I am SO sorry! I promised to give you all a crafty gift idea, yesterday. I have a good excuse though...
Yesterday, I was feeling really creative and wanted to change the way I decorated the mantel. Of course, I wanted to use things that I already had. One of the many things I scrounged up was a broken picture frame. All I wanted was the frame, not the broken glass or the backing. (I will post a picture of it another day.) I took the broken frame apart and put the glass and the backing into my "trash pile." Unfortunately, decorating came to a screeching halt when the repairman arrived to fix our broken dishwasher - which was fine with me!
I did not want to get too preoccupied with decorating, so I started picking up the living room. I guess I hopped over the "trash pile" one too many times because the broken picture frame (8x10 frame, by the way) caught the top of my foot. Ugh. Believe it or not, it did not hurt when it happened. I thought it was a scrape. After a few seconds, I noticed the burning sensation had not dissipated. I looked down and my foot was covered.....COVEREDDDDD...in blood. To spare you from all the gory details, I ended up getting six stitches. It is kind of funny thinking about it now because I have been so proud of the fact that I have never had stitches or broken a bone in my whole life and now, due to my inability to slow down and be careful when I am picking up the house and re-decorating, I have stitches. Oh...and my father-in-law stitched me up too! Ha!
So onto what I promised...
I received an email from Sara, a friend of mine who used to attend the small group I led at my old church. She just started college this past May and is in need of some gift ideas. Here is what she said:
"Torrie, I'm a college student now, and as I'm sure you know, that means I have very little money. However, my favorite thing about the holidays is giving gifts! I just love thinking through what each specific person in my life would enjoy most, incorporating their hobbies, favorite movies, favorite foods, and so on. I would love to figure out how to make them thoughtful gifts without going (more) broke. Do you have any generic suggestions that I could personalize? (I'm also not incredibly good at crafts, although I really love trying!)"Recently, I have been learning that spending more money on a gift, does not necessarily make the gift more thoughtful. People love receiving gifts that have a personal touch. For example, framing a picture of you and the recipient, or framing a picture that you photographed. You do not necessarily HAVE to be crafty to give a thoughtful gift. I believe the first step to giving a thoughtful gift is thinking about what the recipient loves. Sara, you are already on track. As Sara mentioned in her request, think about what the recipient enjoys most and then go from there.I like browsing Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Walmart, Target, and department stores, to get gift ideas. Then, I go to thrift stores and try to find affordable alternatives. One thing I need to mention is that giving gifts this way is very time consuming. However, everyone has the ability to be creative, even if you do not feel like you are a "creative person". Bah, humbug! Give yourself enough time to think through possibilities.
I found these tall coffee mugs at Food Lion for a dollar and some change. :) Here are a couple ideas:
1) Plant a small flower in the mug. Make a gift tag out of scrap paper or old cards and tie it onto the handle or use a toothpick and stick the gift tag in the dirt.
2) Create your own signature blend of coffee and name it after your recipient. Fill a brown paper bag up with enough coffee grains to make one pot of coffee. Use nutmeg, cinnamon, and other yummy spices to flavor. Decorate the brown paper back with scrap paper, card stock, and ribbon. If you want to add something extra, you could make chocolate covered spoons with plastic spoons or antique/old spoons from a thrift store (about 25 cents each).
3) Not a coffee drinker, how about tea? Wrap up loose tea in sheer fabric or coffee filters and tie with string. Don't forget to add a personalized label to identify what type of tea is wrapped up. If you were making this for a bunch of your friends, you could buy different types of tea and give a variety pack of homemade tea to everyone.
4) Fill the mug with cookies, baked goods, or homemade trail mix. Wrapping it in cellophane or saran wrap and tying with ribbon would add a special touch.
5) Plant herbs in one or all four. Try mint, chives, or thyme. Harris Teeter sells fresh herb plants for a decent price.
These are only a few ideas. If you are interested in others, using a tea cup, let me know by sending a request or posting a comment on this blog post.
Even if you decide to buy something for someone, wrapping the gift in a creative way or attaching a handmade gift tag is thoughtful. Just by putting a little TLC into your gift giving this holiday season, your gifts will go from ordinary to extraordinary, I promise!