I have a difficult time coming up with original Christmas gift ideas for co-workers and neighbors and such.
My husband works at a plastics manufacturing company, where they produce all kinds of craft bags and gift bags and gift wrap and cellophane rolls and paper bags and such. He likes to wrap up about 20 smaller-sized, gusseted bags in a larger-sized bag, tie a bit of ribbon at the top, tack on a label, and hand that out with a few rolls of wrap and cellophane to our neighbors. We have had good response to it over the last few years – apparently some look forward to receiving them so they can use them to wrap their own neighbor gifts! So we generally try to get them out the door 2 or 3 weeks before Christmas so they can do just that.
Here is a sampling of the types of bags:
And this is roughly what the compiled group of bags stuffed into a larger bag looks like:
(Sorry for the lame photos – those were from 3 years ago, taken with my old, lame camera on our old, lame sofa slipcover!)
This is our third year giving out these things, and Hubby insists that it’s a great tradition that the neighbors look forward to. And being as totally unoriginal as I am, I lazily let him make me stick with it! We’ve already received about 6 gifts in return using some of the bags included, so that makes us feel like it’s at least a usable thing to give. We compile upwards of 50 packs like these to deliver around the neighborhood and give to family and other friends.
Anyway. We do have a few people to whom we like/need to give something a little more meaningful (co-workers of his, very close friends, mother-in-law, etc). Last year I made a 10-pack of cards for those special people – about 12 people in total. I diligently and very orderly made 12 of one card each month so that by the time November arrived, all 120 cards were completed and ready to be bagged up into mixed packs and sent out the door. We had wonderful response to those, as well, so it’s looking like I might make this a tradition also.
This year, though, in addition to being busy with large orders of Christmas cards for my family, I did some serious procrastinating (and adding in of a few somewhat unnecessary extras – i.e. 31 Days of blogging in October), and I didn’t even get started on the cards until early November. That being the case, I narrowed the pack down to 5 cards this year, which made it a little more manageable. I chose a few of my favorite designs from the year and pared them down a smidgen for easier mass production.
Last year, I made 12 packs and ended up needing to scrounge around in my usual stack of cards for extras because Hubby kept spontaneously adding names to the list. So this year I just added 4 more sets of cards for a total of 16 and thought that would be fine. Somehow, 7 more people were (again) spontaneously added to the list!! So I still had to scrounge through my regular stack of cards to put some random sets together! I’m thinking I’d better just make 25 sets right from the start next year, and probably bump up my stash overall in case there are any more spontaneous additions.
Moving on, here is a group photo of the cards:
A photo of them bagged up in one of Hubby’s nice holiday bags and ready to go: (minus the little label we usually stick on the front)
For Hubby’s co-workers, I created 8 of the following homemade tags to attach to their bags: (I made them weeks ago for a ColourQ challenge but didn’t get a post up before the challenge expired.)
|Please let me know if you’d like a supply list for these tags, and I’ll be happy to share that with you.|
I also made a pack of 20 notecards for my foster mom’s birthday in January.
So here’s the tally:
20 Christmas cards for my brother
44 Christmas cards for my mom
80 cards for planned gift packs
40 cards for spontaneous gift packs (one of the extra 7 included 10 and not 5 cards)
10 special cards for a very special friend
20 notecards for my foster mom’s birthday
= a serious TON of cards! (214 cards, actually)
And when you add that to the 50 graduation cards and 40 baby cards I created earlier in the year, as well as all the other misc/random cards throughout the year,… I’d say I successfully found a little bit of crafting time this year! LOL ;-D
Which actually makes me feel pretty good.
It’s been a fun, creative year.