And here are a couple of images of my handcrafted Christmas favours for the gents in 2010, with each containing a:
- stress ball in a variety of shapes, such as a cricket ball or a dice
- pocket 2011 calendar for the wallet
- wine charm to hang from the base of a wine glass
- traditional festive hat
- piece of trivia to share with friends and family
For 2010, I’m ‚ handcrafting Christmas favours ‚ for you to purchase ‚ at each of my Christmas fairs over the next couple of weeks. ‚ These favours are to use in place of ‚ Christmas crackers, or simply to gift to friends and family over the festive period.
My favours are so much more than the usual cracker, as each is packed with practical treats as well as the traditional hat and a piece of trivia.
The ladies favours are uniquely decorated cream, gold ‚ and silver luxury boxes, each including ‚ a:
- pocket calendar for the purse
- travel size shower gel
- festive snowman candle
- wet wipes in a cute container for the hand bag
As an alternative to Christmas crackers for your guests over Christmas, you could offer organiza bags filled with little treats that could be personalised for everyone.
You can either buy plain coloured bags that you could decorate yourself with ribbon, bells, miniature baubles and foliage, or you can find pre-printed Christmas bags. ‚ Tesco supply small coloured bags year-round in their party section if you think you don’t have time to shop elsewhere.
Then pick a small gift that each of your guests would really appreciate, such as lipstick, mini-pen, bracelet, keyring, post-it pad and place one in each bag. ‚ I tend to add a chocolate coin too, but it could be any sweet of your choice.
Rather than the usual joke or riddle, ‚ for Christmas you could include ‚ in each bag a written piece that describes the meaning of Christmas, such as explainations as to ‚ the ‚ origins of ‚ Santa, when was the first Christmas card offered and who were the three kings.
Most of us will be entertaining family and friends this Christmas, so here’s an idea to welcome guests into your home over the festive season.
For family, create a family tree that can be used to decorate a side dresser in your dining room or positioned on a plant stand in your living area. ‚ I’ve shown one above that I crafted for my display at the Ayr Flower Show this year. ‚ During a walk one afternoon, I simply collected dead branches ‚ that had fallen off shrubs and trees onto the floor. ‚ Place them in a tall vase, and using pegs or ribbon tie a collection of family photographs onto the twigs. ‚ Create some sparkle by adding bells, baubles or ‚ crystals.
As a twist for the New Year and similar to Wedding Day Wish Trees, use the same ‚ tree but bare ‚ and leave a tray of blank tags, with ribbon ‚ and a pen beside. ‚ Then ‚ ask your guests to write their New Year’s resolution on the tags and to hang them on the tree for all to share.
Have you been following the ‚ Kirstie Allsop’s Homemade Christmas series on Channel 4 this week? ‚ I’ve enjoyed watching it, and the last episode is on this evening. ‚ She’s been treating us to lots of different creative ideas which we can all make ‚ with our own fair hands in the countdown to Christmas, such as:
- soap bars as gifts
- blown-glass baubles
- fresh wreath for your front door
- beaded tassels ‚ to decorate the wrapping paper
- chutney in jars for family
- stockings to hang over your fireplace
If you have missed out, then simply browse the website link above and be inspired!
I have quite a lot of Christmas cards to send each year, to friends, family and my business contacts, so a few years ago I prepared a template for my address labels, which saves so much time every year in not having to handwrite each envelope.
The best labels for me are the L7160 series, which creates 21 labels from A4 and most good stationers will supply these. ‚ I tend to purchase online from Ryman, who have proved to be a very reliable supplier.
You can download a free L7160 template from Avery, so that you can print your own labels with ease. ‚ Each year I change the colour and style of font for my labels to match my Christmas cards, and this year ‚ I’ve gone festive red.
It feels a little earlier than usual, but this weekend I put up our Christmas trees and turned our home into a magical snug for the festive season.
Fancy a decoration with a difference to place on a mantlepiece, coffee table, window sill or dining table, then find a beautiful clear glass vase or bowl, and gently pile into it a set of colourful Christmas baubles. ‚ For an added twist, add dome fairy lights too, to brighten a darker corner.
How many of you have participated in a Secret Santa?
Don’t even know what it is, well if you fancy a wee treat in the lead up to Christmas with your friends, family or colleagues at work, then here’s an idea.
- Agree a gift budget, usually ‚ £5.
- Write all the names of those playing on separate pieces of paper.
- Stick them all in a hat.
- Everyone selects a ‚ name blind ‚ from the hat.
- If you pick your own name stick it back in the hat.
- Whichever name you pick, you are buying a gift for the person to the value agreed.
- Label your gift for the person who is receiving it, but don’t add your name, as it’s a secret.
- Whoever is ‚ organising, then ‚ collects all the gifts into a sack
- At a chosen time, Santa then hands out all the gifts.
For ‚ £5, it’s best to pick a general theme for everyone, such as humourous gifts, girly gifts or edible gifts.
‚ ‚ ‚ ‚
So how many of you have just realised it’s only three weeks on Friday until Christmas Day. ‚ Panicking for what gifts to buy? ‚ I have to admit that I always start my Christmas Shopping in earnest, in October, so that I’m not left with a mad rush. ‚ It also means that I can enjoy the lead up to Christmas, and take in a bit of window shopping and the stunning lights in the frosty nights.
However for those who haven’t started shopping, then here’s an idea. ‚ If you are ‚ struggling with what to buy parents and grandparents, when they practically have everything they need, then why not treat them to a night out at the theatre to see a musical or comedy show, or a day out at one of the many events scheduled at our local exhibition centres and concert halls.
I’m not sure what is happening with the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr, but when Glasgow is only a 40-minute car drive or train journey, then why not treat your family to a show such as those in the images above, all which are coming soon in January 2010. ‚ Try either the SECC or Ticketmaster to book your tickets online.
Tomorrow is the 1st December, and this year I’ve decided to treat you all to my very own countdown to Christmas 2009, with a few ‚ special festive tips and ideas.
I will bring you some unique touches on how for example, to decorate your own home, or create a magical table setting for your guests, so please return to my News Blog throughout the coming ‚ weeks to find out more.
Happy Christmas planning!