by Texas Homesteader ~
Looking for Christmas ideas? Everything from homemade gift ideas to how to quieten the noise and stress to create a holiday you love. Well you’ve come to the right place!
Today I’m sharing a roundup of my Christmas Ideas posts and there’s some good reading here! So grab some coffee & come stay a spell…
Whaaaa….?? Is it already time to start thinking about Christmas??? Well it is if you plan on giving homemade gifts this year – you’ll need a running start so give yourself plenty of time.
I’ve written many times about our Christmas traditions here on the Homestead. RancherMan & I try to make our gifts homemade and we’re almost always successful in giving our family & friends great gifts from the heart.
Of course there are times when gifts must be purchased instead but even then we try to make sure the gifts we give are gentle to the earth.
Make Your Holiday Meaningful
First things first. To make sure you enjoy the season to the fullest you need to review how you feel about the way you typically spend the holidays.
Are they fun and meaningful and viewed with anticipation or do you find yourself stressed and anxious each & every year?
If it’s not all you wish it could be, maybe it’s time to make a change. I’m sharing various posts about how we make our holiday more meaningful and less stressful. Links are included in each section to read more for each category.
How Will I Provide Christmas?
Sadly some families who are barely making ends meet are also struggling with how they will “provide” Christmas for their loved ones.
If that sounds like you, it’s time to step back and take a look at your perceived obligations. It may be helpful to read my thoughts on exactly what it means to “Provide Christmas”.
How To Scale Down Christmas Decorations
Do you silently groan at the thought of elaborate decorations during the holidays? RancherMan & I did too.
Oh we love Christmas and all the sparkly fun of it. But years ago we decided to scale it down a notch or two and we couldn’t be happier with this new balance.
If you’re looking for a way to relax the hubbub a bit, don’t be afraid to bring rethink the extensive decorating of the holidays past and try smaller scaled-down Decorations this year.
Inexpensive Homemade Gifts From The Heart
And how about homemade gifts? Several years ago we adopted a homemade gift policy and RancherMan & I try to make all our gifts ourselves.
Yes it takes more time, but we feel like we’re living our values by providing fun or beautiful, meaningful gifts directly from our hearts and hands. And that’s a gift that can’t be purchased at any price.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out the Homemade Christmas Gifts we’ve given in the past.
(Note, if you’d like to give handmade gift items but don’t have time to to make them yourself, I often several of our handmade items in my e-Bay Store.
It’s a great way to support this blog. Thank you!
Low-Waste Gift Basket Decorations
One of our favorite homemade gifts to present to our children are baskets of homemade goodies we’ve tackled throughout the year.
Included in our gift baskets can be anything from homemade soaps to bird feeders, gourmet pastas to home-grown and canned goodies.
Bonus points are scored for low-waste ideas we think about each year to present those Homemade Gift Baskets!
Environmentally-Friendly Gift Ideas
Sometimes even though you desire to make all your gifts yourself, it just won’t work for everyone on your gift list.
We’ve found that there are still lots of fun Environmentally Friendly Gift Ideas out there. You can even read about RancherMan’s & my favorite Gifts Received Last Year from our friends & family.
Low-Waste Gift Wrapping Options
Speaking of reducing holiday waste – I’ve always been very disturbed about the massive amount of waste that surrounded gift giving during the holidays.
It seemed like there were ten minutes of frenzied unwrapping and then the room was piled high with trash – wrapping paper, bows, tags, etc.
So several years ago I incorporated a low-waste gift wrapping policy. No piles of trash headed to the landfill after Christmas gift unwrapping.
Looking for ideas? Check out my Low-Waste Reusable Christmas Wrapping Ideas.
Better Zero-Waste Cloth Wrapping Tip
I’ve always used low-waste wrapping principles for our gifts But an even faster & easier low-waste wrapping tip is to use Furoshiki. (the Japanese art of quickly wrapping & transporting in cloth)
I can wrap a gift in seconds by wrapping/tying cloth. And I often just use our deep red or dark green cloth napkins to wrap RancherMan’s gifts in. So pretty, so festive, so low waste!
Or you can use the cloth as part of the gift – a new scarf or new pretty kitchen towels for example.
Remember It’s Not Always As It Appears
Christmas should be a fun and meaningful holiday. For RancherMan & me it’s one filled with celebrating the birth of our savior and spending quality time with family & loved ones.
But sometimes people start to feel inadequate when reading about their friends’ seemingly perfect Martha-Stewart styled Christmases online.
They begin to compare their normal everyday life to the sparkly perfection they’re reading about on their friends’ posts.
Please, please, PLEASE don’t mistake the Shiny Perfection you’re seeing on Social Media with the whole story of that person’s life. They’re just sharing a fun day’s activities online.
But they have their messy times too, just like you do. Trust me on this.
Find Your Holiday Balance
In the end, how you choose to spend your holiday is up to you. What works for some families won’t work well for another.
So take charge and plan the holiday that YOU want it to be!
Other Christmas Posts You Might Like:
- Is It ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’?
- How Will I Be Able To ‘Provide’ Christmas This Year?
- Holiday Cooking Shortcuts, Tips & Recipes
- A Small Christmas Tree Can Be BEAUTIFUL!
- Keeping The JOY In The Christmas Season
- Want To Keep Christ In Christmas?
- Thinking Of Adding A Pup To Your Home This Christmas?
- The Truth Behind Perfect Facebook Posts
- Don’t Judge The Need Of Others
- Homemade Gifts We’ve Given
- Gift Ideas For Mom
- Gift Ideas For Dad
- Must-Haves For Any Home Cook
- Easy Last-Minute Gifts For A Group
- Christmas Gift-Idea Roundup
- Repurposed Denim Hand Warmers
- 8 Eco-Friendly Gifts Your Friends Will LOVE!
- Low-Waste Christmas Gifts We’ve Received
- Cute Santa Sleigh Made With Candy
- MYO Snowman Treat Jar Gift
- Keeping Track Of Gift-Card Balances
- Experience Gift Ideas
- Easy Homemade Jerky
- Candy Snowman With Gloves (optional CASH!)
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas:
- Gift Ideas For The Eco-Friendly Mom
- Homemade Gift Ideas
- Homemade Chai Tea Mix
- Gardener’s Hand Scrub
- 3-Ingredient Beeswax Lip Balm
- Repurposed Denim Pocket-Sized Hand Warmers
- Rustic Repurposed-Denim Baskets
- Cedar Solar-Light Garden Feature
- Rustic Bois d’Arc Solar Light
- Photo Wall Hanging Using Reclaimed Barn Wood
- Making A Small Gift Box With A Greeting Card
- Make a Customized Label With Plain Ole Shipping Tape
- 8 Environmentally Friendly Gifts For Your Friends
- Low-Waste Gifts We’ve Rec’d & Loved
- Environmentally-Friendly Gifts Can Be Fun
See All Our Eco-Friendly Posts
Low-Waste Gift Wrapping & Presentation
- Reusable Gift Wrap Ideas
- Low-Waste Gift Baskets
- Make A Cute Gift Box Using A Christmas Card!
- No Wrapping Needed: Experience Gifts!
- Fastest Zero-Waste Gift Wrapping – Using Cloth
All Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our Facebook Page . It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea. There are lots of good folks sharing! And you can also follow along on Pinterest, Instagram & Twitter
If you’d like to receive an email when a new blog post goes live,
subscribe to our Blog!
I have enjoyed rereading this post. This year we have done a lot of canning and we are giving give baskets of our canned items and maybe a fresh baked item too. It was interesting to see how you packaged your “basket”. Lots of good ideas here. Thanks for the reminders.
Nice round-up of Christmas themed articles. Lots of good ideas and food for thought. I’m glad I hopped over to check them out!
What great ideas. I love the “real picture” kitchen and what real life for everyone is like! 🙂
Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop too, I hope we see you again this Wednesday.
Kelly, I hope folks keep in mind that the perfection they’re seeing is just that – tiny perfection moments in everyone’s lives. To me it’s much like straightening up the living room when you’re expecting company so everything looks nice & inviting for your guests, social media is just our online living room! ~TxH~
Such a great post, full of timely reminders! I love decorating my house, so I do that up. I don’t EVER do Black Friday, and we are very protective of our time at the holidays. It’s primarily family time full of fun and games and movie watching. Thanks for sharing with us at the Merry Monday Link Party! Hope to see you again Sunday night!
I love your ideas. I have done most of my shopping on-line this year and just stayed in my nice cozy home on Black Friday. I also paired down on my decorating. I have quite a few boxes of decorations, but I put out just the bare minimum. It is calming and nice. Thanks for the post!
Thank you for the note about scaling down Christmas decorations. I have been one of the ones that dreaded decorating, then un-decorating at Christmas, so this year I scaled back, keeping just the most sentimental decorations that we all really love. The rest were sent to a local thrift shop for someone else to benefit from. Our home looks lovely, I’m not worried about taking it all down and packing it away after Christmas and we have extra storage space in the garage! Win-win!
I hear ya Betty! I love the beauty of Christmas, but for us it doesn’t have to be elaborate. I’ll admit I initially pushed back when RancherMan announced that he wanted to have such a tiny tree, but like you I found that now I actually enjoy setting it all up because it wasn’t an overwhelming task to either set it up or take it down. And also like you, when I culled down all the decorations I sent them to a thrift shop for someone else to benefit from and I kept the super sentimental ones. My tree is now less “noise”, more sentiment. Gotta love it. ~TxH~
Tammy, you are spot on with this one. Black Friday has become a complete joke IMO. 9:00 pm Thanksgiving evening our local Walmart was trashed. I had to run there Friday night and half the store had been roped off inside. There were aisles and aisles of shelving knocked down with all the merchandise on those shelves ruined. I’m not sure when all this started but what a horrible idea. Our family does exactly what yours does and we love it that way, in fact it’s required!! Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Patti
(smh…) I have never (nor do I ever plan to) been a part of that rush-the-front-door Black Friday madness, Patti. I’ll do some shopping online but since we make our own Christmas gifts for almost all of our gift recipients, the Black Friday shopping I do are for necessities for our lives here on the ranch such as new leather gloves, a new sewing machine, etc. I know those that participate in the Black Friday shopping rush really enjoy the excitement of it all, but I’d think for me it would show the uglier, pushier, angrier side of people and that just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me… ~TxH~