Tuesday, November 6, 2012

December Daily, the REASON, the cover, the "stuff" I am using... on a tight budget

I am really excited to share more of my December Daily progress with you this week. I hope these posts will inspire you to start and complete a project like this for yourself.  I have heard many times in the last week the concerns over a project that is done daily over the busiest time of the year. Many of you have shared with me that you have a hard time committing and the thought of the project alone causes you a bit of stress, so today I am sharing some of the reason behind why I am choosing to do it, stick with it and make it count... and on the littlest of budgets.

 I have shared all the links in THIS POST (click) of what I am using this year if you are interested in purchasing them for your December Daily memory book, too.

Here are a couple of close ups from the cover I finished


a little touch of charm with the  EC Shape Studio Tool Round 25 
 and EC Metal Charm Round 25

and the pretty little cluster that fell together on cover

The supplies used for the cover:
Bluebird Chic Canvas Buttons
Lily Bee Alphabet
glassine sack
red tag
May Arts Red Chevron ribbon
red Mr. Hueys mist
Jenni Bowlin Red Rhinestone Stars 
EC Shape Studio Tool Round 25 
EC Metal Charm Round 25
Helmar Premium Craft Glue

Now, back to the REASON FOR THE SEASON. honestly, you probably already know my beliefs and where I stand with the Christmas season and much of what I will put in my album will center around that, but the reason why this holiday is so special is not just why we celebrate, but how we celebrate. It is so much about family and the traditions we create with them. As I think of how many may be worried about keeping up with this project, I cannot help but also think that your life is probably so full of special events, traditions and little bits of life in those few weeks leading up to Christmas that it would be easy to fill a book much larger than the one in my hands. 

Maybe you are on a budget like mine, living on just enough to "make it" or maybe not even that.... and  that brings you discouragement this time of year. You may wonder what you will have to fill your pages with.... or if you memories will be as lovely as another memory keeper. You need to remember that there are so many wonderful things to do that bring joy and lasting memories with very little or no cost at all.  This family would love to ride polar express, but I cannot make something like that happen... or the trip to Santa's Village in the snow my children has always asked for.... there may not even be those matching Christmas pajamas we usually hand out on Christmas Eve, BUT here are 25 other things that we may experience together (and maybe you, too?)...

25 Inexpensive Christmas Traditions that can make a lasting impact:

1. Create a family Jesse Tree.
The Jesse tree represents Jesus' family tree. The name is taken from Isaiah 11:1, in which Jesus is referred to as a shoot coming up from the stump of Jesse, the father of David. The ornaments on the Jesse tree are representative of many of the stories and ancestors leading up to the birth of Jesus. You read scripture, enjoy a family activity together, then hang your ornament for that day up on your little tree.
This activity can last 25-28 days depending on how many stories you plan to share together. You could even host a swap to trade ornaments (we are doing that this year) or create your own for each day.

2. Put up your Christmas Tree and Decorate your home. 
This is a beautiful time to remember Christmas' that have passed while hanging ornaments from years before.

3. Wrap Up 24 Christmas Books to unwrap and read together.
You can place your wrapped books on a shelf, in a basket or under the tree to open each day and read before bed.

4. Elf on a shelf. 
This may not seem like it fits my "theme" here, but first of all have you ever seen six siblings all giggling at one over something?? That warms this mommy's heart and well, that alone puts this at the top. To see my husband get all silly and fun and even creative... it is joy, all joy. You only have to buy the elf once, but the craziness can last a lifetime. But I will tell you what if that elf gets into my spools of thread this year again........... *mad face* *wink*

5. Visit a shut in or local nursing home and hand out homemade cards.
This one is one of our favorite things to do. We have a local nursing home that has a tea time hour and that is an ideal time to visit, sing carols and hand out cards. Your church or town offices may also know of some local elderly who could use a visitor.

6. Volunteer at a local food bank, soup kitchen or collect nonperishable items.
Giving always feels better than receiving... even when things are hard.

7.  Carol in your neighborhood, bring cookies.
I mentioned this in the video. It is a newer tradition for us, but we have really enjoyed it. We are not "good" singers, but we are loud and we bring some distracting yummy treats anyway.  It is fun to see the faces of some of the older generation in our neighborhood when my little ones sing "Away in a Manger" to them with their sweet motions. priceless.

8. Send Christmas Cards to loved ones.

9. Take a Seasonal Nature Walk.
Take a walk, hike or snowshoe in the woods. You could make up a scavenger hunt list to find along the way or make a little bag out of fabric scraps to collect treasures in. There is so much to find along your way to be thankful for.

10. Have a Hot Cocoa Party.
Host a hot cocoa party for a few friends. You can set up carafes of cocoa and a table of toppings and stirrers. Share the warmth of your sweet treat and your home together.

11. Have  a Christmas Tea  Party.
Dress up in red, white and green and set the table with all the pretty Christmas things you have around. Pour cups of tea and get your fancy on.

12. Have a Christmas Song Dance Party.
Maybe we are the only ones silly enough to do this??  Make sure you have a lot of bells on hand for jingling!

13. Make Snowmen.
felt ones, real ones, ones with shaving cream, paper plates or cotton balls or just draw them

14. Take a Light Peeping Ride.
Take a drive around your town or neighborhood to see all of the pretty decorations and lit up houses.

15. Have a Christmas Movie Night.
Choose your favorite movie and make some simple treats to enjoy together. This year we plan on decorating brown bags for popcorn and water bottles like reindeer.

16. Bake Christmas Cookies together.

17. Make a Nativity Gingerbread Scene.
This was something we were able to try at a dear friend's house last year and it was wonderful! It is on the list this year for sure!

18. Write Letters to Santa.

19. Visit Santa or see if your town hosts an inexpensive Breakfast with Santa.
You may be able to see Santa for free or very little if you search out your town for information.

20. Have  Holiday Spa Day (or night).
You can use some homemade peppermint foot scrub to soak and scrub those tired holiday feet and then paint your toes in festive colors. There is something humbling about washing the feet of a brother (or sister).

21. Have a Camp Out Beside the Christmas Tree.
Gather all of your blankets and pillows and cuddle up beside your lit up Christmas Tree for the best kind of indoor camp out!!

22. Take a Family Picture.
{or  ask a friend to take one for you}

23. Attend a Candlelight Christmas Eve Service.

24. Celebrate with a Happy Birthday Jesus Party.
You can bake a cake and hang homemade decorations. You can even write letters to Jesus sharing what you want to gift to Him this season.... a better attitude, treating my brothers and sisters with kindness, reading His word more.....

25. Read the Christmas Story.
Gather around the lit up tree and cuddle and read the real story about the greatest gift even given... just for you!


Monique said...

AWesome post!! Loved everything about it!! Especially the 25 Inexpensive Christmas Ideas!! Thanks for sharing...you have such a beautiful spirit!

The Robins Nest OCrowley said...

I love all of these ideas!! Great probject too!

Maureen Hayes said...

I popped over today for the Helmar-May Arts blog hop and happened upon this post. Thank you for all the lovely, fre or low cost suggestions, of wonderful, meaningful things to do this Christmas. I think so many of us are hurting financially, and even those who aren't are getting sick of the commercialization of Christmas. Thank you so much for helping put the perspective back on what truly matter!

God bless you this holiday season!

Virginia A said...

Lisa, this list is great,Thanks for the inspiration as I begin working on my family's December Days list. :)