October 24, 2010

With a Little Advance Planning...

Does the thought that Christmas Day is just a little more than
EIGHT weeks away cause despair to rise within you?

It shouldn't.

What is the Christmas season all about, anyway?
Perhaps, before we go any further, we should
refocus on what really matters.

And then ~
make a little plan.
And stick to it!

This post is all about the gifts.
Ideas for those on a budget ~
Aren't we ALL on a budget?

Hopefully there is something here for everyone.
Enjoy the journey.
It is a joy to give.
And it really IS the thought that counts...
not the $$$ spent!
Give a little love this Christmas.

And be ready to share the
REAL Gift of Love with others

Everyone loves a
personalized Gift Basket.
Tailor it to suit the one you are
planning to give it to,
and be prepared for a joyful response.

Gift baskets can be put together in a small bowl,
large basket, and everything in between.
I have even had one of these given to
me in a laundry basket ~ when our girl was born.
Use your imagination and have fun!

What you see in the basket above are some homemade
goodies from my kitchen.
Caramel Corn
and jam are two of the items included.
Give what your recipient wouldn't
normally make for themselves.

Begin a Library of Quality books
for a young person in your life.

Faith-Building Audio Drama
for kids (and their parents)
is a wonderful idea for a family with children
from age six to twelve (and beyond).

Focus on the Family Radio Theatre
is WONDERFUL for any family ~ for all ages!
There are, of course, certain stories that
the very young would be frightened by,
but you are quite safe with
titles such as "Little Women",
"Anne of Green Gables" and "Silas Marner".
I cannot tell you how much we have enjoyed these ~
over and over and over again!

How about something sweet for neighbours,
family and friends?
Caramel Corn
is something not many can refuse.
And packaged up pretty,
it is a welcome hostess or teacher gift.

Another neighbour or teacher gift is the
"Gift in a Mug".
Pretty and economical...
as long as it is hand-assembled, of course!

For little people on your list ~
I cannot recommend
these sweet books
highly enough!

An "Answers" Magazine Subscription
would be a great blessing for any family on your list.
The material presented is from a Biblical Worldview
and is a wonderful tool to fortify every member
within that home.
We ALL *love* to find the next installment
in our mailbox.

If you have NO MONEY to spend on gifts...
take heart!

There are MANY ways to show love and give of
what you DO have to loved ones.
Some of your TIME.

What about a coupon booklet?
Handmade by you?
Custom designed and hand-written.

Make coupons for things such as these ~

"I will clean your car one Saturday...name the date!"
"I will take you to..."
"Date night IN...leave all the details to me!"
"I will bake your favourite...anytime you ask!"
"I will read your favourite book to you one afternoon"
"We will go to the park and swing on the swings..."
"Good for one day of housecleaning!"
"Free babysitting one night while you go out."


The possibilities are ENDLESS!

Then...make sure YOU keep track of what you've
promised to do and keep the recipient of your coupons
accountable to take you up on it!

Remember to take time to enjoy
this time of year.
The LORD is not honoured by
our overdoing it ~
Who are we aiming to please anyway?

May this Christmas Season be full
of love and joy and peace ~
And may the Lord Jesus Christ
be at the center of it all!

Blessings to each of you!
In His Love,


His bondservant said...


There are great ideas. I always love to give something that has eternal value like good books and such too. Your gift baskets are beautiful and I am sure will be so appreciated by the fortunate recipients. I have gotten a very good start on my gifts too. My goal is to have everything pretty well completed by Thanksgiving. That gives me time to really enjoy the season and focus on the One it is all about anyway!

Blessings to you,

Heather said...

You're amazing.


Giving is God's doing! He started it with the gift of His Son on the cross!

What a precious post here to encourage us to carry on His Giving Spirit!

Thanks for stopping by - I'm caught up in teaching and retreats and speaking so have not been visitng or posting much at all recently. Living the life that God has called me to right now!

In the midst of affliction and suffering - there is much JOY - all from His Love overflowing!

Blessings to you and I'm always praying for you and your family!

Choosing JOY,

Lady Farmer said...

Thank you, my friend, for the gentle reminder of the true meaning of Christmas!
We have been trying to give gifts from the heart for several years now. I love the basket idea. And a gift subsription to a magazine is a gift that reminds you that someone loves you all throughout the year! (We are still enjoying your wonderful gift of Answers magazine!;~P)
This year, we are going to try the gift of 'togetherness'. We hope to get a cabin for our children and us to share and do some snowshoeing or cross country skiing, or perhaps a horse drawn sleigh ride in the mountains!
Have a blessed week!

Nadine said...

Lovely ideas Camille...thank you for sharing!
We give our good friends a coupon book each year, they were actually disapointed the one year that we bought them a gift instead! :)
I have been trying to gather homemade Christmas gift ideas for our children, not always an easy task!
Have a wonderful day & God bless!


Wanting What I Have said...

GREAT ideas! I do believe we'll be adding a few of these books to our library this Christmas! So glad you shared!

Jill said...

Great post Camille. I also enjoy making gift baskets for friends and family. In this economy money is tight for everyone.
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Intentional Living Homestead said...

Great Ideas....not sure where the year has gone, but Christmas is coming too quickly for me...taking a deep breath.

Have a wonderful week.

Christa said...

Hi Camille,
I can't believe Christmas is just around the corner.
I love your gift suggestions, great ideas!
Our family will be going to the conference "Love the Church" in North Carolina in December instead of giving gifts. We kind of started that last year when we went to "The Sufficiency of Scripture" conference.
Who knows I may sneak in a couple little gifts for the kids. It's so hard not to give to them. :)

I hope you had a great weekend.

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Gift baskets can make wonderful gifts and you have shared some lovely ideas Camille! In the past I have made up gift baskets for families and popped in little gifts for each member of the family....a bottle of sparkling grape juice,(buy one each week when you do your grocery shop) cookies, preserves, 'special' pens or pencils for the children, personal bookmarks even a small bag of treats for their dog or cat! This is how I personalize the gift basket for each family or neighbour rather than giving each family identical gifts. The extra little personal touches don't need to cost a lot but they make all the difference.
If you don't have time to bake ' Christmas brownie bars in a jar' are also a good idea. Your friends then can make up the recipe when they are ready, adding butter and eggs to the layered dry ingredients, flour cocoa, cranberries, nuts. They also look good with a fabric topper lid and the recipe on a little card attached with coordinating ribbon or raffia.
I need to start doing some posts for my Christmas blog - do pop over there and visit, all my posts from last year are still there including ideas for gifts to send overseas... I need to get my mum and sister's family gifts away soon! You did say 8 weeks?

Camille said...

Dear Jackie ~ Sounds wonderful to have everything in order by Thanksgiving...that really lends itself to a more relaxed and peaceful Christmas season. Oh yes, books...how could you tell that's a favourite around here? LOL! :)

Dear Heather ~ I beg to differ. I linked to posts that were from last year...still working on things for this Christmas. :)

Dear Stephanie ~ Thank you for taking the time to visit! May the LORD give you daily all you need as you speak and encourage others in HIM! Thank you so much for praying for us...that is a blessing! You are still in our "prayer basket". :)

Dear Raeann ~ I *love* the idea of a "togetherness" gift! SOOO beautiful! What a lovely picture your words evoke ~ "a horse drawn sleigh ride"...wonderful!! Enjoy these precious days! :)

Dear Nadine ~ How fun that your friends look forward to that coupon book...so wonderful!! "Personal" and "homemade" are always the best kind of gifts...love it! :)

Dear Jennifer ~ I do hope you enjoy them as much as we have! Thanks for your encouragement my friend. :)

Dear Jill ~ How blessed your friends must feel with your homemade gift baskets...wonderful! Have a lovely day too! :)

Dear Treasures ~ How quickly the time flies! I am with you on that!! Yes, a deep breath and a refocus on what it's all really about! Have a wonderful week! :)

Dear Christa ~ I *love* it that you do a family getaway of a Spiritual nature...what a blessing that is for your children! And yes, it is difficult not to give them SOMETHING. :)

Dear Ann ~ Thank you for sharing some of your ideas here too...they are wonderful! How blessed your friends and family are with your "personalized" baskets....they sound lovely! I will be sure to pop over for a visit at "your place" soon. :)

Blessings to each one of you ~ I truly do appreciate your friendship...it is a gift. May the LORD give each of you a lovely week!

In His Love,

Unknown said...

Beautiful baskets Camille..
It is a little scary that christmas is so close ,,but you are right.. It is about the birth of christ not the price on the gift..
Thanks for reminding us, so we dont start melting down when the time comes..lol.
great post.. God Bless

Linda said...

Hi Camille,
WOW-I loved all your ideas!!! Beautiful baskets! Your friends must be so thrilled to receive these beautiful gifts.
I too cannot believe how quickly this year has gone and nearly Christmas now!!
I have not posted over the past few days on my Days Touched By Grace blog but I posted on my Simple Blessings one so please do drop by and visit.
Have a wonderful day!
Blessings and hugs.

Dianna said...

What an insightful and helpful post, Camille! I am going to check many of these sights out that you've linked to.

Thank you for the note of encouragement yesterday in response to my e-mail. I have the Scriptures marked in my Bible and am committing them to memory.

Camille said...

Dear Karen ~ Oh I do hope you (and I) do not have that "melt down"!! You are so right...it is ALL about the LORD...may we all keep HIM central. Have a wonderful week! :)

Dear Linda ~ Every year the time seems to fly by more quickly...don't you think? Sometimes we get tricked into thinking EVERYTHING must be done, but that simply isn't true. May we all have the wisdom to know what to focus our energies on at this most wonderful time of year. Have a lovely day! :)

Dear Dianna ~ I am so glad you are memorizing those passages of Scripture...the LORD is our strength and shield...HIS Word is such a comfort! May the LORD give daily all you need...continue to look to HIM! :)

Blessings to each of you!
In His Love,

Tami said...

These are wonderful suggestions, Camille! I am not creative in the gift-giving department, but I can sure take an idea and run with it. You've inspired me to get started and enjoy the reason for celebration and giving!
I've never heard of Answers magazine - thank you so much for that suggestion especially!
Love and Blessings on You!

Camille said...

Dear Tami ~ Oh...you must check out Answers magazine and the resources they have at www.answersingenesis.org
SUCH wonderful tools for every Christian family! May the LORD help us all to keep the REAL reason for celebrating first and foremost. Have a lovely week!


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Oh, what a timely reminder, Camille. Thank you! My husband and I were just talking about this. This is the tightest year we've ever experienced and we are determined not to dispair, but instead focus on the real reason for the season. Every year, God moves us towards this in a new and better way.

These are great gift ideas. Another one that is just awesome would be the new "What's in the Bible" series that Phil Vicher (sp?) the original maker of Veggie Tales, has released. They are really in depth and fun and interesting for the whole family. I'm learning too!

BTW, left you a comment on my blog.

Have a wonderful day!

Camille said...

Dear Jackie ~ I am so encouraged to hear that you are determined to make it a beautiful Christmas without spending lots. Sometimes those are the most memorable. One of the things we have enjoyed doing with our children in the past is to pick a neighbourhood that has beautiful light displays, park the car and walk on the sidewalks enjoying the crisp night air with the children. These are the things they seem to remember most. Memories stay with us longer than the gifts ever will. And, of course, the gift of the LORD is FOREVER!! :)

Blessings to you my friend!
In His Love,

Tami said...

Hi Friend - Just wanted to pop by for one more "hello" and let you know we're watching hockey. ;o) Dallas Stars, of course, but I figured you'd be impressed.

Much Love!

Trisha said...

So many great ideas here, Camille! How blessed your friends are to experience your creativity and kindness.
The books for the Littles look great! So glad you shared about those. Hugs for you across these miles, friend!

♥ Lila ♥ said...

Hi Camille, I love your Blog.
Have a nice day!
Peace and Love

Camille said...

Dear Tami ~ Oh YES...I'm very impressed! LOL!! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and let me know! :)

Dear Trisha ~ Those picture books are wonderful...and written by my friend. SUCH fun to read and read and read again. Hugs back to you! :)

Dear Lila Rosana ~ Thank you for your encouragment...it warms my heart. May the LORD bless you! :)

Blessings to you each one!
In Him,