Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….
Ok, it’s officially almost Christmas! Christmas decorations are on all the shelves, commercials are telling your kids what every good parent will be buying this year and my house and my brain look and feel like a train wreck.
There I have said it now I must fix it!! If only it were that easy. As soon as I see one Christmas item my brain goes to the dark side of the craft zone. This means every time I see a great gift idea my first thoughts are “oh, I could make that for ______ (and this list of family and friends starts to grow). If you have not visited Pinterest.com, foodgawker.com and craftgawker.com please check them out so you can join me as I slowly slip in the crafting abyss.
I know life would be much easier if I didn’t think about making gifts, I know that the shelves are packed with a wonderful selection of great gifts, but really that would be too easy. I know people (my best friend as a wonderful example) that have already finished their Christmas shopping. Yes, every time she mentions it I want to hit her HARD! I am still racking my brain as to where to put the table in my living room so I can craft while I do 600 others things during the day. It is not a good sign to start off the holiday season hating your best friend, but I will move that to the top of my prayer list! (Really, I am just teasing, I don’t hate her but I may really hit her, not tooooo hard of course).
I have visions of gift ideas dancing through my head during every waking minute of every day for every person on my list. The problem is that I have the hardest time deciding what to do for most of my friends that also craft. I am wondering if they are making the same gifts for their friends and what colors are they using and what will go perfect in their home.
During this time of year I spend more time wandering around in Hobby Lobby and Michaels than in the grocery store. I get such joy when I see their 40% off coupons in the paper, if I could only convince them that I really need to use more than one per transaction per day. I have 3 Hobby Lobby’s within driving distance and have been known to hit all 3 on a Saturday so I can get what I need with my coupons, and on top of that I usually drag my wonderful hubby along so he can also use a coupon for me. (Yes, he is a saint!)
If you are a crafter you know that it is cheaper and easier to just purchase a gift, take it home and wrap it, but there seems to be something in our blood that makes us want to give a gift that we have made. When I first started making gifts to give it was to save money but now it really has gotten pricey to give “homemade gifts” when you consider your time and purchasing all the needed items. Then we must consider the cost of the therapy we may need because we have driven ourselves crazy by stressing over each and every polka dot placement while living on coffee and little sleep.
Today I will start to make my list of who will be on my gift giving list and try and narrow down what I will be making this year. Right now if I made the food and craft ideas that are running around in my head I would need to purchase gift baskets the size of Montana for each family. So my first priority is to control the craft monster before he consumes my life and my check book. Then I will make a list of what I need and how much and that should help with the cost, before I enter the craft store because once I pass through the doors all control goes out the window. So I will plan ahead—really!!
Today my goal will be to get my house in order, make room for a craft table and set time limits for the amount of time I will work each day. I will make sure I clean up my crafting area each day so my house doesn’t begin to look like Santa’s workshop exploded! I will try to complete each craft before moving on to something else (very hard for me to do) and make sure I only make the amount of items needed for my list. (No extra goodies—just in case, I have a closet full of those). This is starting to sound like a crafters anonymous pledge, my husband should be able to rest easier after I sign and post this.
Before we get so caught up in the material things that seem to take over the holiday season and we forget that Thanksgiving is only weeks away, make sure you take a breath and enjoy the gifts that we receive every day from our Heavenly Father. The little things that I like to call kisses from God, a kiss on the cheek as the wind blows by. I get so caught up in the preparation for the dinners and gifts that I miss the special moments that make living so wonderful. This week one of my little ones climbed up in my lap and said she needed to tell me something in my ear, as I leaned over she grabbed me around the neck and whispered “ I love you so much” now that’s why I get out of bed each morning. I don’t want to get so caught up in the stuff that I miss the sweet whispers in my ear. Those are the things I am most thankful for, the moments that can be missed in the blink of an eye. When all the gifts are long forgotten the things that will still be printed on my heart are the hugs and special times spent with the ones that I love. The things that money can’t buy or I can’t make are the ones that will keep me going when I want to give up! So as I make my list of what to do for the up and coming celebrations I pray that I will be mindful of the things that will last and make a difference for the ones I love.
May I remember to give the gift of time and my undivided attention to the ones I love, because no amount of money or the most coveted gift can replace the fingerprints we leave on lives of our family and friends.
Love with intention and make a difference!!