Saturday, April 10, 2010

#5 - April: Your Christmas Stash and Items to Stock Up On

This month I want to focus on your Christmas “hiding place” and the things you can start filling it with. Do you have a place where you stash the gifts you make or buy throughout the year? Do you need a place to store materials for gift ideas? Without such a place, you probably hide things and then forget where you put them. One year it was two months AFTER Christmas when I found a big gift I’d gotten for my son. I’d hidden it behind a chair that sat behind my bedroom closet door that always remained open. He never looked there — but neither did I after I chose that as my hiding place!

Now I have an old, black metal, two-door supply cabinet with three shelves inside. It sits in my home office, where I spend most of my day. That’s where I stash gifts. My kids are old enough not to care what’s in there (or maybe they’ve never figured out what I keep in there besides old coloring books and boxes that once held office software), so I don’t lock it. If you have junior detectives in your house, you may want something that you can lock. Do you have a closet, cabinet, or shelf that you can use (and even disguise) as your Christmas storage? A solid color (not clear) plastic storage bin with alid is better than playing hide and seek for your gift stash. Having everything in the same place will save time later.

Now let’s turn our attention to items we can stock in our storage place. Gifts already bought or made are a given; any sewing supplies related to your gifts could be placed there, as well as any recipes that you’ve gathered for making a family cookbook. Maybe you are gathering supplies for making pretty soaps or candles. What else? This month we enjoyed the Easter holiday. What does that have to do with Christmas? Baskets are for sale now at clearance prices! If you want to make gift baskets for Christmas, stock up now. Easter grass is also on clearance and would make nifty packaging material in gift bags or boxes in place of tissue paper. You can also use the grass in clear plastic ornaments - hiding a small gift in the middle. What a pretty and unexpected surprise!

Some items may be readily available now but hard to find in the fall. Canning jars are such an item. One year I wanted to bake jar cakes as Christmas gifts, but I couldn’t find wide-mouth jars for sale anywhere in November! If you want to can homemade food items as gifts or make mix-in-a-jar gifts, now is a good time to pick up a supply of jars and stash them where you can find them. Don’t forget small jars to fill with bath salts or other homemade bath supplies as well.

Do you have a special place where you store your Christmas gifts and craft items? Share it here! This blog is set to post all comments, so feel free to comment, offer advice, or ask questions of your own.