar General. I decided to use one as a holder of a little gift or two. I added a candy cane filled with Starburst flavored jellybeans. It will be for an adult and I will put a little gift card to a local restaurant inside, wrapped in a little box.
Fill Plastic Gift Bags for Christmas GiftsThese plastic gift bags are so nice! I bought this one because it was so colorful. I plan on buying a matching blue fleece throw and adding a little stuffed Olaf character.
Decorate Base of Candle with TinselI like to recycle pieces of used Christmas decorations. I used this small piece of tinsel that broke off from last year. It is so pretty and reflects the light in such a pretty way!
Christmas Cup Candy GiftI went into my Dollar General store and was looking for a gift for a few friends. I decided on a small seasonal themed drinking cup with a straw as a container to hold three small Christmas cookies, some candy, and gum. The little cup will be reusable after the gift is opened.
Chicken-Rice Gift BowlsI am always looking for ways to make Christmas gifts that are actually useful and will be appreciated. I found these darling little bowls at the Dollar General, and decided to make some little gifts out of them and my favorite Knorr Rice Mix packages.
Attend a Cooking DemonstrationOne way of making your Christmas lunch more special is to attend a local cooking demonstration close to Christmas. Not only does it give you the opportunity to try out new recipes, it can also become a fun tradition to add to your Christmas festivities.
Apple Containers for Storing Christmas OrnamentsI recently got some fuji apples from a store in this marvelous container. It hit me almost instantly that these could be used for balls of yarn, thread, or ornaments.
Wrapped Pictures as a Holiday DecorationI saw these wrapped frames at a local restaurant and thought it was a simple way to make a wall look festive. These are for Christmas, but you could do this to celebrate a birthday or any other holiday.
Christmas Pajama BoxesThis is a fun tradition to have at Christmas! Give them out on Christmas eve, then take a photo of everyone in their new pajamas.
Last Minute Christmas TipsI was wrapping some last minute presents tonight and came up with these ideas. They won't get on before Christmas, but for next year and for non-holiday presents, this might help.
Assign Each Family Member a Wrapping...I love to buy wrapping paper at Costco. Their wrapping paper is super heavy and there is a ton of paper on each roll. The other neat part about their paper, is that it's double sided! This year I decided to wrap each person's presents with a specific wrapping paper.
Ideas on Christmas DecoratingIt has been very many years now of Christmas decorating, though I still try and add something new each year. It truly brings out the Christmas spirit when you start bringing Christmas into your home. I don't think there is a cozier more wonderful feeling.
Storing Christmas LightsTo keep my Christmas lights from getting tangled up, I wrap each string of lights around a rolled up newspaper or magazine with the plug being last and then I put a rubber band around the plug end to hold the lights in place.
Hanging Stockings on the Fireplace MantleI solved the stocking hanging at the fireplace this way: I used a sort of heavy candle with a holiday candle ring around it on the mantle. I used a pipe cleaner hidden in all of it to hook our stockings on. We don't actually put anything in the stocking, so the delicate nature of the solution is not a problem.
Natural Wreath of MemoriesWhenever I am on vacation or when I visit parks, beaches, or even just local walks, I love to collect pretty plants, pods, shells, etc. So this year I decided to glue my natural treasures onto a dollar store wreath and display them!
Alternative Christmas TreesGrowing up, there were a few years that we didn't have enough money to get a Christmas tree and we ended up getting creative. We decorated a twig one year. Made a tree out of lights on the wall another. We tacked up CDs in the shape of the tree on the wall and we have decorated houseplants.
Christmas Uses for Space BlanketsI thought of this last year after purchasing some thermal space blankets for my parents to keep in their cars. They live in the middle of nowhere and I always worry in case they break down in bad weather.
Fork to Hang Christmas StockingMy roomie has a lovely fireplace. There is no way to hang her stocking without a hook so I came up with an idea.
Layer Christmas Lights with NewspaperI found one way to store my strings of Christmas lights and they don't seem to tangle together. When I take them down, string by string, I put them in a box then put a sheet of newspaper in between each individual string and layer them in the box. I cover each string completely with the sheet of newspaper.
Christmas Tree for Your CatPut a small tree up for your cat, maybe 3 feet. It's really dependent on the room you have, but remember cats want something to climb. Hang some low hanging cat safe ornaments from the bottom with a few filled with catnip. You may want to anchor the cat's tree to the wall or ceiling.
Santa Hat Christmas TraditionMy daughter was one of those that wanted to get up at the crack of dawn to open Christmas presents. I got an old Santa hat and, each year, I would leave it on the pillow next to her head. When she woke up and the hat was there, she knew that Santa had been there.
Decorating with Artificial Poinsettias...I have several live philodendron potted plants. During the Christmas season I purchase several bright red silk individual artificial poinsettia flowers. I stick them in the flower pot along with the live plant.
Hide Money for Teens Inside Glove FingersMy 3 grandchildren are all teenagers now and it is very difficult to know what to buy them for Christmas. Money is always welcome but I didn't want to just give them an envelope with cash.
Christmas Table DecorationWe constantly have pineapples in our home, but during Christmas nothing escapes my decorating! I thought this was a cute little decoration for the table or possibly the table of an elderly or single person. Decorative and practical.
Give Free Books as PresentsIn the UK, an organisation called Healthy Planet runs free bookshops where customers can choose six books per person per day completely free of charge. I select a parcel of books according to their preferences, and spend the money that I would have spent on a present on getting the parcel delivered to them.
Wrapping Paper FlowerI ran out of wrapping paper and only had a roll of brown 'kraft' paper left (similar to brown paper bags) so I had to get creative. I folded it (as shown) and cut out petals, taped them on and used magic marker. I think it looks nice and homey too! What do you think?
Keep Cats out of the Christmas TreeMy cat doesn't like the smell of citrus. I take the tree shaped car deodorizer, orange scent, and hang them from the bottom branches.
Personalize Cookies as GiftsDuring the holidays I'd like to give small gifts as a sign of friendship and appreciation to many people that I deal with all year long. Since I am NOT rich, I try to make things and thought I'd share some ideas with my Thrifty Friends!
Table Candles or Place SettingsJust a cute little decoration for your holiday home or table or to place around the house for a party!
Give 'em C-A-S-HDespite claims that the economy has improved somewhat, it has worsened for those on fixed incomes and on social services. Cash gifts go uncounted unless tied to some traceable source.
Santa Hat Photo for Christmas CardsI propped my 3 month old on his belly and elbows and put an adult sized Santa hat on him. I also got photos of him sleeping in his elf outfit that said, "Santa's little helper" and cropped the photos into a website that provided the template and ordered enough for everyone on my Christmas card list!
Buy Halloween Candy for ChristmasThe day after Halloween, get as much candy you can for half price. Get only the ones that are not Halloween looking and then freeze the candy. Watch as your kids scream with delight on Christmas morning when they see their stockings!
Making a Grave BlanketI've made six grave blankets at Christmas time in the past. When I make one, I use chicken wire, about 5 ft tall and the regular width of the chicken wire.
Coasters From Christmas CardsI received many Christmas cards this year that displayed family photos. Rather than put them in the recycle bin, I am cutting the pictures to fit ceramic tiles and mod-podging the pictures to the tiles.
Frugal Christmas GiftsAs money is tight I have made my own Christmas presents for friends and neighbours. I made bird feeders. Some I shaped myself, others, I got the kids to collect pinecones and put the lard over them and rolled in the seeds.
Decorating My Dogwood for ChristmasI didn't set up my Christmas tree this year, rather I added to the decorations that I bought last year, on sale at Target, to decorate my dogwood tree in the yard.
Decorating Miniature Christmas TreesBecause I work in the apparel industry, I thought a button tree would look nice on my desk for the holidays. I used red and green yarn to tie buttons onto a miniature Christmas tree in place of ornaments.