Every year I try to come up with something frugal yet meaningful for my husband’s Christmas gift. Last year, he was thrilled when I put together the 12 Lays of Christmas. This year I was inspired by a couple different ideas I found for 365 loves notes in a jar. I did something similar – although much less complicated – with his deck-of-cards gift for Valentine’s Day a couple years back.
I will admit that, despite all the wonderful things there are about Phil, it was hard to come up with a list of 365 things that weren’t repetitive. So, I branched out, filling in the blanks with fun things, silly memories, quotes and my take on them (including some printables), favorite Bible verses, even a bunch of tidbits from friends and family members (it was so much fun hearing the kiddos’ answers to why they love their daddy). I finished it up just in time and basically ignored the kids for an evening while I printed everything out on cardstock and put it together.
Similar to the invitation ornament I made recently, I thought it would be nice to curl the strips of paper so they would look pretty in a jar (man, it took forever). There were so many pieces of curled paper I had no idea what to put them in… till I spied a big ol’ pickle jar that I was currently using to display Christmas ornaments. I poured some peanut M&Ms in the bottoms of the jar and filled it the rest of the way with the 365 sentiments. Then I tied some ribbon around the mouth of the jar, along with Naughty or Nice notes that I used as a gift tag and a couple ornaments for decoration.
Phil seemed pretty excited about the gift, and instead of waiting for January 1st he decided to read one right away (so it could last till next Christmas, according to him). The jar sits on the bureau next to our bed so he will remember to pick one each day, and I’m thankful that it will take a whole year so he probably won’t realize that some of them are so similar. *grin*
Although not handmade, a huge hit with the whole family was the gift Phil got in his stocking, inspired yet again by Pinterest. I planned on giving it to him when he got home from work, just like the original picture, but it worked out nicely this way. While he was opening his Nerf gun, I had mine next to me and nailed him first. Thus ensued all of us running around the house, hiding behind furniture and in doorways, scrambling for the spent ammo since I hadn’t bought refills.
My family and I didn’t do Secret Santa this year, but I still like to give the grandparents something from the kids. I had planned on doing the Box of Love, but didn’t get around to it in time. For his parents, Phil helped me make a picture frame using one of their old window frames. We put 5x7s in each of the eight openings, then Phil mounted cardboard backing and a picture hanger. It looked wonderful; I need to get a picture of the end result. For my parents, he helped me whip up a cute little wooden block photo ornament and I love how it came out; I strung it on neutral ribbon so it can be used year-round. You can’t really tell by the photo, but there are pictures on all sides. I had debated whether or not to do one picture and put scrapbook paper on the other sides, but in the end I did it this way. The possibilities are endless!
I have a whole bunch of plain wooden blocks from scrap wood that Phil cut for me, so these will definitely be on my project list throughout the year. There are so many other things I could do with them!
A while back Phil also cut out the forms for the wooden warblers for me – he’s so handy! I had fun breaking out the materials to make a set for my cousin and her twin babies, so I decided to make one for Nikki and her baby girl.
Now that Christmas is over, I feel like I can take a deep breath. However, I am excited about the gift I’ve been putting together for my big sis, whose birthday is in January. Here’s a little preview: