Friday, September 9, 2011

On My Mind...

I can't stop thinking about Christmas presents, Yes already!!! 
For many years I have struggled to get to the shops at that time of the year and when I do, I often come home empty handed after hours of roaming around mindlessly looking for affordable and suitable toys, trinkets and keepsakes, just for the sake of having to give a present! Aghhh! It makes me frustrated just thinking about it!
My mum always told me to start buying presents through out the year, "When the sales are on" she says, "then it's never so overwhelming when Christmas comes around"  This has never worked for me . . . I think I just dislike shopping!
I am a practical person and I like to give a gift to somebody that has a bit of meaning or purpose to it and I do like the added element of surprise!!   On certain occasions I will give a gift card as a present, as impersonal as they are they do allow the recipient to purchase something that they do desire opposed to receiving something that is not to their required taste, colour or style! 
How many presents have you ever received that have ended up hidden in the cupboard for years then eventually passed onto a charity store.  Can you imagine how much money gets wasted on unwanted gifts at Christmas time? 
 I much prefer to give somebody just a Big Warm HUG! 

This year, I will not be purchasing presents for Christmas, for anybody! It will be A Handmade Christmas. 
I guess it still doesn't necessarily mean that everyone will like what they get, but it will be made and given with LOVE!
It worked for EASTER!
I have given myself plenty of time and have many a project 
On my mind  . . .
 With Hubby at work, the big kids at school and the little ones off on a play date today, I am hoping for a productive morning in my laboratory, happily mixing and molding.
Can you guess what I'll be making? 
Here's a little hint . . .


  1. hmmm Karen, looks like you are going to be making some lovely soap.....Have fun...It's pouring rain here today.....
    On my mind....

  2. Clever girl. Last year my family got homemade black walnut toffee - that's it. Simple, low stress, consumable.

    brenda from arkansas

  3. You must be proud getting organised for Christmas already and homemade soap is a great gift.
    What oils are you going to use to scent the soaps?
    Good luck. x

  4. I've tried Christmas shopping throughout the year....well, I've THOUGHT about it and that's as far as it went. As much as I hate crowds, you'd think I would get my shopping done before the holidays but, oh well!
    I'm also putting together handmade items for presents and having a blast doing it. Soap may be on the list, too. We're out of the last of what I made, so I need to break out my soap stuff and whip out a couple batches. :)

    visiting from Down To Earth

  5. I have stopped Christmas shopping too! I decided a couple of years ago that it is a complete waste of time and money.

    Handmade gifts are a great idea, good on you. I would love to receive a lovely homemade gift more than anything else!

    I still haven't tried making soap, must get to do it...

    Have a great Friday :)

  6. Soap! I new it before I saw the hint. I make soap too. It is such great therapy and makes wonderful gifts. I sell mine, but get so much pleasure out of giving it away.

  7. Hi
    I think that this wonderful but what are you making for the kids? I have 4 from 13 to 5 and I would love to make them their gifts. Any ideas?
    Thanks Nicole

  8. mmm, soapy goodness! Making it while everyone is out is the best way. Have fun! Oatmeal soap?

  9. Hi Nicole, I might Google 'How to make a new Bike' ????? My children would never forgive me if I just gave them soap!! I think they might just be an exception to this rule...It's more for the brothers and sisters, Aunts and Uncles and friends etc... However I do always like to throw in something handmade for the kids if I can...Try these links for some ideas

  10. I try and make a lot of the things we give at christmas. Generally things that can be eaten or drunk. We have no kiddies in the family yet so not too much of an issue.

  11. I have been a lurker of Rhonda's since stumbling on her blog in 2008 and have still not attempted to make her soap...must get my A into G and try it soon.

    We made the conscious decision when we became parents to buy very little for our children at Xmas time...we taught them that it was more about spending time with those you love. As a result they get one or two things each and to some that may seem stingy but the memories we all cherish are worth so much more than money can buy :)

    I am big on handmade gifts though and encourage our children to make things for their friends and family.

    Have fun making your soap...I'd be interested to see how it turns out.


  12. Great idea, look forward to seeing your creations!

  13. I am a planner too and I believe that the best gifts are handmade!!


  14. You ARE organised. I'm impressed.
    About 12 years ago we made a deal with all of the grownups in my family that we wouldn't buy presents at all. Not even my between my partner and me. It became so stressful and people ended up with things that they didn't really want. It has been one of the best decisions as we all really enjoy the day now and don't have to worry about people liking a gift or not. We put more though t and afford into birthdays.
    Handmade gift a such a great idea. I can't wait to see how the soap turns out. This is something I have thought about doing but never quite got there.

  15. Karen i said the same last year that i will make gifts this year but i have'nt started yet lol thank's for the inspiration :)

  16. Well done on the decision to make handmade gifts, it's a great idea. I went one step further and said no more gifts at all for Christmas, not getting caught up in the ridiculous consumerism that goes on around that time of year............

    When I look around our home at all the 'stuff' we've accumulated over the years i don't want to add to it.

    We donate to overseas aid projects and that's it.
    It works for us.........hope your soap making venture is successful.

    Enjoy your weekend,

    Claire :}

  17. Thankyou , you have reminded me to get moving on my soap making for Christmas! People love getting handmade soap as gifts. You are so organised!!Can't wait to see them finished product.

  18. Hi karen, I am going handmade too this year. I have just bought a secondhand dehydrator so there will definitely be some lovely homemade jars of sun-dried tomatoes!

  19. Oh Christmas and gifts - that's something I don't look forward to, so it's home baked, home made or nothing if I cannot organise either of the first two, for the adults. But children are a different matter so books feature heavily there...

  20. I really need to tackle homemade soap! I hope the recipients are as appreciative of it as I have been when people give it to me!

  21. We scaled down on family gifts when the grandchildren numbers got big. With 9 families they were getting too many things and it was just ugly. Now we don't do adults (the sisters privately exchange a few under $10 gifts) and we do secret santa for the kids, Mum's and Dad's buying for their own with a strict $10 limit again. Last year I made piles of crocheted stars for teachers, family and friends.(Thank you Royal Sisters.) Some ended up in garlands and others as tree decorations.


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