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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:biggrinsanta: I love the Christmas holiday and all of the traditions and smells and festivities! Please share what you're planning to do, how you're decorating, what gifts you've purchased or plan to purchase and all of the wonderful details!:christmas::vs_gift:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I did leave my decorated mantle up and won't take it down unless there is a really good reason! And it has to be REALLY good.

Since I'm in the Spirit, I did buy a fresh table centerpiece with a candle from the Boy Scouts, which will arrive in November. I also bought a fresh swag from Etsy to put above the mantle, which arrives next week!

As for presents, I've been very busy thinking and buying things for the family. I've used rewards points and Swagbucks to reduce costs. So far, the kids are getting (I won't separate who gets what as it would take too long): body wash, a personal safe, action figure, comic books, coins, video games, shampoo, legos, gift cards..... DH is getting: GC, book, coins and a key tracker....

We hope to take a quick trip to Disney and they should have the decorations up and the parade and fireworks at that time! DH said he always wanted to go to Disney for Christmas.
 

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I use to leave my nativity set out all year but I put them away and didn't use them last year. If this pandemic has taught e one thing, is that tomorrow is not promised so I will be bringing all of them out this year.....

But before Christmas I will be decorating for fall....have a ton of pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows etc. Have a nice set of four fall plates and will mix and match other items with them....have tablecloths, runners, placemats...don't know which one I will use....

I buy the grandkids stocking stuffers and I have quite a bit....I got them all waste baskets (who can't use a new wastebasket) also got them all throws....they each get two nice gifts...the adults will get a gc for a restaurant. I will use my Christmas china to set the table nice....if we are home for Christmas due to pandemic, we will order a nice meal and use the table. Usually it's just for looks.....

I buy for my friends kids and got them each a Crayola eraser mat. I have a nice throw to give to their parents.

We don't put up a tree but I have a ceramic tree I made my Mom when I was 16...so it's 57 years old....will use that...and I picked up another ceramic tree without the base and will also use that....

Will put a wreath on the door......I use to put a nativity set outside but can't do that anymore due to thief...someone took my reindeer planter which was right by the front door last year...just picked it up and walked away....unbelievable....so, I don't put anything nice out.....
 

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well it is thanksgiving and then dh bday, Halloween!!! dd bday and then xmas lol not allowed to put up stuff until dec. just had ds bday ..so gifts are for bdays and xmas. just started fall decor!

I have my nativity sets too.. from craft ones to ones the kids made in preschool. hanging one ornaments etc.

do have some gifts already.. socks and a vintage style xmas dress 40s style in xmas fabric w kittens so dd will love it. have a gift box going that I have to look though. will start keeping an eye out for interesting stuff. plus start buying gift cards.
 

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I inherited a lot of silver items and love to polish and dress them up as appropriate. Lots of ribbons and candles on hand to use already. White twinkle lights and greenery cut from the yard is free. I have some grapevine wreaths that are easy to change up whenever I want to. I will buy gifts for hubby but only give some baked goods to my brother. Hubby buys for his sis and BIL and nephew's family, he likes to spend money.
 

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Well, the lights are still on the porch and garage from last year, so we are halfway there, lol. I don't do a lot of decorating, nobody will visit and see it, it's just clutter IMO. My christmas card clothesline is still up, too, will hang whatever comes in. Put out a seasonal tablecloth, and a quilt on the back of the couch, that's about it. We have a very small tree for the table. Got rid of a bunch of stuff, mostly gift boxes, bags and paper when we cleared the basement this spring.

I hope to do some cookie baking this year, I was sick previous 2 years and didn't get any done.

No idea about gifts yet. DH hasn't given me any hints, and he usually just buys whatever he want. Plus I haven't been wandering around stores like usual. Our families are far away so we don't do much gift giving. DH used to get discount gift cards through work, but he has changed jobs this year.
 

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I love the holidays! I decorate the fireplace mantle with pine and some polar bear decorations I have. We put up a mini tree in the family room near the fireplace. We put our full size tree in the living room and I’ve got some small decorative items I place around.

Oh! I also hang the stockings on the fireplace mantle and I have a wood reindeer I made that I put on the hearth. It’s a planter type reindeer so I put fake boughs in it with some fake berries and sparkly ribbon.

As for gifts I make calendars for my Dad and my sister using pictures of the grandkids etc we’ve taken over the year. They are a big hit and they look forward to them so I’ll keep the tradition going.

My brother and his wife love scented candles so I usually get them a couple of those. Yankee Candles always has some great sales as we get closer to the holiday.

I do gift certificates for my nieces and nephews. They all love shopping at Target so I get those.

My MIL passed away last year and left me a ring I always loved and I’m going to have that taken apart and make necklaces for our Dd and two granddaughters. I like the idea of passing down that piece of family history and since Dh and I will be choosing the settings etc it’ll have our “stamp” on it. I am really excited to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Peg- I remember when the reindeer was taken. There is no reason for porch pirates to do this. I hope this year is better and these people behave themselves.

Hikr00- I love those calendars. We did the same thing for my in-laws when the kids were younger. As the kids got older, they refused to have photos taken. But last year, I was able to get a couple of photos and made big magnets with them by sending the photos to a company and then they produced them on a 3x5 magnet with some words and designs...They came out nice ($8 each).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Etsy cancelled my order for the swag. Bummer. I'll find something fragrant to hang on the wall at a later time.

I got DH a new pair of jeans from ebay in a size and style that he wore for many years, but it was discontinued on the website.
 

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CH I use to bake big time at Christmas.....for years I would send trays and trays of cookies, cakes, candies to my son and sil work. Last year I stopped doing it. I use to give plates and plates of cookies to friends but then they all complained they were on diets etc. so I stopped doing that....so I now do just one or two cookies for my son and make scones for my daughter's brunch and that is about it...I end up eating most of the goodies and I don't need them....I really miss that part of the holidays....things change when you get older....some are good and some not so much....My daughter always use to give us a picture of the boys but now that they are grown that isn't happening....I really miss that....and, I miss taking them to the pumpkin patch and getting them pumpkins....it was the start of the fall season every year....

Rujerro sorry your swag got cancelled....I hope you can find something you like.....
 

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BW, I love cooking for the holidays. Used to do big feasts when I was younger. Single friends would gather and we'd all have a great time. Everyone is too busy with families these days. Just DH and I. I make too much food anyway. Always wanted to do a cookie swap, but could not talk people into it. Too much work for them. So now I bake and freeze in small bags, 6-8 cookies at a time. Enough to defrost and enjoy, not so many you get sick of them.

Bummer about the swag Rujerro. Hope you can find another closer to the holiday.

Hikr, I like the candles, too. Have a few left from last year that we'll use later.
 
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everyone is ahead of me! Fortunately 8 people in my family decided to team up and draw names again this year so that eliminated 7 gifts. I'm working on the 1 I buy for. I got one gift yesterday and a few in the past couple of months but way behind my usual gift purchasing! I need to check my card stash. I think I Have all I need.
 

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I'm making progress on filling up my Advent boxes with gifts. I found quite a few interesting things that I think the recipients will like. I've always asked that nobody give me gifts for Christmas. I buy what I need and even some things I just want.

This year I will be giving our priest some money and making a larger donation to the church.

Since ALS, I no longer bake. For years I made everything from scratch and would bake and cook for weeks in advance, making baskets for people who needed Christmas cheer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Kim- I used to bake cookie trays and bring them to work. I don't do it anymore and nobody at home likes that sort of thing. Just plain ole' soft chocolate chip cookies is what they eat on occasion.

I got DS1 a cutlery stocking stuffer that includes chopsticks. He eats out a lot and can keep it in his car.
 

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Two years ago a friend and I baked dozens of cookies for our first responders. She took them down to the police station (only 1/4 mile away) and they took her picture with two officers. The first responders were delighted with the goodies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kim- That was so sweet. I bet they loved it. I mean, homemade cookies for Christmas? Oh. yeah!

One year, we had a cookie contest at work. Best cookie wins a gift card. The winner was a chocolate chip tollhouse with nuts and raisens thrown in. I always hoped for a contest each year after that but nope. I'll bring it up to the council this year. Maybe it could be a dessert of any kind . See what they say.
 

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I was invited to a cookie swap three years ago....it was wonderful....there were about 20 of us....I keep hoping the girl who hosted would have it again but she is really busy with her business so it hasn't happened...my house is much too small....last year I went to a homemade gift swap party with 11 others....it was fun....got 11 little homemade things....I did homemade chocolate in a cute jar with a three different kinds of cookies.......we all brought a snack and it was fun....she will do it again this year but because of the virus I won't be attending....
 

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Peg,
This virus has stopped so many of us from socializing. I miss my card group so much. I don't know if I'll get together with my brother and his wife for Thanksgiving this year. It's just so frustrating.
 

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Peg could you attend "virtually" by dropping off your hand made things ahead of time and picking up a bag of items after the exchange? If people would give their phone numbers you could speak to them individually afterwards.
I earned a $25 GC doing surveys and usually get Home Depot but this time I think Amazon. Hubby usually wants a book or two. His birthday is also in December so I have to shop extra.....
 
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