Voting, Great Gifts, and Other Bloggy Stuff

Well it has been four days of voting and I’m already laughing.

While Conversing with Strangers has the early lead (as expected), Stupid Animal Battles is in SECOND! I never thought anyone would vote for that one! Although I will admit there was a flurry of votes for that topic in the “Other” category after I said I wouldn’t put it on the February poll, so in hindsight I should have expected this.

Votes as of February 4, 2011

And then, in third, is the “Other” category. Sheesh. I mean, I love that everyone has their own ideas. That’s the point. Haha and so, four days into voting we have a new category: Cooking. It’s now on the poll because it gathered four votes in the “Other” category (congrats).

Also gaining votes in the “Other” category:

  • Skipping to Work
  • Stories
  • Photos and Stories for Each Year of Your Life

Congratulations Cooking you have a place on the poll

Also, I’ve done some thinking and I’ve decided to upgrade the theme this month from simply Gifts for Under $5 to Great Gifts for Under $5. Because anyone can come up with a lame, cheap gift. But I want to supply excellent gifts for cheap.

And the t-shirt pillow TOTALLY counts. It’s awesome. I admire it every day. EVERY DAY.

Christmas Morning Mug Huggers [Gifts for under $15? I’ll give you $5]

When I become fixed on an idea I tend to.

  1. Talk about it a lot
  2. Research it a lot
  3. Read a lot of books and/or blogs

During my last fixation, I even took a budgeting course. That was new for me. Actually, no it wasn’t. Nevermind. I forgot I went to French Camp one semester.

Right. So this last round of obsessed researching follows exactly the same patterns I usually get into. So this intro was basically for naught.

My point: on my latest quest/obsession/fixation/project I stumbled upon an interesting blog. I read a few posts and figured I’d keep an eye on it to see if anything useful popped up. And when I saw this one I thought, Yeah! Gifts in a jar for under $15!

But then I read the post (actually, I skimmed it) and thought…I can do better.

Mug Huggers

Introducing arbyn’s Christmas morning mug huggers!

Here’s how you can make arbyn’s Christmas morning mug huggers too

  1. Acquire mugs from anywhere but a store if you can help it
  • I recommend grandparents, friends of friends, or your local workplace
  • Don’t steal
  • Go through your stash yarn (or fabric, ribbon, etc.) and find some good colour combos to go with your new-to-you mugs
    • Find a great pattern and get crafty
    • My pattern is pretty straightforward: Thirty stitches for 30 rows, then add a border
  • Also find some buttons
    • For my project I tried to scavenge from old purses and my meagre collection but resorted to purchasing a bag of about 100 buttons from a thrift store for $2.99
  • Find little gift baggies
    • You could definitely sew them—hand stitch even
    • I found mine pre-made at a dollar store for $0.75 each
  • Collect little packets of hot chocolate and sample sized Bailey’s, or whatever type of hot drinks strike your fancy
    • I have a large tin of Starbucks hot chocolate and I divided it up into single portions, and I found sample-sized Bailey’s for $3.99 each
    • You could also pick up some single-sized instant coffees or teas
  • Put it all together and voila! A lovely way to welcome Christmas morning, so long as the recipient has access to hot water
  • I suppose the good that came from the whole “Gifts in a jar” thing is it unlocked some sort of permissions inside my mind, which didn’t seem to think homemade gifts were appropriate. I know, right? But all I can ever think about for homemade is knitting and I didn’t want to knit all my gifts.

    (OK we all know that’s not true.)

    My compromise was to only knit part of the gift. And I think it worked out alright.

    When I decided this was the direction to go, it was pretty exciting. I didn’t want to spend much (most of my friends are officially skipping Christmas, so really I was just trying to create a special token) and now I had direction.

    Oh, and I’m completely aware that I’m spoiling the surprise.

    …or am I?

    Now the surprise will be who gets arbyn’s Christmas Morning Mug Huggers!?

    How to Give the Perfect Gift

    Does gift-giving stress you out? I’ve figured out how to give the perfect gift. No kidding. OK, a bit of kidding. But it might help.

    How to Give the Perfect Gift

    Obviously giving the perfect gifts stresses me out. I want to give the BEST Christmas gifts. I want to win Christmas. It’s so much pressure. Actually, giving gifts in general stresses me out.

    Please don’t misunderstand: I love giving gifts. And giving the perfect gift is, like, the biggest high in the world. However, when push comes to shove and I can’t give the perfect gift I turn into more of an impulsive, “Here, I like you and this suits you,” or “Hey, I saw you need this or that so I made/have this for you.”

    Somewhat less satisfying.

    Suffice to say, when the pressure’s on, I crack. I’ve been over-thinking this entire month and honestly don’t know how to give the perfect gift to everyone on my Christmas list.

    Usually, I think and think and stress and hunt and don’t find what I don’t know I’m looking for. So I last-minute-shop and then buy the last thing on the shelf, which completely sucks.

    This year, in anticipation of my habits and trends, I’ve had several shopping days, and I’ve written and rewritten lists. I figured that was a good way to get ahead. However, I’m still three gifts short and it’s definitely crunch time.

    Can you relate?

    In the spirit of panic, I Googled it.

    How to Give the Perfect Gift

    1. Think about the person you’re giving to

      This means steer clear of the boot cologne! Also soap-on-a-rope is out (unless it’s for my brothers).

    2. Inside jokes

      Remember that time that thing happened and soap-on-a-rope and no one else knows about it but us? Here’s a memento

    3. Incorporate photos into your gift

      Everyone likes to see him/herself in a photo…how about a photo collage on a mug? On a mouse pad? A calendar perhaps? Oooh! How about a photo on soap-on-a-rope?

    4. Hobbies and passions

      There’s no better way to say “I love you” than to support an obsession!

    5. Engrave something

      Just for that little something extra. Also cuts out re-gifting pretty much 100 per cent (which is too bad because I LOOOOOVE regifting).

    It was about here I stopped Googling because there is nothing new on the Internet and I still don’t have three gifts. Looks like I have three more shopping days until I’m forced to grab the last item on the shelf in the nick of time and pray it’s at least useful, if not perfect.

    Maybe I’ll do better next year.

    Does gift-giving stress you out? I've figured out how to give the perfect gift. No kidding. OK, a bit of kidding. But it might help. I love giving gifts. And giving the perfect gift is, like, the biggest high in the world. Unfortunately, when push comes to shove and I'm in panic-last-minute-gift mode, I crack.

    Other Gift-Related Posts