Monthly Archives: December 2012

snipping snowflakes


2012-12-18 053I went a little snowflake crazy this year!  I have always enjoyed cutting snowflake designs from paper, and I have some that I made out of regular white computer paper years ago that I iron and keep for use from year to year at the Christmastime.  Sometimes I hang them from string from the ceiling; sometimes I add them to my tree decorations; sometimes I scatter them about.  This year, I bought an extra Christmas tree so I could let the kids decorate one and I could make a snowflake wonderland out of the other.  It was beautiful.

Disclaimer: I live in sunny Southern California and I don’t really like snow, but I think snowflakes are beautiful!

2012-12-18 032This year, I tried cutting snowflakes from coffee filters.  I have read about this method for a long time, but as I don’t drink coffee, I never had any filters just laying about to try it.  So I finally went out and bought some.  And, let me just say: I am a convert!  Filter snowflakes are so much easier.  The round shape makes it a snap to fold (in half, then in thirds, then half again), without any wasted paper.  2012-12-18 039The filters are much thinner than copy paper too, so cutting is also cleaner and crisper (and easier).  I cut dozens and dozens of snowflakes this year.

2012-12-18 014Granted, the paper snowflakes hold up better hanging on my Christmas tree, but the filter snowflakes were perfect draped on my garland and scattered about on surfaces for decoration.  I even started getting a little creative in my designs.

I’m rather proud of this snowman flake:

2012-12-23 002I made smaller snowflakes to decorate my packages as well.  It made the simple gifts more personal and festive.2012-12-18 054








Snowflakes help make my Christmas decorations a little more merry and bright!  And they are a super affordable way to add quite a bit of impact.

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striped gifts


striped gift2I’m delighted that my gift exchange theme post has been so popular!  I hope that many of you enjoyed some fun gift exchanges this Christmas season.  Our own family exchange was as fun as always.  You may recall that our theme this year was “striped.”  This turned out to be a bit more difficult than we had anticipated.  One of my brothers said that he didn’t care for this theme as it was too hard to shop for; another relative commented that although it was a bit of a challenge finding things that would be broadly appreciated, the resulting gifts we chose showed more variety than in past years, and so they liked it.  We all agreed that using a solid color would have been much easier, but we didn’t back down from the challenge of stripes.

Here is a sample of some of the gifts:

2012-12-25 102 This is a very soft and cozy blanket, with subtle brown and tan stripes.  My niece is posing with her spoils–she was excited that her dad was the winner of this prize!

2012-12-25 100There were two blankets in the gift exchange mix.  This one was a more youthful zebra stripe, and had the young girls in our family gathering pestering their parents to try to win this fuzzy wrap.  In addition to the blanket, this gift also included his and her pajama pants.  It was a striped bonanza!

2012-12-25 104This was the festive striped bowl that I came home with!  It is large and will look perfect with the other red accents in my kitchen.  I think we need to have a popcorn party real soon.

2012-12-25 099This striped candle made a nice statement in the center of a large hurricane vase, accented with our favorite striped candy of the season.

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This is my sister-in-law showing off her new striped beach umbrella.  Since her home is within walking distance of the beach, this was an especially appropriate gift for her to take home.

2012-12-25 101Another perfect striped gift: the Stars and Stripes!  My brother and his family were actually thinking of buying a new flag this year, so it was a home run gift exchanage match.

2012-12-25 105This gift box included a fun selection of fidget toys (as well as some striped candy)–the kind of trinkets that can sit on your office desk to help you think, or get packed in a quiet bag for church or car rides.  All the kids and adults enjoyed playing with these for the rest of the evening.  Good thing they get to stay and Grandma and Grandpa’s house for future clicking, clacking and puzzling.

We had a fun Christmas and are eagerly thinking up new themes for next year.  Let me know if you had any themed success with your own exchanges!