'Tis Done, All Done!

Thanks to yesterday's day off, I have now completed my Christmas shopping - at least the parts that I had to buy. Now it's on to the parts that I have to make!

I don't think anyone who will be receiving Christmas gifts (i.e. family in South Africa) will read this, so let me list what's going into the gift crates - and crates they are! I've been sawing and hammering away at that wood we rescued from behind the mall, and made a couple of lovely rough crates for my home-made goodies to go into.

Two of the three couples will be getting new hand-made tablecloths. The other couple has ordered bouganvilla-pink scatter cushions for their lounge. I've got some awesome fabric for these - a base layer of cerise, and a top layer of crystal organza that shines blue one way and pink the other. After a huge search, I finally found the cushion inners - everyone wants to sell ready-covered ones, but the uncovered versions are hard to find. Once I'd obtained all the fabric, I worked out that the cushions are costing less than half of what the shops charge to make. Cool!

Everyone is getting "natural fire-lighters" - pine-cones sunk into a wax base with a wick. Got the idea from a UK Country Living mag, where they sell them at 10 pounds for 6. I have pine-trees growing right outside and a pack of white candles is pretty cheap (we re-use the wicks after melting the wax), so am making them myself. Will experiment another time with adding things like cinnamon sticks and spices for extra aroma.

Everyone is also getting home-made strawberry jam, which will be done tonight and bottled. In addition, they'll receive a variety of home-made mixes for breads, muffins, brownies and focaccia. I may also throw in a packet or two of home-made honey-nut granola, some fresh veggies from my organic garden, a pot of herbs and an arum lily bulb each (mine grow wild and huge, but their season is at an end).

My son is really the only one I have to actually buy presents for, along with my little nephew (his first Christmas!). He's getting 2 Bionicles, the Shrek 2 video and a sock-full of small goodies like sweets and little toys (from Santa, of course!). Ethan the baby gets a noisy rattle and a soft activity book.

That about covers the gifts!

Christmas lunch I'm in charge of fresh focaccia, vegetarian turkey and drinks, but am hoping to get one of the brothers and his wife over for a meal too, as we won't see them Christmas day.

It's a load off my mind now, having all this stuff done. I made it on the cash side, and I think they'll like their gifts.

This year I'm not at all concerned as to what I'll be receiving, although I do have a "wish list" - I just love giving!