Creative Tip: Enjoy the Season!

Christmas kindness

Designed by The Neat Nook

There’s no question the holidays are a special time of year. I love catching up with friends, eating good food, and exchanging thoughtful gifts.

If we’re being honest, it can also be a bit stressful. The weeks leading up to Christmas are hurried and hectic. There’s the decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping, shipping, entertaining, and sometimes traveling to be done. When you’re a momma, you also have school plays, church pageants, class parties and teacher gifts to manage. Whew!

How does anyone stay calm and joyful with so much business going on? It’s not easy. That’s for sure, but if you have the right mindset, you can stay fairly calm through it all.

Try these five quick tips and see if you feel a difference. They won’t guarantee rock star parking at the mall, but they might help you ease up on the horn when someone snags your spot.

  1. Check in with yourself.
    • Stop in your tracks when you’re feeling stressed, and take note of what you’re doing. And I mean all the way down to the verb. Does baking pies from scratch and making the crust look like a string of holly berries (like the picture you saw on Pinterest) send you spiraling into tears? If so, change the plan and simplify. Get the premade crust or better yet, order from your favorite restaurant and call it good. No one will judge you.
    • Also notice what activities make you feel energized and creative. Allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy these things! Personally, I could wrap presents all day long. I adore playing with papers, tissues, boxes and bows. I would swap wrapping presents for making homemade pies any day.
  2. Do only what you can (and want) to do. Delegate the rest.
    • Write down your entire to-do list so it’s out of your head – where it only stresses you out.
    • Cross off anything that doesn’t fill you with joy and is also unnecessary. Synchronizing your outdoor lights to music – when you’re not technically savvy – would fall into this category.
    • Put a star next to anything you love and that only you can do – such as attending your child’s Christmas play.
    • Find a way to delegate or simplify the rest. Enlist a crafty cousin to make a few small gifts, or pay a neighbor with treats to help hang your lights. Get creative!
  3. Stay within budget.
    • One of the biggest stressors this time of year can be money. Plan a realistic budget that includes all of the details (like stamps for those adorable cards you ordered).
    • Keep track of your receipts as you go, so you know where you stand. If gifts are getting out of control, switch gears to something handmade or repurposed. If you’re thoughtful about the present, it will be appreciated – regardless of the price tag.
  4. Make a new friend.
    • Empathy can go a long way when you’re standing in line waiting to pay at the register. Strike up a conversation with the person in front of you and you might realize just how lucky you really are this holiday.
  5. Be kind to yourself.
    • Whatever you choose to do this holiday, make sure it makes you happy.
    • Don’t try to do too much, and certainly don’t try to make everything perfect. Perfection is unrealistic. If your 2-year-old won’t stop pouting in the family picture, let it be. If you burned all of the cookies for the school party, feed them  to the ducks and pickup some store-bought goodies. Serve them on one of your prettiest plates and you’re back in business.
    • The bottom line is, give yourself a break. And have a glass of wine while you’re at it. You deserve a happy holiday just as much as anyone on your gift list.

Cheers, my friends! Here’s to the most joyful and relaxed Christmas season, yet.

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DIY Pottery Barn Ornaments

Pottery Barn Inspired OrnamentsAs promised, I’m going to share lots of DIY holiday projects this season. Now that Thanksgiving is T-minus 11 days and counting, I think it’s safe to start thinking about Christmas. I don’t know about you, but I like to keep my holidays as separate and special as possible. I feel this way about lots of things. When I was little I had one of those divided dinner plates because I didn’t like my food touching. Holidays are the same for me. I don’t like any Jingle Bells spilling into my Jack-o-lanterns.

Okay, let’s kick this off with a few ornaments. I was thumbing through the most recent PB catalog and saw a few ornaments that looked like perfect DIY candidates. I gave them a try, and they turned out great. Plus they were ridiculously easy to make. I had to share!

Ornament Supplies

The basic supplies for all three ornaments!

>> Glitter Initial Ornament

Glitter Initial Ornament

I used a silver glitter that looks like pewter.

What you need:

  • Chipboard letters
  • Spray glitter (the secret ingredient)
  • Ribbon for hanging
  • Small hole punch, if needed

What to do:

When you use a can of spray glitter, all you have to do is place your chipboard letter on top of some newspaper and spray away. That. Is. It. Once the glitter dries, you can add another coat, if needed. Be sure to turn and spray the backside, as well. That way it looks pretty from all sides when it’s hanging from the tree.

If your letters don’t have holes at the top, you can use a small hole punch. Then take your ribbon, thread it through the holes and secure with a small knot at each end.

Backside of Glitter Monogram

I tied knots on the back side of the letter.

An easy alternative would be to hot glue the ribbon to the backside of the letter.

>> White Feather Ornament

I tried to take a pic with the ornament backlit so you could see the feather better. It's really pretty in person!

I tried to take a pic with the ornament backlit so you could see the feather. It’s really pretty in person!

What you need:

  • Clear glass globe ornament
  • Package of white feathers or a feather boa
  • Toothpick or bamboo skewer
  • Ribbon for hanging

What to do:

Carefully open the top of your ornament by pinching the two sides of wire that are threaded down inside. Next, take one of your feathers and slip it inside the globe.Feather OrnamentYou might need to take a toothpick or skewer to help fan out the feather inside the globe. I added two feathers to help fill the space. Slip the top back on and add a pretty ribbon.

Similar ornaments sell for $10.50 each at Pottery Barn. I made six of these for the same price. Plus, you can probably make them faster and easier than you can say “Christmas.”

>> Monogrammed Glass Globe Ornament

Monogrammed Glass Globe OrnamentWhat you need:

  • Clear glass globe ornament
  • Adhesive letters
  • Ribbon for hanging

What to do:

Once you select the letter you’d like to use, simply adhere it to your clear ornament. If your letters are small enough, you can do a full monogram. Here’s a nice refresher on monogram rules by Mark & Graham. Once your letter is in place, simply tie the top with a gorgeous bow and boom, clap, you’re done.

Any of these ideas, especially the personalized initial ornaments, would make amazing hostess gifts, teacher gifts and friend gifts!

Oh, and light bulb sleeves make great ornament packaging. (I love to repurpose when possible.) Trim the sleeve to size, tuck your ornament inside, and wrap the outside with wrapping paper or tissue and a bow.

Have fun making these ornaments! If you don’t have time to make them this week, no worries. Just pin the project on a Pinterest board for later. Be sure to stop by tomorrow for Creative Tip Tuesday. I’ll have some (hopefully) inspiring words on how to stay calm, cool and creative this crazy season.

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