Oh yeah, that holiday stuff I said I would do. . . .

So here we are, a couple of weeks later, and this is what I have for you:

Save your jars (and lids), so we can be Earth-friendly, and economical at the same time – and make gifts that have character. Save all shapes and sizes – they’re great for packaging granola, cookies-in-a-jar, pickled veggies, jams, spices, and more. In particular, I’m saving little Starbucks frappuccino bottles and their 4-pack carrying cases. Any excuse to buy Starbucks is a good one. . . . We’re getting afternoon pick-me-ups, and Christmas present packaging for the price of the 3 PM jolt. We’ll clean ’em up, like this little tutorial shows us here.

More on how we’re going to fill those jars later.

Start thinking hard about your loved ones and what they mean to you. A beautiful gift that costs close to nothing? A Box of Sundays, or a stack of ribbon-tied cards. The Box of Sundays is a gift my sisters and I made for my parents a couple of years back: one envelope per week of the year, filled with childhood memories, stories from our grandparents, and memories our parents had of each other (I interviewed them separately and convinced them it was a gift for the other), and sometimes even a crossword puzzle or word search the grandkids put together.  Each Sunday, they opened one envelope and read it to each other. They have told us several times over that this is one of the best gifts they have ever received – so much so that they made one for their parents the following year!

Do you know Michael’s is on our same wave-length? They have a holiday planning tool you can use to get yourself all set up to craft your little heart out on a time line. Thanks to my Sis for the heads-up!

And, so is Toys R Us! Christmas in July, folks! I never like to buy anything this early for my own kids because I feel like they change their minds too much by the time Christmas actually rolls around, but this is a great way to stock up on gifts for nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors! I admit, I don’t know much yet about shopping for girls, but I can tell you that for boys ages 4-10, Nerf and Legos totally do the trick!

It’s college season – stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond are throwing sales for items that jive with anyone in the tween to young adult crowd. Look for gifts like iPod speakers, ear buds, coffee makers, electric kettles (great for dorm room soup-in-a-cup!), hot air popcorn poppers, duffel bags and luggage, alarm clock speakers, etc.

Here are a few goodies I found at Bed Bath and Beyond – use their 20% off coupon, and free shipping, and you might just be all set!

Ahhhhh. I love gifts like these. An affordable blue tooth capable speaker. Unisex, great for kids all the way on up to adults. The list of recipients could be endless!

HMDX Audio® HX-P230 Jam Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

An indoor/outdoor blanket. Great for football game bound college students, but also good for soccer moms, a picnicking couple (maybe throw in a bottle of wine), a family headed to the park, or to keep in the trunk of a car for unlimited purposes.

Indoor/Outdoor Travel Blanket - Chocolate

An electric tea kettle – great for a dorm room, or a the well-oiled kitchen of a family. Hot water without having to turn on the oven or muss up yet another pot.

Proctor Silex® Cordless 1.7-Liter Electric Kettle

An air popper. I have a soft spot in my heart for these. I received one as a high school graduate and still have it today. It’s one of my favorite kitchen mini-machines. It’s a fun gift for an individual headed off to live on their own for the first time, but it’s also a fantastic idea for a family – throw in a board game or a movie, and you’ve just given them some quality time together too!

Orville Redenbacher's™ Gourmet® Hot Air Popper by Presto®

A great little gadget spanning a wide age gap, this useful on-the-go vault is perfect for athletic kids and adults too:

Go Vault™ Personal Portable Vaults

And what about these plates? My son made one of these as a class project in pre-school and it’s held up solidly. I’ve always thought I’d like to reverse the process though, and I’d design one for each of my kids. They’re also a fun thing to make for grandparents or cousins who are far away. You can add photos too! Get a jump-start to have it done in time.

Creations by You Plateworks Design Your Own Plate

Makit Products Inc. Make A Plate

And lastly, check out office supply stores right now, during back-to-school season – especially for teacher gifts and little artistes. For kids, think markers, drawing pads, magnetic boards.

Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Markers, 24 Assorted Markers

Crayola Washable Pip-Squeaks Telescoping Marker Tower

For teachers, think planners, lunch boxes, pens, post-it notes:

Who are we kidding? I want one of these too! For under $11, it’s an adorable gift – throw in some cookies (or one giant one!) and you’re good to go!

Post-it(R) Pop-up Notes Dispenser for 3" x 3" Notes, Pebble Collection by Karim

A flash drive – teachers only? No way – any kid 4th grade and up can use this these days, and this particular one is on super sale. Regularly $19.99, it’s $7.99 at Office Max online today. Super handy gift for male and female teachers alike!

Kingston DataTraveler 8GB USB Flash Drive

Oh yes. Can you tell I’m a Sharpie lover?? These are on sale at Office Max right now too!

Sharpie Accent Liquid Pen-Style Highlighters, 10 Assorted Highlighters

That’s it for now, folks! Hopefully you’re inspired to get some holiday goodness taken care of now, so you can enjoy your time later!

3 thoughts on “Oh yeah, that holiday stuff I said I would do. . . .

  1. I HAD NO IDEA YOU ARE A SHARPIE LOVER TOO!!

    Wow, how did this escape our conversations? Seriously, Keith gives me the hardest time about it because he finds them all over the house and is worried the kids are going to get their little paws on them and decorate………something. 🙂

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