Thursday, November 20, 2008

Making a List, Revisited

As you are creating your Christmas lists, I am quite sure this or something similiar went through your head, "_______ really doesn't NEED anything but I'd sure love to find of something special and unique to blow their socks off."

We ALL want to wow our family and friends with something that they will use and enjoy, instead of merely finding some item that will fufill the perceived need and we can check them off our list. I have not begun my shopping yet, but here are some things I am considering.

Photo Creations: I have to say photo books are just my new favorite thing in the whole entire world. I was turned onto these by an insane special offer from Winkflash. I was able to create a 100 page book for $19.99. Can you hardly stand it? I was able to take all my photos from Italy that would have lost their luster in an 3x5 state and make them come to life as 5x7s and 8x10 on the pages of a book. It was such a huge success that I ordered 3! Now that is a deal! There are many sites which offer this service (Photoworks, MyPix, VioVio, Shutterfly )but so far, Snapfish is my favorite. And althought I haven't created a book on Shutterfly, I have seen one created on that site and it was beyond cute. These sites have a multitude of other items to create from serving trays to ornaments.

Personalized Cookbook: is offering you a chance to make a unique cookbook for someone using your own recipes or their online recipes. Who doesn't need a new way to cook chicken? And you can put a photo on the front of your creation. If only I had a taken a picture of me wearing that hairnet at my kids' Thankgiving Feast today. Oh.....I kid. I really wore a baseball cap.

Make a Memory: Several family members decided this would be the year we DID something instead of BOUGHT something. This could be something as simple as a trip to Incredible Pizza, Itz's or Main Event or a fancy night on the town with some couple friends. Feeling really spontaeous? Go for a concert or a weekend trip to a city you love or would like to visit. Don't forget to take your camera to document the adventure. Then you can create a fun book!

A Future Experience: This one is huge in our family. My peeps aren't big toy people so last Christmas we put the money aside and then registered them for some amazing summer sports camps at a local church. Tremendous success and BIG fun! This has no camp, pottery classes, cooking classes....whatever you choose!

The Gift of Hope: Billy Graham and his son, Franklin, have done tremendous things for the Kingdom. They organize two different ways to bless those in need during the holiday season. The first is Operation Christmas Child, which is packing a shoebox with items that will delight a child. Jump online and find a church/drop site near you. The Target Dollar Spot and many Dollar Stores are great places to find hygiene items, toys and books. The second is Samaritan's Purse. This part of the ministry offers a Christmas catalog filled with items to provide physical assistance to those who are hurting. Now, let me warn you....not everyone knows how to react when a goat or a brood of chickens is given in their name to a family a continent away. There are LOTS of gift options from hot meals to blankets to sports equipment. Pray that God will give you discernment as to who might be good choices for this type of gift and then pray for them to have a heart to receive the tremendous life-changing blessing you are inviting them to be part of.

Homemade Gifts: Oh, this is a popular one.....just NOT in my house. I was toying with the idea until my husband, who wasn't using his filter, said, "Oh Dear Lord, please don't make the gifts this year." Um....WHAT? I am not sure what I made in the past that has scarred him so badly but I officially lost any interest I had with that. Hmpf.....But if I WAS going to make something....I loved the etched Martini glasses my sister made me last year. They are so snappy! Each has a different animal print. Apparently she used masking tape and etching cream. Good luck with that!

Alrighty, my pot is dry. Have fun ideas? Comment away and let's help a sister out!