Do you find yourself stressing when it comes time to start thinking about the holidays? Or does the thought of the family get-together cause acid indigestion? Personally, the biggest stress inducer for me is the thought of heading to the mall for anything. I’d like to share with you a few ideas to reduce the stress load this Christmas.
2 Gift Basket Ideas
For The Bird Lover
I’m sure you know someone who loves to feed the birds, can probably tell you which birds are at the feeders in their yard, and probably even knows some of their songs when they hear them. Why not put together a gift basket with items they can use to enjoy their hobby. Even if you can’t afford the cost of a new birdfeeder at the stores, there are often ones at thrift stores or flea markets for a fraction of full price. Add to that a couple of suet feeders, which can be bought new or used for not a lot of money. Add a book that identifies birds, whether it’s at feeders with specific types of seed or one that covers birds living in their area. Pick up a small pair of binoculars to add to the basket, along with a subscription to a birding magazine. You could use any or all of these ideas, depending on your purchasing power and here’s a little something you can include to put in the suet feeders.
Tried & True Suet
- 1 c. crunchy peanut butter
- 2 c. quick oats
- 2 c. cornmeal
- 1 c. lard or shortening
- 1 c. flour
- 1/2 c. sugar
Mix lard and peanut butter in microwave or stove top. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into square containers and store in freezer. Makes 6-8 cakes. You can press wild bird seed to the outside of the cakes, if you like but the birds aren’t really picky. You can pack the cake in the suet feeder and then wrap it in a small gift bag or cellophane or wrap the cakes individually by themselves. Be sure to include the recipe so your bird lover can continue to make these cakes.
For The Ice Cream Lover
Fill a gift basket or other unique container with items to build ice cream sundaes. Include a scoop that you can heat with warm water that makes it easier to scoop out hard ice cream. Pick up some retro parfait glasses or small sundae bowls to include in your basket. Cones, sprinkles and nuts can be picked up at a bulk food store and placed in colourful containers. Maraschino cherries and gourmet sauces can be picked up in most grocery stores or even ordered online. Add some coupons for ice cream and maybe include a couple of bananas for banana splits and you have a gift that any ice cream lover would adore.
Shopping From Home
To help reduce the stress of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it helps to be able to do as many things from home as possible. Online shopping has soared over the last few years and I confess that I’ve also increased my share of it. I have a dear friend who has been doing this for quite a while now and a phrase of hers sticks in my head – “There’s something to be said about shopping in your pj’s.”
Mary Cunningham would never claim to be a financial expert but has worked in the area of finance with personal taxes for over 15 years. Those personal taxes included all personal aspects, rental property and small businesses. She will be offering some Canadian insight to this venture but she came to live in Canada by way of Kentucky.